In the opening game of the spring season, Re-Entry continued its winning ways, notching its 19th straight regular season victory (dating back to the spring 2010 season). The 13--1 victory over Orc City was a workman-like effort, characterized by a strong defense and timely hitting. All potential Orc City rallies were snuffed out, with one small exception when a misplayed ball failed to close out the fourth inning as the lone Orc City run crossed the plate.
The big blow of the day belongs to Re-Entry newcomer Turner, who struck a massive home run to deep left-center field. The outfield web gem belongs to Laurie with a stellar catch in left-center field to prevent extra bases on the longest ball hit by the Orc City squad. The infield gem belongs to yours truly, for a nice back-handed pick-up of a ground ball into the hole at deep short, followed by an accurate throw to first to end the sixth inning.
The Re-Entry offense was not yet in mid-season form. Nevertheless,
Re-Entry had plenty of baserunners (along with some
well placed hits by Laura and Carena). As a result,
Re-Entry quickly established a lead with two three-run innings to
start the game.
Thanks to some sloppy defense by our opponents, Re-Entry was able
to cash in six more runs in the third inning, and with a twelve run
lead, the final outcome was never in doubt.
|Los Flama Blancas||3||1||0||0||3||0||4||11|
The Re-Entry offense was firing on all cylinders during the first two innings. Both innings saw ten runs cross the plate before the third out was recorded, thereby invoking the ten run rule, and after two innings Re-Entry enjoyed a commanding 20--4 lead. The offensive star of the game was Eddie who completed the unusual inverse cycle, consisting of a home run, triple, double and single (in that order) in his first four at bats. It should be noted that this rare feat was aided by the ten-run rule, which ended the first inning and converted a would-be second home run of the inning into a triple (since Eddie would have been the eleventh run). Turner also had a big day at the plate, with two home runs of his own. Turner also had a potential third home run of the day downgraded to a triple as a result of the ten-run rule invoked for the seocnd consecutive inning.
Meanwhile, the Re-Entry defense was mostly solid, although perhaps not
as sharp as last week. This week's web gems go to Laurie and Pauline
for a number of outstanding plays in left and center field, which
turned potential extra bases into outs. In fact, on one of those
plays, a Los Flama Blancas player took off from second base (not
expecting the line drive to center field to be caught). The end
result was an easy inning-ending double play. Perhaps Re-Entry became
a little complacent once establishing a seventeen run lead. Indeed,
Re-Entry was outscored by two runs over the last five innings (hitting into
two ground ball double plays killed two potential rallies), although
the end result was never in doubt.
|The White Baos||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||4|
After a lead-off double by Howie to open the game, Re-Entry managed just one run in the first inning, as the Re-Entry woes at the plate continued from the last five innings of the previous game. After two innings, Re-Entry trailed 3--1, and the team confidence seemed to be in doubt. However, in the top of the 3rd inning, a home run by Turner began the Re-Entry revival. With two outs in the inning Re-Entry managed to squeeze home two more runs, and after holding The White Baos scoreless the score stood 4--3 in Re-Entry's favor at the end of three innings. The top of fourth inning provided the critical game changing play. With two outs and the bases loaded, Carena stroked a bases clearing double, and the rout was on. After another impressive home run courtesy of Turner, seven runs had crossed the plate, and Re-Entry had a commanding 11-3 lead.
Still, the Re-Entry defense needed to step up to prevent a White Baos comeback. The web gem of the game came with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, with The White Baos threatening to score. With the best of our opponent's batters at the plate, a scalding ground ball rocketed down the third base line. Turner dove to his right, speared the ball, and then from his knees threw a perfect strike to first base. If the softball gods were kind, that would have been the third out of the inning. Unfortunately, the runner barely beat the throw to first as the fourth White Baos run crossed the plate.
Nevertheless, that play was a sign of things to come. The Re-Entry defense was extremely stingy and The White Baos would score no more. Once again, our third baseman Turner came to the rescue in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, the White Baos batter hit a dribbler to the right of the pitcher---which usually ends up being equivalent to a bunt hit. However, this time Turner was playing in, and he was able to range all the way over to the other side of the pitching mound. He fielded the ball cleanly and deftly threw out the runner at first base to end The White Baos threat.
The top of the sixth inning ended all hopes for our opponents, as
Re-Entry exploded for nine runs. The main blow was a three run home
run by Yahoo---a screaming line drive hugging the left field line
that the left-fielder had no chance to cut off. The bottom of the
last two innings saw a number of additional web gems. Laurie, playing
second base in the bottom of the 6th inning, made an unbelievable grab
of an errant throw by yours truly, and somehow managed to keep her
foot on the edge of the second base bag to record the force out. In
the bottom of the 7th inning, it was time for Carena to flash the
leather with two impressive stops at second base (the first one on a
well hit ground ball that seemed destined for the outfield) to record
the first two ground ball outs of the inning. The final ground ball
from the next batter was anticlimactic as Re-Entry claimed a
well-earned 24--4 victory.
It was a thrilling conclusion to a fourth straight undefeated regular season. With the winning streak in jeopardy, Re-Entry came back from a three run deficit against a very good fielding Misfits team to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th and win it with a walk-off home run in extra innings.
The Re-Entry offense resembled Jekyll and Hyde today. Eight of the nine Re-Entry runs scored on home runs. Re-Entry hit six home runs in total, five of which were solo blasts. In the first inning, Eddie slugged a two-out three-run home run to open the scoring. After a solo home run by Turner in the second inning and an RBI line drive single by Howie in the third inning, Re-Entry clung to a 5--4 lead. Some sloppy defense in the second and third innings led to four runs by the Misfits. However it could have been worse if not for a web gem that followed a bases loaded single by the Misfits to left-center field. Pauline fielded the ball cleanly and threw a perfect strike to the cutoff man, Howie, who then cut down the advancing Misfits runner with a perfect throw to Yahoo at third base to end the second inning and preventing a possible big inning.
