Batter Up

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It’s that time of year again as the residents of Cedar Cove prepare for the annual charity softball game. Last year’s game pitted the team from Moon’s Café against Bob and Peggy’s Thyme & Tide team. This year the two teams face off again, but with a change to one team’s line-up. Paul, who attended college on a baseball scholarship, will be the captain of Moon’s team.

Meanwhile, at the courthouse Warren Saget gleefully awaits Olivia’s arrival. Before leaving town, Will sold Warren his stake in the house forcing Olivia into a partnership with Warren. When Olivia arrives at the courthouse, Warren hands her an envelope and a suggestion that they talk about her mother’s home. Still angry over his attempt to convince Will to demolish the home, Olivia is even less thrilled when she hears she’s now Warren’s business partner. Warren suggests Olivia end their new arrangement by simply selling Warren her stake in the home. This is an obvious nonstarter for Olivia but for now all she can do is search for a way out of the contract her brother signed.

At the Sherman home, a despondent Maryellen looks out onto the town from the porch. Grace cheerfully steps outside to join her, unable contain her joy as she shows off her engagement ring. The two women hug and Grace immediately asks Maryellen to be her maid of honor and to help with the planning of the wedding. Grace is so excited she runs off to grab champagne for mimosas. Maryellen tries to process the news, and it’s clear that her feelings are at best mixed.

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Outside Moon’s, Paul and his sister Liz catch up over breakfast. Liz’s surprise visit is less a vacation than it is an attempt to investigate her brother’s new life. While they talk, Olivia walks up and Paul introduces the two. Liz immediately begins chatting about how much she’s heard about Olivia and how impressed Paul is with her. Sensing Paul’s embarrassment Olivia takes the hint and continues on her way to the courthouse.

As he makes his way to work, Luke spots Derek prepping the boat. Derek tells him Matt never showed up that morning. Luke is immediately worried and convinced something is very wrong. He immediately tells Derek that he’ll find him, but Derek points out that but without Luke and Matt, Derek risks losing an entire day’s work. Luke persists and Derek begrudgingly allows him to go.

Back along the shore, Jack and Alex are taking stock of their relationship. While still platonic, Alex worries that she’s interfering with Jack and Olivia. Jack insists that his and Olivia’s problems are not related to their friendship. His comments couldn’t have come at a better time, because Alex needs to ask him a very important question. Since moving out west Alex hasn’t had or needed an AA sponsor, but now she does, and she wants Jack to be her sponsor. Surprised, Jack hesitates, unsure what his next move should be.

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Sitting in his office, Jack finishes off his latest story as Bob walks in. Bob is in search of a team captain and knows Jack played a little baseball while in Philadelphia. Jack says he has a lot on his plate and tells Bob that Alex asked him to be her sponsor. Bob doesn’t think the idea is a good one and immediately offers to help Jack find someone more appropriate. Jack is taken aback by Bob’s response and, while Bob insists he’s being supportive, Jack can’t help but question Bob’s motives.

After the morning’s run in with his sister, Paul eagerly searches out Olivia. He finds her outside the courthouse and profusely apologizes for his sister’s earlier comments. To his surprise, Olivia enjoyed meeting Liz, so much so that the two are having lunch together.

Meanwhile, at the dress shop, Maryellen is struggling to contain her emotions. As Grace twirls around in a beautiful gown, she rattles off a series of wedding appointments she’s made for her and Maryellen the next day. But Maryellen puts the brakes on those plans, departing to Skype with John. Grace is left alone and confused as to why her daughter is showing such a lack of interest in the wedding.

Back at the courthouse, Jack pops in on Olivia to bemoan his latest dustup with Jeri. His latest article for the paper is an unflattering piece on a personal friend of the paper’s owner. Jack wants to stick to his journalistic ideals, but Jeri is threatening to pull the story. Olivia encourages Jack to stick to his to guns and to keep trying to change Jeri’s mind. Jack then tells Olivia that Alex asked him to be her sponsor. The news comes as a shock to Olivia and she’s unsure how to respond. Instead of pursuing the conversation, Olivia tells Jack she’s late for court and escorts him out of her chambers. Her composure ruffled, she takes a moment to herself before stepping onto the bench.

