In the fall season's opener, there were two streaks on the line. With the 9--4 win over the Big Bangers, Re-Entry won its 23rd consecutive regular season game, dating back to the Spring 2010 season, while improving their all time record vs. the Big Bangers to a perfect 6 win 0 loss record. (The rivalry against the Big bangers dates back to the Fall 2007 season.)
The Big Bangers jumped to a 1--0 lead in the top of the first, but threatened to do more damage with two men on and two outs. But a flair to short left field was deftly fielded by yours truly at shortstop (one of the web gems of the game) to snuff out the Big Bangers rally. Re-Entry responded with three runs in the bottom of the first, thanks in part to a clutch two-out base hit by Rob. In the bottom of the second inning, Eddie hit a line drive shot over the left-center field's head for a lead off home run. A triple by Howie over the right fielder's head followed by a misplayed ground ball brought home another run, and Re-Entry had a 5--2 lead.
In the top of the third inning, the biggest banger of the Big Bangers sent a towering drive to deep left field for a solo home run, which narrowed the Re-Entry lead to two runs. But in the bottom of the third, Andy responded with a lead off triple, and with another clutch two-out base hit by Rob, Re-Entry took an 8--3 lead. The rest of the game saw only one run scored by each team. In the top of the fifth inning, the Big Bangers began the inning with a lead-off single, which was immediately erased with a ground ball up the middle that was turned into a nice 6 (unassisted)--3 double play. Keeping the defensive miscues to a minimum, Re-Entry held the Big Bangers scoreless over the last three innings, in part due to some fine outfield catches by Laurie in left field, Andy in left-center and Tim in right-center (with the last two catches made despite near collisions).
Although the Re-Entry batting was somewhat rusty, some timely hits
from the distaff side (look it up!), including a shot down the third
base line by Re-Entry team newcomer Jessica, kept the early inning rallies
alive. Nevertheless, the nine runs scored was sufficient for Re-Entry
to claim the 9--4 victory, and yet another successful outcome versus
a gritty Big Bangers team.
|Hashtag Yolo Swag Catzz||0||0||4||1||0||2||0||7|
Re-Entry won its 24th consecutive regular season game, dating back to the Spring 2010 season, but it was not an easy path to victory. In fact, Re-Entry almost ended up beating itself. Re-Entry was unable to put together the big inning, scoring no more than two runs in each of the first six innings. Indeed our opponents turned three double plays killing off numerous rallies, although two of those double plays were a consequence of poor decisions on the base path (I take full responsibility for the first gaffe that led to two outs following a base hit to right field in the third inning).
Nevertheless, the Re-Entry offense did provide some big hits. David led off the fourth inning with a towering home run to deep right field. The top offensive line goes to Eddie, who had five RBIs with a single, double and triple (the scorekeeper is being a little generous on the triple as the Hashtag right fielder provided some help here) in four trips to the plate. Yahoo was another of the Re-Entry hitting stars, going 3 for 3 with powerful line drives to the outfield. Rob was equally productive, also with a 3 for 3 game, setting the table for the big hitters. Howie went 3 for 4, with the potential fourth hit being denied by a diving stop by the Hashtag second baseman behind the bag leading to a force out at second base.
The Re-Entry defense resembled Jekyll and Hyde. One of the Re-Entry web gems took place in the second inning, when a Hashtag batter tried to stretch a single to a double on a base hit to center field. Eddie threw a perfect strike to Howie covering second base, and with a swipe tag a la Buster Posey, the Hashtag runner was gunned down. However, a number of errant throws in the bottom of the third inning led to a four run Hashtag inning, and suddenly, Re-Entry was behind 4--3. Re-Entry retook the lead in the top of the fourth (thanks in part to a well placed line drive down the left field line by Clara), only to see Hashtag come back yet again to tie the score. With one out and runners on second and third, Hashtag was aiming to take the lead once again. But, thanks to the web gem initiated by David on a ground ball to third base, he managed to turn an unusual 5--6 double play by stepping on the third base bag for one out and then firing the ball to Eddie (playing shortstop that inning) who was covering second base. That inning ending double play squashed the Hashtag rally and was one of the turning points of the game.