In the top of the fourth, the Misfits seized their first lead with two bloop singles followed by a mammoth three-run home run. The Misfits tacked on an additional run later that inning to claim and 8--5 lead. The Re-Entry bats remained quiet for the next two innings, in part due to flawless fielding by the Misfits, and time was running out on the Re-Entry winning streak. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Andy launched a line drive into the left-center field gap that split the outfielders for a solo home run, but that was the only hit Re-Entry could muster, and the score stood at 8--6 with one inning left to play. Meanwhile, the Re-Entry defense had recovered from its two shaky innings, and the Misfits did not come close to scoring after the 4th inning. Still, Re-Entry was two runs down with one last chance in the bottom of the 7th inning.
Eddie led off the bottom of the 7th with a solo home run, his second of the game. With one out, Turner stepped up to the plate and promptly emulated Eddie with a solo home run of his own, also his second of the game, and suddenly the game was tied. The next two hitters reached base safely, and Re-Entry was threatening to end the game right here. But, a very acrobatic double play initiated by the talented Misfits shortstop ended the 7th to send the game into extra innings. In the top of the 8th inning, the Misfits managed a two-out double but due to the fine infield work of Turner at 3rd base, who seemed to be involved in almost every Misfits out during the game, the Misfits were quickly retired for the fourth straight inning without a run. The dramatic end to the game came quickly in the bottom of the 8th inning. The first Re-Entry batter up was Andy who sent a long towering fly ball to deep left field. At first it looked like the left fielder would catch it. But the ball carried and landed beyond the Misfits outfielders. Andy tore around the bases and crossed the plate ahead of the throw for a walk-off home run to end the game. Thanks to Andy's second solo home run of the game, Re-Entry claimed a 9--8 victory and their fourth consecutive undefeated regular season.
In addition to the web gem that ended the 2nd inning, special mention
goes to Turner for his superb play at third base (resulting in all
three outs in the first and eighth inning in addition to numerous
other plays throughout the game). The most spectacular play of the
game was a diving stop of a hot shot to the third baseman. Except,
this time it was Rob at third. He dove to his left, speared the ball,
and then from his knees sidearmed a throw to first base. It
arrived on one hop, but unfortunately the first baseman could not
quite pick up the short hop (which arrived prior to the runner) for
Finally, kudos to Laurie for a very sweet catch on a sinking line
drive in left center field to end the 7th inning, a play that was
critical in keeping the Misfits off the scoreboard in the late innings
and allowed for the Re-Entry late inning comeback.
In the first round of the playoffs, Re-Entry faced a very tough Chiefs squad. After an opening double by Howie, Re-Entry stranded him at third, as the Re-Entry struggles with runners in scoring position continued from their last game of the regular season. The Chiefs responded with a big inning, aided somewhat with a missed call by the first base umpire. With a runner on first base, the Chiefs batter hit a slow roller just past the pitcher. Howie rushed in, scooped up the ball in his bare hand and his off balance throw reached first base on the short hop. Yahoo snagged the throw with an incredibly deft play, one that would surely qualify as a web gem. However, he was unrewarded when the runner was declared safe (much to the surprise of the runner herself!). By the time the leading Chiefs lefty hitter strode to the plate, the bases were loaded. On the third and last pitch of the at bat, the Chiefs' slugger sent a rocketing line drive over the head of the left-center fielder for a grand slam home run and a quick 4-0 lead. The Chiefs added another run and suddenly Re-Entry was down by five runs.
Re-Entry made a valiant attempt to come back. Turner started the come back with a solo home run. By the end of the top half of the second inning, Re-Entry had closed the gap to 5--3. The Re-Entry defense then stepped up, and after a goose-egg in the bottom half of the inning Re-Entry went back to work. Led by a towering drive over the center fielder's head, courtesy of Erica's bat (which resulted in a double and an RBI), Re-Entry seized their first and only lead of the game. The score now stood at 6--5 in Re-Entry's favor. But, the Chiefs responded with two runs of their own and clung to a one run lead after three innings. Unfortunately, the Re-Entry bats fell mostly silent for the remainder of the game. Apart from a solo home run to right field by Turner, his second of the game, Re-Entry could not muster many base runners. Our best shot was with two on and two outs in the bottom of the 6th inning, but once again Re-Entry was unable to take advantage of runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs added three runs in the 5th inning and two runs in the 6th inning, nearly all of which were driven in by the Chiefs' lefty slugger, who ended the day with two home runs, a triple and a double. On the Re-entry side, Carena led the way with three hits, and Turner set the single season home run record for Re-Entry, but there were too many missed opportunities. Of course, the Chiefs defense played a key role in this, with a number of highlight reel snags by the Chiefs' second baseman. On the Re-Entry side, web gems go to Clara for an impressive snag of a line drive bullet at the second base position, and a sweet play by Rob on a hot ground ball to third. For the most part, the Re-Entry defense was reliable, limiting the Chiefs' damage to the mammoth hits of their lefty slugger. Indeed, Re-Entry is still marveling at the Chiefs slugger's second home run, a line dive shot that reached all the way to first base on the adjoining Field 3 on the fly.
So, the season has ended a little too abruptly, and like the San Jose Sharks, Re-Entry is knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. Although not as good a team as last fall's champions, Beast Mode, it looks like the Chiefs will go far this spring in their quest for the championship T-shirts. As for Re-Entry, we can be proud of a fourth consecutive undefeated regular season. Although we did not achieve our ultimate goal, we will be ready for another run in the fall.
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the Spring 2012 Re-Entry Coed Softball team web page