Jeff Carter remembers the first time his daughter, Heather, pitched in an N.C. Dixie Girls state championship softball game. She was playing in the 9- and 10-year-old Angels division in Shallotte. The score was 1-1. The bases were loaded. The count was 3-2. The next pitch would decide the game.
Jeff went to the pitcher’s mound to try to calm Heather.
“She said, ‘Daddy, I just don’t want to throw this pitch.’
“I said, ‘You gotta throw it. If it’s a ball or whatever, you gotta throw it.’ ”