Kristy misses playing softball, so she decides to try out for the SMS team. At tryouts, she realizes how tough making the team is going to be. The girls who played last year are really, really good, and Coach Wu is tough. Kristy does pretty well, though, and ends up making the team, along with three other new girls: Tonya, Bea, and Dilys. Their excitement at making the team is short-lived; almost immediately, a couple of the old team members let them know that in no uncertain terms can they consider themselves members of the team until they complete an initiation. Kristy resists, telling the others that SMS doesn't allow hazing, but the the veterans only threaten to make each and every new girl look bad on the field if they don't do what they're told. After Kristy (along with Dilys) refuses to do any initiation, the girls follow through with their threats to turn practices into a nightmare. That's when she gives in: they'll do their initiation.
That Friday night, Kristy has Charlie drive her to Bea's house for what's supposed to be a team party. In reality, as soon as Charlie drives away, she goes to meet the other three new players at SMS. Their task to to spray pain graffitti on an old equipment shed. No one catches them, but Kristy hears some bad news on the radio when her alarm goes off the next morning. The very same equipment shed that she and her teammates had painted the night before had caught fire, and a neighbor who had tried to put it out landed in the hospital. Kristy just knows that she and her friends are responbile for the fire, and for the guy's injuries. Not only were Bea and Tonya smoking after they finished painting, but Kristy also finds that her (very flammable) can of paint is missing. The four culprits gather at Kristy's later that day, and while they're talking over the situation, Tallie (one of the veterans) calls. She tells them that if any of them are caught, and if they feel the need to confess, the softball will leave them high and dry by claiming to know nothing about the initiation. Then, not only will the girls be in trouble for the crime, but they'll also be introuble for apparently lying.
Kristy feels awful about what happened. When she starts getting notes from someone who claims to know what they did and wants some hush money, she feels even worse. The other three girls are getting notes, too, but since there are no instructions as to how the money should be paid, they decide to sit tight. Then, they find out that the boys' baseball team has been blamed for the fire and has been disbanded because of it. Kristy feels especially awful about that, since Logan is on the team. That weekend, she calls an emergency meeting of the BSC and confesses her crime. The club stands behind her, and they help her to see that she should confess. She plans on doing so first thing Monday morning, until she wakes up to another radio announcement about the fire. Several SHS students stepped forward and claimed responsibility once they heard that the baseball team was taking the rap for it. Apparently, they started the fire so they could come put it out and look like heroes, but the neighbor beat them to it. Kristy is relieved, and doesn't end up confessing. She does, however, find her missing can of spray paint hidden under her bed.
While Kristy is busy with the SMS team, Claudia and Stacey temporarily take over Krushers coaching duties. Also, Karen has decided she wants to be 13, and copies everything that the girls in the BSC do. I guess that's where they copycat part of the title comes from, but it's a really minor plot point. Anyway, Kristy finally gets sick of Karen following her around and tells her off a little. That should please the Karen haters out there. :)
Thoughts and Things
- Normally, I'm not a big fan of the softball books, but I like this one. Maybe it's just the softball coaching books that I don't particularly care for.
- This book also makes me wish I hadn't sold my softball glove at a my apartment complex's garage sale last year, because I knind of want to go out and play.
- I know Jon Merrill of BSC Companion fame doesn't like this book because Kristy didn't get caught and punished in the end, but I like that she doesn't. That's what happens sometimes in real life!
- I like the name Tallie, for some reason....
- It's pretty clear that Mallory knows at least something about softball, thanks to her brothers and sisters. I wonder why she didn't volunteer to help coach the Krushers in Kristy's absence?