(AoftheANews) – COOPERSTOWN – Parishioners of Our Lady of Intentional Walks were surprised when the veteran starting lector, Rhonda Horne, was pulled after the First Reading during Sunday’s 10:30 AM Mass, and relieved by rookie Juan Hetter.
“I didn’t want to pull Rhonda out,” Manager Hy Hardwunne told AoftheA News, “but she struggled with her command right out of the gate. She’s got complete game stuff, but it just wasn’t there today. It happens. Normally I don’t put a rookie in a high leverage situation like that, but I didn’t have a choice. My regular relievers had worked a full slate of First Communion Masses the day before.”
Horne, a lector for 13 seasons at OLIW, admitted after the Mass she didn’t have her best stuff. “I could tell during pre-Mass warm-ups that my timing was off. Ended up mumbling the announcements, and then mispronounced several names in Acts 2. I tried pulling it together, but Hy had apparently seen enough.”
“She was getting beat up out there,” Hardwunne said. “She’ll regain her stuff for her next start, I’m sure of it. Just have to tweak a few mechanics. She’s still in her prime.”
Hetter came in for the Responsorial Psalm, and made a strong case for the starting rotation after mowing down the 2nd reading and finishing up with a decisive Prayers of the Faithful.
“Kid did real good,” Hardwunne commented. “Showed a lotta poise and had control of his pitch. You normally don’t see that in a rookie. Needs a little more seasoning before I promote him from the bullpen, though.”
“I’m just glad to be here,” Hetter told AoftheA News. “Doing my part to help the team. It’s up to the coach if and when I become a starter. Until then, I’ll keep working hard and be ready when called upon.”
“It’s a long, long ordinary time,” Hardwunne said. “I’m not gonna panic over one poor start. Rhonda will be lights out next start, I guarantee it.”
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