Re-Entry broke the tie with two runs in the fifth with a two-out double by Eddie driving in Howie and Jessica. Jessica's daring base running in scoring that second run (abetted in part by the third base coach who was not aware that Hashtag now had a catcher) succeeded, as the throw to the plate was off-line. Eddie then executed a clever deke (my hockey interests are showing here) on Clara's ground ball to second, but then got caught between second and third when the shortstop faked a throw to first and then caught Eddie at third base for the final out of the inning.
Re-Entry re-established a three run lead in the top of the sixth inning with an additional run, thanks to a clutch two-out RBI single by Hillary, who was helping out the Re-Entry team that was missing three of their female regulars. But, Hashtag responded with two runs in the bottom of the 6th inning, and suddenly the Re-Entry long winning streak was at risk. When a double play erased Rob's leadoff single in the top of the 7th inning, Re-Entry was on the verge of having to protect a run one lead going into the bottom of the 7th. But, two-out singles by Howie and Laurie followed by a towering fly ball to right field by Eddie that eluded the Hashtag right fielder brought in two runs, and another two-out RBI single by Hillary brought in the third run of the inning.
The three run Re-Entry outburst in the top of the 7th inning,
all coming with two outs, finally
provided some breathing room. Hashtag made three quick outs to
end the game, although the first two outs were anything but routine.
David made a nice running catch
in the left center field gap to track down a well hit line drive for the first
out of the last inning. Then Howie, ranging to his right,
backhanded a sharply hit ground ball
and threw a perfect strike to Rob at first
base for the second out. The final out was a routine pop fly to
David, and the Re-Entry regular season winning streak was
preserved for another week.
The Re-Entry bats truly came alive for the first time in this fall season, and when the fireworks display was over, they had completed a 31--4 shellacking of the GSC Sluggers. The impressive offensive Re-Entry display consisted of six innings in which no less than three runs were scored. The barrage began immediately following an inning ending 6 (unassisted)--3 double play that snuffed out the GSC Sluggers threat in the top of the first. Leading off in the bottom of the first, Yahoo set the tone with a lined shot to left field splitting the outfield defenders for a lead-off home run. After two subsequent two-run home runs by Eddie and David, Re-Entry led 5--0. Yahoo added a second home run in the second inning (a tape measure job down the left field line) to complete a five run second inning, and Re-Entry was up by ten runs after two innings of play.
The web gem of the game goes to Clara, our second baseperson, who dove to her right and backhanded a well-hit ground ball up the middle to start the top of the 3rd inning. She was all set to throw a strike to the first baseman FROM HER KNEES, but couldn't quite get off the throw. The Sluggers threatened again with two on and one out, and if not for a bad bounce on a tailor made inning ending double play ball to the left side of the second base bag, Re-Entry would have kept the opposition scoreless. Unfortunately, that was not to be, and with the first run scored, the Sluggers saw an opening. A couple of poor Re-Entry defensive plays followed (the only Re-Entry miscues of the game), and when the top of the third was done, the Sluggers had four runs on the board.
Re-Entry managed to get most of those runs back in the bottom half of that inning. In the top of the 4th, the Re-Entry defense returned to form, as Yahoo took charge at third base with two nice plays. In the bottom of the 4th, Eddie added a three run home run, while Howie's purported two-run home run down the left field line was ruled foul by inches in a late call by the umpire after Howie barely crossed home plate ahead of the throw.
The remainder of the game consisted of solid hitting up and down the
lineup and flawless defense. Re-Entry finally let loose in the bottom
of the 6th inning. After a bases loaded double by Howie followed by a
two run double by Rob, the runs total began to mount. A few batters
later, Tim followed with a hot ground ball right down the third base
line, eluding Pauline standing on third base (who was sure that Tim
was aiming at her) as well as the Sluggers third baseman, driving in
yet another two runs. When Yahoo stepped up to the plate with two more
runners on base and nine runs already tallied, he was informed that
the ten run rule would be invoked once the runner standing on second
base scored. Yahoo then decided to have a try batting lefty. With
the Sluggers first baseman playing off the line, Yahoo took a mighty
swing only to hit a ground ball that hugged the line and stayed fair
as it passed first base on its way to the outfield. Re-Entry had its
tenth run of the inning and its 31st run of the game. A one-two-three
top of the seventh sealed the deal, and Re-Entry claimed its third
victory of the season and maintained its undefeated season.
