The Writer Life: When Will I Get To Cover A Game Again?
Despite all the writing that I am blessed to do at Edit This®, the sad reality is that it has been 128 days since I last covered a live sporting event. The COVID-19 pandemic took all of that away – at least for now.
That may not sound like a big deal for some people, but it's a hard pill to swallow for someone who has been a sportswriter for 23 years. I got my big break in 1997 and have covered everything from pee-wee sports to high school, college, semi-pro, and even the pros. It's been a fabulous ride, to say the least!
I've met John Madden.
I've met Mike Modano.
I've met Jay Novacek.
I've been to AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
I've been in the tiniest of press boxes.
I've watched dozens of young athletes become pro athletes.
I've eaten too much press box food.
I've met hundreds upon hundreds of really cool coaches and players, many of whom I still have close relationships with after all these years.
When I started, I was 21 years old. I'm 44 now – and I still love covering sports.
So, yeah – not being able to cover a game for this long stings a little. When will I get to cover a game again? I'm not sure, but I'd like to think that day will come sooner rather than later. For now, I'll spend some of my free time catching up with some past game stories.
Here's one I unearthed the other day. It happens to be my last game story – for now.
Softball: Denton picks up big win over Ryan in district opener
By Steve Gamel
Contributing Writer, Denton Record-Chronicle
The best guess from those in attendance at Wednesday’s District 8-5A opener between Denton and Ryan was that it had been at least a good 16 or 17 years since Denton pulled out a win over the Lady Raiders.
All the Lady Broncos cared about was starting district play 1-0.
Behind a strong performance from Ashanti McDade both in the circle and at the plate, Denton cruised to a 5-1 win over its crosstown rival at Tina Minke Field. Denton pounded out 13 hits, including five for extra bases.
McDade and Brooklyn Morris each doubled twice. McDade allowed three hits and struck out 11 in a complete game.
“This was a huge win for our program and exactly how we wanted to start district play,” Denton coach Maggie Stephenson said. “We have one of the best pitchers in the state on the mound. Anytime she is in the circle, we have a chance to compete at a very high level. She had great command and went right at their hitters.”
The only player McDade didn’t pitch to was Maryland commit Abby Buettner, who was intentionally walked three times. Two of Ryan’s hits were triples by Katie Baeumler and Kobe Bothell — both in the bottom of the second — but they only resulted in one run. Ryan (8-11) had one hit over the final five innings.
Meanwhile, Denton (12-5) had Ryan’s number all night. The Lady Broncos scored three runs in the top of the first, when Ryan walked the first batter of the game and promptly gave up an RBI double to Morris. Two batters later, Cat Carter doubled in another run, and Kaylin Jackson followed with an RBI.
Ryan starter Caitlyn Sanders settled down over the next three innings before being pulled three batters into the fifth. Denton scratched out an insurance run before the frame ended, then added another in the sixth.
“There were a few plays left out there that I thought we could have made, but Denton was better than us tonight. Give credit to them,” Ryan coach Matt Buettner said. “McDade was great on the mound, and they had timely hits. If the game is going to be played clean like that and you get beat, that’s OK. We want to be playing better in April.”
Stephenson said she is excited about her team’s fast start and expects the win to add more momentum.
“I have a core group of seniors, and I’m very proud of this group,” Stephenson said. “Tonight was fun.”
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*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.