|Re-Entry vs. Joseph's Team|
|Nicholas "Yahoo" Yaholkovsky||3||2||3||3||0||1||0||1||1.000|
|A.J. (Alex) Troup||3||1||1||2||0||0||0||1||.333|
The two-time defending UCSC Coed Softball Champions opened the spring 2014 season with a game against Joseph's Team. In the top of the first inning, Joesph's Team got off to a quick start with a mammoth two-run homerun to deep right field. But in the bottom of the first inning, Re-Entry responded. Captain Eddie set the tone with a lead off homerun to right field. Laurie made a statement for the distaff side with a triple to right center field, and the hit parade was on. Following two singles, Yahoo unloaded his patented line drive down the left field line for a two-run homerun, and Omar followed suit two batters later with a two-run homerun of his own. The first out of the inning only came with the ninth batter, and by the time the inning was done, all twelve Re-Entry players batted and Re-Entry had jumped to an 8--2 lead.
Isaac and Stephanie joined the lineup in the bottom of the third inning. Although Re-Entry continued to add runs in innings two, three and four, Joseph's Team continued to add runs as well. The Joseph's Team women were particularly adept at hitting balls just out of the reach of the infielders but not far enough to be caught by the outfielders. Admittedly, the Re-Entry defense was also a little leaky, and by the end of the fourth inning, Re-Entry had only increased their lead by one run and was up by a score of 14--7. The top of the fifth inning looked like it was going to be a one-two-three inning, as Re-Entry recorded two quick outs. But an overthrow on a routine ground ball, which would have been the third out of the inning, opened the floodgates. Joseph's Team loaded the bases, and then with a combination of clean singles and fumbled ground balls, suddenly four runs had crossed the plate and the go-ahead run stepped into the batter's box. Luckily, Re-Entry was able to stop the bleeding, and the score now stood at 14--11.
Too close for comfort, the Re-Entry batters took matters into their own hands. After singles by the first two batters, Omar hit a deep drive to right center field, well beyond the outfielders for a three-run homerun (Omar's second home run of the game). Two batters later, A.J. followed with a two-run blast to deep left field, just inches fair for the second homerun of the inning. By the end of the inning, six runs had scored, and Re-Entry had a more comfortable 20--11 lead. Even more importantly, by extending the fifth inning by sending twelve batters to the plate, the umpires declared that the sixth inning would be the last inning of the game due to the lateness of the hour.
The Re-Entry defense was ready for the final task. The first Joseph's Team batter sent a pop fly to shallow center field. Second-baseman Laurie ranged far to her right to track the ball down and made a very nice catch on the flare, taking away a potential lead-off single. With this play, Laurie has earned the defensive webgem of the game. Joseph's Team managed one run thanks to another bomb to right field, but that was it. With the 20--12 victory, Re-Entry continues its remarkable streak of 36 consecutive regular season victories.
Eddie homers to right field. Eddie scores.
Laurie triples to right center field.
Andrew singles to center field. Laurie scores.
Taylor singles to the shortstop. On the overthrow, Andrew scores and Taylor advances to second.
Yahoo homers on a line drive down the left field line. Taylor scores. Yahoo scores.
Pauline singles to the shortstop.
Omar homers to deep center field. Pauline scores. Omar scores.
Alexa singles to center field.
A.J. flies out to center field.
Jessica grounds into a force out, third baseman to second baseman. Alexa out at second. Jessica to first.
Howie doubles to right center field. Jessica to third. On the overthrow, Jessica scores and Howie advances to third.
Vanessa grounds out, shortstop to first baseman.
Eddie singles on a dribbler in front of the plate.
Laurie triples to right center field. Eddie scores..
Andrew singles to center field. Laurie scores.
Taylor grounds out, second baseman to first baseman. Andrew advances to second.
Yahoo singles to deep shortstop. Andrew scores.
Pauline grounds into a force out, shortstop to second baseman. Yahoo out at second. Pauline to first.
Omar flies out to right-center field.
|Re-Entry vs. The Softballers|
|A.J. (Alex) Troup||4||2||2||3||0||0||1||1||.429|
After giving up two runs in the top of the first inning, the Re-Entry batters asserted themselves with a barrage of hits. Eddie led off the game with a homerun to center field. Laurie followed with a single and Andrew drove her in with a long homerun to deep center field, thereby erasing the Softballers early lead. With one out, it looked like Omar had grounded out to the shortstop. But, the Softballer shortstop air mailed a throw way over the head of their first baseman, allowing Omar to advance to second. Omar scored on Alexa's single after another errant Softballers throw. A.J. followed with a two run homerun to center field, and the rout was on. Re-Entry batted around, and by the time Eddie delivered a two run single that scooted past the shortstop, ten runs had scored. The ten run rule was invoked, and Re-Entry led 10--2.
