Due to the California drought, the Upper East softball fields have been closed, thereby causing the office of UCSC Intramural Sports to cancel the 2014 Fall Coed Softball season. Thus, we were more than happy to take on the Big Bangers challenge of an exhibition game at Delaveaga Park on November 11 (Veteran's Day). The game took place on Field #2 (850 Branciforte Drive in Santa Cruz). The standard UCSC Intramurals Coed softball rules were in force, with one exception that the three pitch limit was extended by one pitch.
Despite the absence of any practices prior to the game, Re-Entry looked sharp as it held the Big Bangers scoreless in the top of the first inning and then scored four runs in the bottom half of the first with a leadoff double by Eddie and and a double by Howie later in the inning. In the top of the second inning, the Big Bangers cut the lead in half by pushing two runs across and the score stood at 4--2. But Re-Entry got those runs back and more in the bottom of the second. Re-Entry veteran Bob Echols, returning to Santa Cruz after a 15 year absence, led off the second inning with a double. Later in the inning, Andrew cleared the fence in left field (240 ft. from home plate) with a three-run blast, and the Re-Entry lead was now 9--2. The Big Bangers were able to score one more run in the top of the third inning, but that was it for the Big Bangers offense.
In the bottom of the third, a solo home run to left field by Turner and a triple by Rob to right field were the big hits of another four-run rally, and Re-Entry began to pull away with a 13--3 lead. Re-Entry added two more runs in the fourth inning, but the Big Bangers were responsible for the web gem of the game. With Howie on second base, Clara sent a sharp single to right field. Howie rounded third base, and with an ambiguous signal from Pauline who was coaching third, he headed home. A perfect relay, left field to shortstop to catcher resulted in the ball arriving home a split second before Howie did. With the Big Bangers down a woman player, Alexa of Re-Entry was playing catcher for the Big Bangers. She caught the relay and laid a perfect tag on Howie for the out at home plate (and memories of Buster Posey in the playoffs).
Re-Entry was not to be denied in the fifth inning. After a double by Andrew , Re-Entry loaded the bases for Turner, who then lofted a high fly ball that just cleared the left field fence for a grand slam homerun. By the end of the fifth inning, eight more Re-Entry runs had crossed the plate, with the outcome of the game a foregone conclusion. The Re-Entry webgem took place in the top of the sixth inning. After a leadoff Big Bangers single, the next batter hit a hard ground ball to third base. Rob, playing third at the time, fielded it cleanly and made a strong throw to Eddie at second, who then turned the double play with a strike to Taylor at first. A beautifully (and rarely) executed 5--4--3 double play! The next batter grounded out to Howie at shortstop, and it was a three up three down inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Andrew's second home run of the game (matching Turner)---a three-run shot over the left field fence---ended the scoring leaving Re-Entry with a 28--3 lead. The final three outs in the top of the seventh inning came quickly, and Re-Entry celebrated its exhibition game win over the Big Bangers.
Despite the abbreviated season, both Re-Entry and the Big Bangers were very happy to get back on to the diamond. Our Re-Entry alumni, Bob Echols (who has to return to his current job at Cal Poly in San Louis Obispo at the end of November) was quite impressed by the strong Re-Entry showing. Both the men and woman hit consistently while making very few miscues in the field. It makes us wonder what might have been had the Fall 2014 UCSC Intramurals softball season not been canceled.
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the Fall 2014 Re-Entry Coed Softball team web page