After foreshadowing it for at least a couple of episodes, it's time for baseball to take something of a back seat for Moshidora's penultimate episode as the truth about Yuki's illness is finally revealed by Minami's impromptu visit.
In fact, you could probably call this visit rather fortuitous, as it delivers Minami to her best friend on what proves to be the final night of her life as she enters a critical condition - news which sees the entire baseball team gather before the harsh reality is revealed to a disbelieving Minami herself, who continues to implore to an unconscious Yuki to fight for her life.
So, after many tearful scenes, Yuki loses her battle and life goes on with the qualifying tournament final to think of - a little too soon for a still shocked Minami it seems, as she refuses to see the point of having anything to do with baseball at this moment in time, even going as far as to reveal her hatred of the sport to the assembled players. Of course, Yuki knew this would happen before her demise and she had already primed the team to make sure that Minami continued in her management capacity no matter what; a request which is easier said than done given Minami's mood, as she runs off for some time alone with Ayano giving chase. This takes us on to the final itself, with things not going well for our team while Minami's absence continues to cause concern until her eventual arrival late in the game... but is it too late to turn things around?
If yesterday's episode got by on sporting drama, then today's instalment survived on raw human emotion and drama in itself. Yes, Yuki's sudden downward spiral of health and death doesn't seem all that believable, but it's hard not to get swept up in a scene involving an entire baseball team in tears having followed them so closely on a daily basis this past fortnight, and to be honest even my eyes were a little damp by the end of it all. Similarly, Minami's reaction to Yuki's is hard to process on a logical level from a girl who has been so driven throughout, yet it "just works" in story telling terms to make for a rather clichéd but nonetheless interesting finale to the series. Never mind the business management, the past two episodes of Moshidora have been all about drilling into the show's facets on a more raw level, with more success than I honestly expected despite its flaws.