I wouldn’t let anybody beat me.” –  Joan Joyce

“Joan Joyce, a sensation in softball and more, is dead at 81:
Her pitching feats — including striking out Ted Williams
when she was 14 — were legend.”  –  New York Times, 30 March 2022

Her softball stats were more than numbers to me.
That she never backed down made me her forever fan.

Her arm was a snake, fastballs and curves.
Her sinkers and rise balls
drove Ted Williams to his knees.
Hank Aaron flailed as well
and the Great Yaz refused to face
the player he called “the girl.”

I never saw her play basketball or golf,
but I was an official scorer
for more than a few of her softball games.
She was a lioness when poked,
racing up the stands,
waving her bat at my score table
where I called a shot to third
a hit instead of an error.
Her perfect game spoiled by
the stubborn swipe of my pen.