The Re-Entry bats continued in the second inning. After a single by Vanessa to open up the frame. Andrew delivered what appeared to be his second home run of the game. But, half way between third and home, Vanessa tripped and fell, and Andrew had to return to third base. Meanwhile, the throw was coming to the plate. Vanessa recovered and realized that with Andrew standing at third base, she had no choice but to attempt to score. The throw was caught by the catcher about a foot behind home plate, and Vanessa just made it to home before the tag could be applied. Andrew had to be satisfied with a triple and 1 RBI. Subsequent RBI singles by Laurie and Alexa increased the Re-Entry lead to 13-3. With Re-Entry threatening more with the bases loaded, Pauline delivered what looked to be a line drive run scoring single to center field. But, the center fielder (who was playing shallow) came in quickly to field the ball and just managed to get the force out at second base to end the inning.
Although the ten run lead appeared to be safe, the Softballers began to chip away. Meanwhile, the Re-Entry offense disappeared, putting three consecutive goose eggs on the board. Kudos goes to the Softballers center fielder who took over the middle part of the game with a number of fine catches of long drives. At one point, he recorded three straight putouts. On the defensive side, Re-Entry was giving away too many outs, with missed throws in the infield and bobbled balls in the outfield, allowing the Softballers hitters to take extra bases. A four run fifth inning, which was extended due to multiple errors, brought the Softballers back to within four runs. Sadly, we cannot award any webgems to the Re-Entry defensive play today, as none was earned. When the Softballers added one more run in the top of the sixth inning, the score stood at 13--10, and the Softballers suddenly had some confidence that they just might be able to pull off the upset.
With the top of the order due up in the bottom of the 6th inning, the Re-Entry hitters finally decided to wake up. Three consecutive singles led off the inning, and Andrew strolled up to the plate with the game on the line. He sent a hard line drive into right field, which took one bounce in front of the right center fielder and then took off through the "five hole". By the time the ball was recovered, Andrew had a grand slam homerun, completing an impressive day at the plate with 7 RBIs. But, Re-Entry was not done. Omar got off the schneide with a two-run homerun to right field. Vanessa followed with one of the most reluctant triples of the year---a shot down the left field line just fair. After much encouragement by her teammates, she eventually made it to third base just ahead of the throw. A.J. followed with a triple of his own to right field and Laurie delivered a doubled to the same location. Re-Entry did not let up, and by the time Taylor crushed a double to left field driving in two runs, Re-Entry had put ten runs on the board. The ten-run rule was invoked for the second time in the game, and Re-Entry had a comfortable 23--10 lead.
The seventh inning was a mere formality. Unfortunately, the Re-Entry defense continued its sloppy play, and the Softballers managed to push three more runs across the plate. Indeed, it may have been more, except that when the Softballers batter hit a ball ten feet in front of the plate and did not move (thinking incorrectly that the ball had to pass the pitcher's mound), Eddie playing third base alertly fielded the ball and threw to first base for the putout. The final Softballer batter had two runners on base, but failed to make contact. Thus, the game ended on the strikeout, and the final score of 23--13 in favor of Re-Entry closed the proceedings. Despite the ugly victory,. the Re-Entry streak of 37 consecutive regular season victories. remains intact.
Eddie homers to center field. Eddie scores.
Laurie singles to left field.
Andrew homers to center field. Laurie scores. Andrew scores.
Taylor flies out to center field.
Omar hits a ground ball to the shortstop. On the overthrow to the first baseman, Omar advances to second for a two base error.
Alexa singles to the second baseman. Omar to third. On the wild throw to the first baseman, Omar scores and Alexa advances to second.
A.J. homers to center field. Alexa scores. A.J. scores.
Pauline singles to the shortstop.
Howie singles to right field. Pauline to third. Howie advances to second on the throw to the third baseman.
Clara singles to the third baseman. Pauline scores.
Isaac singles to left center field. Howie scores. Clara to third. Isaac advances to second on the throw to the third baseman.
Jessica fouls out on the third pitch.
Eddie singles past the shortstop. Clara scores. Isaac scores.
The ten run rule is invoked and the inning is over.
Vanessa singles to the shortstop.
Andrew triples to right field. Vanessa scores.
Laurie singles to left center field. Andrew scores..
Omar grounds into a force out, shortstop to the second baseman. Andrew out at second. Omar to first.
Taylor singles to the third baseman. Omar to second.
A.J. pops out to the third baseman.
Alexa singles to right field. Omar scores. Taylor to second.
Howie singles to center field. Taylor to third. Alexa to second.
Pauline grounds into a force out, short center fielder to the second baseman. Howie out at second.
|Re-Entry vs. Team Musashi|
|Nicholas "Yahoo" Yaholkovsky||3||1||2||1||0||1||0||0||.833|
|A.J. (Alex) Troup||3||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||.400|
Once again, the Re-Entry defense fell apart in two critical innings. And once again, our opponents scored 13 runs. But, this week with a depleted lineup, the Re-Entry offense was not able to pick up the defensive lapses. As a result, the streak of 37 consecutive regular season Re-Entry victories (including two by forfeit), as well as a 15 game winning streak including playoffs (the latter includes one win by forfeit), were snapped.