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After checking around town to no avail, Luke returns to the docks to regroup. Helping with the search, Justine has found that Matt’s wife Missy lives in Port Orchard, not in North Carolina like Matt said. Justine suggests Luke take the ferry to Port Orchard and talk to Missy about what’s really going on. Luke asks Justine to go with him, but she suggests he has to do this on his own.

Luke heads to Port Orchard and quickly finds Missy. She tells Luke that she and Matt are not divorced, and that Matt simply left one day, saying he’d be back once he got things sorted out. She goes on to say that Matt’s has been ‘lost’ since his last tour, and he’s been too proud to seek any help transitioning back into civilian life. Luke promises that he’ll get Matt back and get him the help he needs.

Hoping to make her own reconciliation, Grace tracks down Maryellen to talk about the wedding. Maryellen reveals that she was expecting John to propose to her when they moved back to Cedar Cove. Not only did he not propose, they decided to go on a break on the same day Grace got engaged. The turmoil has made planning her mother’s wedding an emotional disaster. Grace comforts her daughter and assures Maryellen that she doesn’t need to do any of the planning. But Grace has misunderstood Maryellen’s feelings and is devastated to hear that Maryellen has no intention of being in the wedding at all.

Later in the evening, family drama finds it’s way to a table at Moon’s. At dinner, Liz openly and loudly accuses Paul of having feelings for Olivia. However unbeknownst to both of them, Jack is sitting at a table on the other side of the wall. Hearing everything, Jack gets up from his table, turns the corner and stares intently at Paul. Shocked and embarrassed, Paul introduces Liz to Olivia’s boyfriend Jack.

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Despite all the turmoil roiling in Cedar Cove, everyone still happily comes together for the annual charity softball game. On the first hit Rebecca twists her ankle, leaving Moon’s team a player short. Desperate, team captain Paul convinces Olivia to pinch hit. With the teams fully assembled, the players head to their positions and the game gets underway.

Playing outfield together, Grace and Cliff get a free moment to talk about the wedding. Cliff knows the first day of planning didn’t go well with Maryellen, but he is not prepared for Grace’s latest decision. As Olivia takes the plate, Grace tells Cliff she wants to elope. Her pronouncement catches Cliff totally off guard and, as he turns to respond, Olivia knocks the ball past him and into the outfield.

Olivia lands at second, and, as luck would have it, Alex is playing second base for the Thyme & Tide. As Olivia catches her breath, Alex leans in and thanks her. Confused, Olivia asks why she’s being thanked. Alex casually tells her how much she appreciates Olivia letting Jack be her sponsor, leaving Olivia is speechless.

With Jack pitching, Paul is next at bat. Jack’s first pitch goes wide, nearly hitting Paul in the head. Tension starts to build when Paul calls time out and heads towards the pitcher’s mound. Jack says the ball got away from him, but instead of taking the base, Paul decides to head back to the plate and wait for a real pitch. Paul then slams the next pitch by Jack’s head and drives two runs home.

The teams switch sides and Olivia takes first base. Luke steps up to bat while Jack waits at first next to a clearly annoyed Olivia. When Jack asks what’s wrong, Olivia reveals that she knows he’s agreed to be Alex’s sponsor. Olivia then asks if there’s anything else he wants Alex to tell her. Jack gets a slight reprieve when Luke connects with the ball, sending Jack sprinting to second base.

As luck would have it, Paul is playing second, and Jack takes the opportunity to slide into the base and clip Paul as he does. Jack halfheartedly apologizes, which only annoys Paul more. Jack asks if they have a problem and the tension explodes. Paul says Jack is the problem, having nearly hit him with the ball and kneecapping him on base. Angry words fly between the two men and in no time the situation escalates to a near fight. Looking to calm things down Olivia runs over and stands between them. Unfortunately for her, the problem is much larger than a few plays on the softball field.