It did not seem possible for the offense to have a more productive offensive display than last week. But, when the first eleven Re-Entry batters hit safely in the first inning, and Re-Entry emerged with ten runs with no outs before the mercy rule was invoked, the rout was on. Yahoo led off the game with his second consecutive lead-off homerun, with a laser-like shot way over the head of the Theta Chi left fielder. Eddie and David followed suit, each with two-run homeruns, in an eerie mirror to last week's start. But, the offensive barrage was far from over. Even Carena joined the homerun derby later in the inning, and by the time the mercy rule ended the inning, Re-Entry had batted around.
Meanwhile, the Re-Entry defense continued to snuff out run-scoring opportunities. In the top of the first inning, the first two Theta Chi batters hit singles, but the baserunners were stranded when their next two batters failed to move the runners along. With two outs, the next batter hit a solid single to Pauline in left field. When she noticed that the lead baserunner was headed for home, Pauline made a perfect throw to home plate, and it looked like the Theta Chi runner was dead meat. Then, in one of the most unusual plays of any softball game, the Theta Chi pitcher inexplicably cut the ball off, thereby preventing the play at the plate. The pitcher seemed unaware that he was not supposed to touch any outfield throw, especially with Theta Chi runners on the move. The umpires correctly noted the foul and declared that the third out of the inning.
In the top of the second inning, Andy produced the defensive web gem of the game. A Theta Chi batter hit a flare to short left center field that seemed sure to drop in for a hit. The ball drifted out beyond Howie's range at short and well in front of the left fielder. However, before the ball hit the ground, Andy came out of nowhere (actually he came out of left-center field, but initially he seemed completely out of the play), and with a last minute lunge, he managed to get his glove under the ball, thus completing the acrobatic catch.
In the bottom of the second inning, the first two Re-Entry players reached base safely, and the first out was finally recorded when the fourteenth Re-Entry batter of the game broke the streak of 13 consecutive hits. Remarkably, in the entire game fewer than ten Re-Entry at bats ended in outs. All Re-Entry players joined the hit parade, with numerous line drive hits including impressive doubles by Holly and Laurie. Pauline produced the most unusual double of the game---a flare down the right field line that dropped in fair by inches. Indeed, the women batters were especially adept in dealing with the Theta Chi third baseman who continually played in (thinking that he would field a softly hit ball). Instead, the women batters struck numerous hard hit balls in his direction, none of which he was able to field due to his inept positioning. (We won't dwell on that same fielder's insistence of blocking runners as they approached third base, which was as dangerous as it was obnoxious.)
The Re-Entry bats cooled only slightly as the second inning ended with only four additional runs scored. Re-Entry followed that with two consecutive ten run innings, each one terminated by the mercy rule. It took until the fourth inning for Theta Chi to score their first two runs of the game, and two additional Theta Chi runs crossed the plate in the fifth inning. But solid Re-Entry defense throughout the game was able to squelch any further Theta Chi threats. Darkness descended quickly in the top of the sixth inning, and after a quick three outs the umpires called the game.
The final score of 40--4 marked the third time that Re-Entry had
reached the forty run plateau in the recorded history of the Re-Entry
team. It is especially impressive that the forty runs were scored in
only five innings of play. However, this offensive explosion is
only the third best in Re-Entry history. Back in the spring of 2007,
Re-Entry scored 44 runs in a six inning game. But the all time record
was achieved in the fall of 2011, when Re-Entry unleashed three ten
run (mercy rule called) innings in a 45-6 thrashing of Dark Lettuce
in five innings of play. You could look it up!
|Legend Wait For It||0||2||1||0||2||0||2||7|
Almost two months after the Fall 2012 playoffs were rained out, Re-Entry was back on the softball fields to defend its perfect regular season record and make a run for the championship T-shirts. Our opponents didn't seem to know their team name, and opted for 2 Legit to Hit as their team moniker. Having not played since November 9 of the previous year, there was plenty of rust to shake off, and the first time through the lineup provided plenty of evidence for the extended time off.
