Alex Lauren Jones thought she was being honored for her volunteer work when she was asked to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before a Wichita State softball game last week.
But that turned out to merely be a way to set the stage for the real pitch a few minutes later: a surprise proposal from her boyfriend, Remington Rebstock.
Rebstock - an El Dorado native and current assistant football coach at Texas El Paso - had made arrangements to dress in a Shockers uniform and catching gear and receive the 'first pitch' from an unwitting Jones, who played softball at the University of Kansas and now works as a volunteer assistant for the Oklahoma State softball team.
As a coach of young girls prior to her work at Oklahoma State, she would preach confidence and presence on the mound, Jones wrote on her Twitter feed. But that deserted her as she waited to make the pitch before the Cowboys faced the Shockers on April 18 at the C. Howard Wilkins Softball Complex.
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A local youth volunteer nailed her toss to the Shockers' starting catcher. But Jones, whose stomach was turning, was "beyond stressed out" and couldn't explain why.
"I started my motion and released the ball much too late and without any control," she tweeted. "As a result, the ball lacked control as well, and when I say 'lacked control,' I mean literally came nowhere close to going where I wanted it to go. It was like slow motion, watching the starting catcher for WSU matrix out of the way of the unexpected ball flying toward her..."
Jones was so embarrassed she spun around, trying to pretend that "had not just happened," she wrote. She didn't notice her catcher approach from the plate. Shockers coach Kristi Bredbenner told her to stick around for a group photograph.
"It then crossed my mind that I should probably acknowledge the poor catcher who didn't have a prayer of catching that pitch," Jones wrote.
She reached out to shake the hand of the catcher, who pulled off his mask and shocked her. Rebstock, her boyfriend of more than two years, had told her he would be in El Paso preparing for the Miners' spring football scrimmage.
She spun around in surprise again, prompting a short chase by a grinning Rebstock. When she turned to face him again, she wrote, he was on one knee in the catching gear delivering "the easiest question I have been asked in my twenty-seven years of life: 'Will you marry me?'"
Jones still isn't sure if she actually replied to the question. What she does know is she took the ring from the little white box he was holding and he swept her off her feet.
"It was certainly a special night neither of us will ever forget," Rebstock said in a Facebook post about the memorable moment. "More so than anything, can't wait to spend forever with this amazing woman!"
The colorful proposal was captured on video and has since gone viral, with nearly 45,000 views.
As the SBNation Miner Rush fan page put it: "Props coach, that was super smooth."