Author's note: Hi, all! I just have a few things to mention before I carry on with the story. First off, this is my first fanfiction ever. I never thought my first fanfiction would be a Sandlot one but so far, I've had a blast writing this. I hope everyone that reads this will enjoy it and here are the things you'll all need to know about what I've done with it.

First off, this basically follows the plot of the movie, except that I've placed my own character into the story this time. Also, I've changed everyone ages, so this is the summer before their first year at high school. Last thing to know is that, for convenience, Smalls moves to town on the last day of school.

Anyway, that's it! I hope you all enjoy. Reviews are gratefully eaten up.

Disclaimer: I do not own "The Sandlot," or it's characters.

With Starshine in her Eyes

Introduction

"Girls can't play baseball!"

Two hands shoved me into the dirt and I winced in pain as I felt the tan flesh on my elbows rip. I had watched in wonder as red rose to the surface of my wounds. I thought about how it was my blood, smeared on the dirt around me and how much it hurt. But I didn't cry. I refused to cry in front of these boys. Instead, I glared up at their leader. With sandy hair and a narrow face, this was a boy I would despise for the rest of my childhood days. Tyler Phillips.

He wouldn't let me play on their diamond. He wouldn't let me join their little league team, the one that allowed passage later in their baseball career to the team, the Tigers. I figured it was because he was intimidated. He was afraid of me. Even though I was just seven years old at the time, I could still pitch harder than him. I could run faster than him. I could even hit more accurately. And I'll bet it hurt his pride knowing that a girl was better than him. Granted, I knew nothing about him or where he was coming from, but as a child, it was easy to make quick judgements and stick to 'em.

Before leaving me where I lay, Phillips and his team took one last look at me and laughed. And then they were off, riding those stupid, rich kid bicycles. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. In fact, we had never had much of anything. Dad was a writer, or at least, trying to be one. Mom was a waitress. They didn't make much, and it was hard for them to to keep the family afloat, what with raising three kids and all. But mom never worried about it. She called it an adventure.

Mom had died a few months earlier. It was why we had moved here, to Los Angeles. And so much had changed. Being without a mother was the obvious change but it was also the hardest. In moving, I had left all my friends behind. Todd and Jimmy had to look for work so that they could help dad rake in money. No one had any time for me. There was no more time for our family passion, baseball. I was lonely.

Maybe that was why I had tried to join the little league team. It would have solved everything. I should have realized though that Phillips wouldn't want a girl on the same team as him. It would be easier for me if I would just make friends with some of the girls in town. But I would get so bored. They didn't like to play in the mud or catch worms. Most of them were already trying to act like 'little ladies.' More importantly, they didn't like baseball. I wasn't very girly, but I wasn't necessarily a tom boy either. I was just myself. So where would I ever fit in?

Feeling the hot tears bubble to the surface, I had quickly tried to wipe them away. My elbows hurt but the blood had dried. I pushed myself back onto my feet and brushed some of the dust from my jeans while still fighting the tears. I had turned my head just the right amount and I saw him.

It was a dark haired boy, standing behind a chain link fence. He was staring out across the baseball diamond with large hazel eyes that were flanked by thick lashes. But he hadn't been focused on the grandeur of the diamond. His beautiful hazel eyes had been focused right on me.

I rubbed my sore elbow, wondering how long he had been standing there. Had he seen me pushed to the ground by the other boys? They were probably his friends. Without a second thought, I glared as hard as I could before pinching up my nose and sticking out my tongue at him. I then proceeded to run as fast as I could in the opposite direction, towards the sunset. Towards home. And not once had I looked back at the odd boy behind the chain link fence.

~*~

The next day, I sat out on the front porch steps, itching at the bandaids on either of my elbows. I hated bandaids but my dad had insisted on them. So I agreed. I was staring hard at the ground. A poor, unfortunate ant came strolling up towards me and I glared at it. I had suspected that if I glared at it long enough, it's head would melt. I had heard a door across the street open and then slam shut but I was so preoccupied by the melting job at hand that I didn't even look up.