The first inning almost didn't get off the ground, when a heavy fog rolled in unexpectedly (after a beautiful sunny day in the upper 60s). For a short time, it looked like the game would be canceled, as it was difficult to track a fly ball hit into the outfield. But, after conferring with Skippy, the league commissioner, both teams indicated a willingness to play. The fog abated as the game progressed, and the first round of the playoffs was on.
By the end of the second inning, 2 Legit to Hit had an early 2--0 lead, as the Re-Entry bats were remarkably quiet. However, the second time through the Re-Entry lineup, the bats came alive. Re-Entry then was able to put the game on ice rather decisively with nine run innings in the 3rd and 4th. By the end of the contest, Re-Entry had amassed 26 runs, with the help of six team homeruns. Omar, filling in for David, produced two four-baggers, while Eddie, Andy, Yahoo and Carena each had one homerun apiece. Carena's big blow was a lined shot that split the outfielders, with Carena just beating the throw to home in a close and exciting play at the plate.
Hitting honors go to Omar and Eddie. Indeed, Eddie barely missed hitting for the cycle after a single, triple and homerun in three of his first four at-bats. In his next at bat, he would have had his cycle if not for his insistence of stretching a double into a triple with a spectacular slide into third base. Unlike the offense, which took a couple of innings to get going, the Re-Entry defense showed few signs of rust despite the long layoff. The infield defense was solid, with a 4-6-3 double play started by Jessica in the early innings, and nearly a second one pulled off by Howie later in the game (with the umpire refusing to abide by the time honored custom of calling an "in the vicinity" force out at second base for the first out of a double play ground ball). The Re-Entry webgem goes to Holly in left filed who flagged down a towering fly ball, in spite of being called off the play by Andy coming over from left-center field.
In the last three innings, Re-Entry coasted to victory. It was great
to get back on the field after such a long absence. Although not yet
quite in mid-season form, today's victory provided an important step
in our quest for the championship.
|The Ball Smackers||1||3||0||0||1||1||1||7|
With Re-entry the visiting team for the second straight week, the offense got the first crack. Unlike last week's slow start, Re-Entry made a statement immediately when Eddie led off with a home run. With solid hitting from the distaff side, and a number of extra base hits from the heart of the Re-Entry lineup, the team nearly batted around. By the end of the inning, Re-Entry had put seven runs on the board. The Ball Smackers got one run back with a massive home run, but Re-Entry continued the onslaught in the second inning. Three runs were already in when Andy stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Andy sent a rocketing line drive out to center field. At first, it looked like the Ball Smackers center fielder would track it down. But, at the last second the line drive sailed a bit. The center fielder got his glove on the ball but the ball was struck so well that it glanced off the fielder's glove and continued on its trajectory. The result was an easy grand slam home run and Re-Entry had its second straight seven-run inning. The Ball Smackers managed to put together a small rally in the bottom of the second, and the score stood at 14--4 in Re-Entry's favor by the end of the second inning.
Although the lead seemed large, we were wary of some of the excellent Ball Smackers hitters. But solid Re-Entry fielding ensured that there was to be no serious Ball Smackers threat for the rest of the game. David provided a number of fielding web gems. Perhaps the most impressive was flagging down a screaming line drive in center field that disappeared into the setting sun until reappearing just before David made the catch. David also played a number of solid innings at 3rd base, chasing down a flair in short left field and almost tracking down another one hit to short left center field.
Meanwhile the Re-Entry bats went silent and by the end of the fifth inning the score stood at 16--5. In the top of the sixth inning, Re-Entry decided to put the game out of reach. With the entire lineup firing on all cylinders, aided by a triple by Eddie (turned into a home run when the Ball Smackers failed to cover home plate) and a second home run by Andy, Re-Entry plated ten runs thereby invoking the ten run rule. The rest of the game was a mere formality, as Re-Entry claimed the 29--7 victory.
