Fio encountered softball for the first time when when she was seven and her family moved from Ohio to Texas. At Ellet Elementary, recess had meant running around and playing on the swings, see-saws, sliding board, monkey bars, or jungle gym. Recess at North Waco Elementary meant being sent out to the barren school grounds with a bat and ball (or, according to season, a kickball or a jump rope).
Needless to say, Fio panicked when a softball--or any ball--whizzed toward her.
Well into junior high, she couldn't hit, although she always tried, so when the her father's department at General Tire held a picnic and set up a softball game, she lined up to participate. The pitcher gave her a long, slow ball, virtually aiming at her bat--what else do you do for the boss's daughter--and SHE GOT A HIT!
Maybe it was the feel of the bat thwacking the ball, or maybe it was that the slow pitch had given her a moment to think about what she was doing, but from then on,she was a reliable playground batter.
We'll save the story of how she learned to catch for another day.