I heard footsteps getting closer but I still didn't move my eyes from the ant. Not until a pair of all black converse stepped into my line of vision. I glared up at the intruder, only to realize that I was gazing, once again, into two large hazel eyes. It was the boy. I noticed the baseball mitt in his hand automatically. He smiled down at me, a little nervous and I noticed that his teeth were a bit crooked. They would straighten out with time.

"Hi," he greeted me, shyly. I only glared at him.

"You were at the diamond yesterday," I said slowly. "Are you with those richie-rich kids or somethin'?"

"Phillips?" He asked, his big eyes widening even more. "No, no! He's a jerk!" The boy shook his head vigorously, messing up his already messy black hair. He shook his head so hard, I had thought he might damage his scrawny form. I looked down and thought about it for a moment.

"Then how come you were there?"

"I... I like to watch sometimes," he admitted sheepishly. He looked down and peered at me from under long, dark eyelashes. "I saw you play."

I glared before snorting. "Yeah, and what of it? Just 'cause I'm a girl don't mean I can't play."

"I didn't say that!" He said hurriedly. "I thought you were really good. And.. I was wondering if maybe you wanted to play some ball? I only got one other friend to play with, so it's a small team... But we could make it work!" He smiled down at me nervously, waiting for an answer.

I just stared at him silently. I couldn't believe it. This boy wanted me to play baseball with him. This boy thought I was worthy to play. It didn't matter to him that I was a girl, he just thought of me as another player. I suddenly felt a whole lot better. I was making a new friend and pursuing mine and my family's passion. I must have been grinning pretty big because my face began to hurt.

"Yeah! Yeah, I'd like that," I said standing up. My anger and suspicion disappeared and I could hardly contain my excitement. The boy almost looked surprised but it quickly turned to a smile.

"Great! Do you wanna go now? We have a lot down the street a ways... The Sandlot," he motioned his hand in the direction of it.

"Sure!" I grabbed my mitt and he motioned for me to follow. We broke out into a run and I followed him a ways down the street before I finally asked, "Hey, what's your name?"

He looked back at me and smiled. "I'm Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez. You can call me Benny, though."

"Benny," I tried the name out and then smiled. "Okay. I'm Andrea Giselle Morre. Call me Andi, though. I hate the name Andrea." I cringed my nose, remembering the time a girl with the same name as me had stolen my favorite blue marble. Ever since then, I had wanted no tie to her what-so-ever.

"Alright," Benny smiled and began to slow his pace. We stopped. "Welcome to the Sandlot, Andi."

I looked around the empty lot. It was full of dead grass and there was trash along the sides. The diamond wasn't entirely clear and the bases were makeshift. The dugout was also constructed out of random items; it appeared to be made of some old chairs and some blankets. It was a trashy old lot that I'm sure is constantly looked over. But I fell in love with it right away. It'd take longer for me to fall in love with Benny but that was alright. In that moment, I simply gazed upon the empty lot and my new found friend...

And I didn't feel so alone anymore.

~*~

I didn't fall in love with my best friend, Benny, because he was better at baseball than me. I'm a pretty fair player myself. No where near as great as him, but still good. I didn't fall in love with Benny because he was handsome. Hell, over half the girls at our school were crazy about him because he was such a looker. But that wasn't it. I didn't fall in love with him because of that cool and quiet air he had about him. The Benny I knew was far from quiet.

I fell in love with Benny because he played baseball with so many different people. He just didn't care about things like race or gender or social status. I fell in love with Benny because he could have hung out with any of the girls around town but he instead chose to sneak into my room at three in the morning and talk until the sun came up. I fell in love with him because he seemed to be the only person who could make my dad genuinely laugh. I fell in love with him because when I spoke about mom, he listened and when I cried, he'd bring me down to the sandlot to play some ball. I fell in love with Benny because every time he smiled at me, it felt like the holes in my heart were being stitched back together again.

I knew he'd probably never return those feelings. He was too in love with baseball to love another. But that was alright.

I think I might have even loved him for that.