Although the men on the team hit quite well, this victory was ensured by terrific at bats and clutch hitting from Laurie, Holly, Carena and Clara. Their efforts provided the glue for the Re-Entry rallies. Re-Entry also welcomed back Turner Nowak who rejoined the team after a fall sabbatical playing for the UCSC Baseball Team. Together, the Re-Entry offense would not be denied. Even though two Re-Entry runners were thrown out at home plate (and Rob was cut down at third base by a former student of his), the Re-Entry victory was never in doubt.
So, Re-Entry advances to the championship game for the second fall
season in a row (although this game will take place in winter).
If Re-Entry can maintain their offensive and defensive prowess
exhibited in this game, we will have a chance to reclaim our first
championship since the fall of 2008.
|Pitches Be Crazy||1||2||4||1||2||0||6||16|
On a championship run that seemed like it could only end in glory, Re-Entry lost to Pitches Be Crazy in the most dramatic of championship game losses. It was a frustrating game to say the least, as Re-Entry had a 15-10 lead going into the bottom of the 7th inning, only to lose on a two out walk-off bloop single.
The game was tightly contested for the majority of the contest. In the top of the first, Re-Entry struck first with three runs, including a home-run by all star pitcher Andy. The game was back and forth for the next few innings, with unfortunate circumstances limiting extended rallies. In an RBI position, Carena hit a smoking line drive that Andy couldn't avoid while pitching, ending the third inning. Andy was also called out on a controversial call at the plate while trying for a second home run.
Pitches Be Crazy briefly seized the lead 7-6 in the bottom of the 3rd, though Re-Entry took it back with two more runs in the top of the next frame, only to have Pitches Be Crazy tie it up in the bottom of the 4th. After a scoreless Re-Entry 5th, Pitches Be Crazy took a late game lead to make it 10-8. Re-Entry would answer, however, to tie it up in the top of the 6th, and hold them scoreless in the bottom of the 6th.
The 7th inning, however, would provide drama to end all drama. In a show of pure resilience, Re-Entry had their biggest inning, scoring five runs to take what seemed like a commanding lead. Considering that the Pitches Be Crazy females were not contributing much to the line-up, a victory seemed a short three outs away. Their guys continued their hit parade, but much to the chagrin of the Re-Entry defense, their girl's bats came alive. With Yahoo pulled in at 3rd, one of their weaker hitters had the hit of her life to bloop a single over his head to shallow left. Pitches Be Crazy were showing they weren't going to go down without a fight, but Re-Entry had them on ropes, with a 15-13 lead, two outs, runners on first and second, with a weaker hit up. Sure enough, the ball was dribbled to third (on her third pitch, no less), but an errant throw to first scored the runner at second, and put them within one run of tying with runners on second and third. Once again with two outs, there remained the possibility of a Re-Entry victory, but with a solid hitter at the plate, the tables were now turned. Pitches Be Crazy hitter Erik Bagley blooped a perfectly placed single to shallow left, and the game was done, in mightily painful fashion.
And so a disappointing end to an otherwise fantastic Re-Entry season. Kudos to Pitches Be Crazy for battling back in dramatic fashion, despite all the chippiness between the teams that was prevalent during the game. Stars of the game include Holly with a beautiful line drive barely inside the left field line, Andy and Tim with home runs, and Dave with a 4-4, 2 run day, consisting of a home run, two doubles, and a triple. (On a personal note, the Captain, yours truly, came down with a really nasty flu the week of the game and couldn't contribute anywhere near his normal ability, and struggled merely to focus his vision on one object for the duration of the game. Truly unfortunate timing to physically be at my lowest, but 100% health is never guaranteed.)
While Re-Entry fell just short, this truly one of the better, if not best, teams we have had in recent memory. With a 26 regular season game winning streak and 5th consecutive undefeated regular season, Re-Entry has plenty to be proud of despite coming ever-so-close to reclaiming the Championship shirts.
Back to the Top
the Fall 2012 Re-Entry Coed Softball team web page