The Outdoor Man men are psyched for a big softball tournament until they learn their team must go co-ed to be eligible to play. Mike suggests they hold a secret ballot to see who amongst them would like to play with the ladies. It’s his way of protecting others from Ed’s inevitable wrath. Once all the votes are in, the majority opts to let women onto the Outdoor Man team.
Mike’s been trying to get Eve to speak up for herself, especially when it comes to sports. But that’s not stopping him from keeping mum about his vote to let ladies join the company softball team. Mike just wants to do what’s best for the Master Batters (that’s the team’s unfortunate name), so he asks multi-sport superstar Eve to break the “all boys” barrier.
Ed’s on board with the idea of Eve playing ball especially after he sees how well she pitches. But he still wants to teach a lesson to every single person who voted co-ed. Kyle is the first victim of his “paintball shot on the bare leg” punishment. The pain is on par with a thousand bee stings. Kyle has no choice but to take one for the team.
Eve pitches a great game. She says, “Mom, we had so much fun. And then afterwards, we went out for ice cream and bourbon.” Eve had the ice cream. Mike is bummed that he was relegated to roving right field so his daughter could pitch. Vanessa asks if there was any point where he felt proud seeing Eve on that mound. Mike says, “Every single moment.” Nice.
Mandy is busy applying to colleges. Check that. Mandy is busy “avoiding” applying to colleges. Those forms are just so darn long. Mike believes she only has to apply to one school: Michigan. Vanessa prefers Ohio State. You don’t have to attend a bowl game to witness a showdown between the Wolverines and Buckeyes. Just head over to the Baxter house as Mike and Vanessa try to out-shout each other with their school fight songs.
The college folks want Mandy to write an essay about someone who inspires her. She worries the school’s brass may not know who Ke$ha is. Kristin offers to help her little sis with the paper. And by help, we mean she writes the whole darn thing. Vanessa knows immediately that Mandy didn’t write the essay about Virginia Woolf. Mike knows his middle child can’t even spell Virginia Woolf.
Mike and Vanessa start thinking Mandy may not be meant for college. Mike says, “We gotta think of something else. A trade school…the TSA…a short order cook. Or maybe even Ohio State.” In the end, Mandy does do her own essay about someone she truly admires. She writes about the kindest person she knows: her big sister.
Mandy’s folks get a bit misty after this one, though Mike claims he’s only sad because Pluto is no longer a planet. As for the college thing, Kristin is now thinking about going back to school. Her dad is way ahead of her. Mike has been researching nearby universities. He’s also taken the liberty of marking all those rated higher than Ohio State!