First off, I would like to congratulate everyone on a solid team win! The White Baos came out of the gate ready to challenge us, and even though our offense struggled for the first couple of innings, I'm really proud about that we hung in there, battled, and came out victorious. That's what it's all about. As your captain, I'd like to use this forum to share some words regarding strategy and tips to maintain / improve our current level of play.
We've been playing great defense and that's something we should strive to maintain. There's a few things I'd like to emphasize / reinforce regarding our defensive strategy, but the first and foremost is a willingness to get dirty to make that awesome play. Nothing frustrates our opponents when they realize they can't get anything past us because we're out there flying and diving, and that we're willing to take a few bumps and bruises in the process. To even attempt such awesome plays, we have to know that our teammates are backing us up on the field, and we've done a great job of that. Outfielders should always back each other in case the primary fielder misses the play, and then move to back up the infield in the event of an errant throw. This is particularly true for the outfielders who are on the side of the field away from the initial play. Great back up leads to outs when base runners think they can get an extra base from a ball that has seemingly escaped a fielder. A nice throw later and the runner is gunned down trying to stretch that play because they thought that we were sleeping out in the field. That's nasty stuff. On the other hand, only make that throw if you're sure you can get it there accurately. We've done a great job of minimizing errant throws, and that's been key in minimizing our opponents journey around the bases. We don't want to give them any freebies -- they have to earn everything they get. Lastly, let's talk it up out there. It's never a bad thing to remind each other how many outs, whose ball it is, which base the fielder should throw it to, or which base the next outs will be.
On to offense: we've definitely been a little streaky, but when we're on it's a fun thing to watch. Hitting is contagious and a lot of the time it only takes a nice line drive base hit up the middle by one hitter which gets everyone in the groove. We've got three pitches per at bat, and though Andy and I do our best to lay them in there every time, don't be afraid to take the first pitch to look for that one you can put the barrel on. Our offensive goal is to make solid contact and put the pressure on the defense to make the play. The region between the infield and the white line in the outfield is indefensible with a line drive and can frustrate a defense when hits continually drop in there. When you get on base, keep your focus on where the ball is moving and be ready to take that extra base, but only do so if you know you'll get there. On fly balls, take a few steps off the bag -- if the ball is caught, tag-up and see if you can advance, but if the ball is dropped be ready to run! And be sure to watch and listen to your base coaches who have a better view of the play, they are your eyes on the base paths.
We've got a great team in both skill and chemistry, and as long as we
play hard with a nasty edge, I know we can make a run at the grand
prize. But let's focus on one opponent at a time, and our next is The
Misfits on May 21. So rest up during the bye but let's be ready to go
take the cake in two weeks -- I know I can't wait.
Congratulations everyone on our fourth consecutive undefeated regular season! This last victory did not come easy and I'm proud of your guys for gritting your teeth and gutting this one out. The Misfits were a solid team with really no glaring weaknesses on defense, providing a forecast of what we can expect from our competition for the playoffs. The biggest difference between average teams and playoffs caliber teams is their ability to get base hits in between our defenders and to make all the plays that are presented to them. So the way we're going to have to counteract this is to do the same, but better, trying our best to eliminate errors on the field and to avoid pop-ups and easy grounders while at the plate. We can do it, we just have to maintain our focus and rely on each other to do our part. Good plays and nice hits are contagious, you never know what you can spark by a nice sharp line drive up the middle!
And welcome to the playoffs(!), which will assuredly occur during the
week of 6/4-6/8. As usual, the games will occur during times when we
don't normally play, but hopefully with advance notice you guys can
clear your schedules to make it to the each of the games. Howie and I
will be sure to keep you posted once we know the exact schedule. Until
then, rest up, stay sharp, and see you all shortly for the big dance!
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the Spring 2012 Re-Entry Coed Softball team web page