In the top of the first inning, Re-Entry gave up four runs to Team Musashi after a number of defensive miscues extended the inning. But, unlike the previous game, Re-Entry went down quietly in the bottom of the first inning with Pauline stranded after the lone hit of the inning. The offense began to show life in the bottom of the second, pushing across two runs and loading the bases with only one out. But that was all Re-Entry could muster, as Vanessa was unable to score on the fly ball to right-center field by A.J. and a popup to the first baseman ended the threat.
The Re-Entry offense finally broke through in the bottom of the third inning. Nobody seemed to notice when Taylor stepped to the plate to lead off that Clara had made the last out of the second inning (so Eddie should have led off the third inning). Batting out of order, Taylor opened the inning with a single and Eddie followed with a single to put two runners on base. One batter latter, Andrew delivered a massive clout to deep left-center field for a three-run home run. Later in the inning, Howie delivered an RBI line drive single to right field to tie the score. After three inning, the score was 6--6.
The top of the fourth inning proved to be the decisive one. Following a number of defensive gaffes, including a couple of ill-advised throws to home plate, Team Musashi was able to plate six runs before Re-Entry was able to record the third out. With the Re-Entry offense in a bit of a funk, this turned out to be too large a lead to overcome.
Re-Entry tried valiantly for the come-back win. The Re-Entry defense stiffened and gave up only one more run to Team Musashi---a long homerun to the deepest part of the yard in right center field. Meanwhile, the defense played solidly which include an inning ending webgem in the top of the fifth inning to hold Team Musashi off the scoresheet. With a runner on first base, the Team Musashi batter hit a line drive single to Eddie in left-center field. The runner took a wide turn around second base, and Eddie rifled perfect throw to Howie at second. The runner, realizing that he was stranded took off for third. Howie and Rob (at third pace) executed the rundown to perfection. In the end, Howie applied the final tag completing the 8-6-5-6 inning ending play.
On the offensive side, Re-Entry managed to push across a few more runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Rob's daring baserunning to stretch a single into a double in the bottom of the sixth inning was rewarded when one batter later, A.J. doubled him home to draw Re-Entry to within four runs. After holding Team Musashi scoreless in the top of the seventh inning (the inning ended on a nice snag by Howie at shortstop to initiate the 6-3 putout of the leading Team Musashi hitter), Re-entry had one last chance in the bottom of the seventh inning. With one out and runners on first and second, Pauline hit a flare to short left-center field. For a moment, it looked like Yahoo would bat with the bases loaded and a chance for a game tying grand slam homerun. Unfortunately, the Team Musashi shortstop had other ideas. With an impressive range, he was easily able to retreat and catch the ball. A quick throw to second base to catch the straying baserunner completed the double play and ended the long Re-Entry winning streak.
As they say, all good things must come to an end. With the 13--9 loss to Team Musashi, our teams are now tied for first place with one game remaining in the regular season.
Eddie grounds out shortstop to first baseman.
Pauline singles to the third baseman.
Andrew grounds into a force out, shortstop to second baseman. Clara out at second. Andrew to first.
Clara flies out to center field.
Yahoo doubles to left field. On the overthrow, Yahoo advances to third.
Taylor singles to left field. Yahoo scores.
Howie singles to right-center field past the second baseman. Taylor to second..
Vanessa singles to deep shortstop. Howie to second. Taylor to third.
Rob grounds into a force out, shortstop to the third baseman. Howie out at third. Taylor scores. Vanessa to second. Rob to first.
Pauline hits a dribbler in front of home plate for a single. Rob to second. Vanessa to third.
A.J flies out to right-center field.
Clara pops out to the first baseman.
Re-Entry loses 9--13.
|Re-Entry vs. The Limp Noodles|
|The Limp Noodles||1||0||1||1||0||1||0||4||--||--|
|Nicholas "Yahoo" Yaholkovsky||4||2||3||3||0||0||0||2||.800|
|A.J. (Alex) Troup||3||2||2||2||0||2||0||0||.462|
In a must win game in order to qualify for the playoffs, the Re-Entry defense finally showed up after being missing in action for the past two games. The Re-Entry offense, missing its leading RBI man, still managed to produce some timely hits, although the real offensive explosion had to wait until the final inning.
In the top of the first inning, Re-Entry scored two runs thanks to an RBI triple by Rob and an RBI single by Omar (the latter following a homerun to deep left-center field that was called back due to a low pitch). In the bottom of the first inning, the first batter of the Limp Noodles turned a routine single into four bases as a result of sheer speed coupled with some errant Re-Entry throws. With runners on first and second, The Limp Noodles threatened to tie the game with a single to A.J. in right-center field. But, A.J. quickly fielded the ball and threw a strike to Alexa at home to cut down the potential tying run to end the first inning. After two games with no defensive webgems, A.J. and Alexa collectively earned the first webgem of the game with that spectacular play.
Re-Entry went quietly down in the top of the second, and the Limp Noodles again put runners on base and were threatening to take the lead. But, once again, A.J. was there to add a second webgem with a very nice catch of a sinking line drive to right-center field to end the second inning. Re-Entry added three runs in the third inning. Howie's triple followed by Clara's double netted the first run of the inning. Good base running by Clara was responsible for the next run. Clara advanced to third following Eddie's fly ball to right field and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Pauline. Yahoo ended the third inning scoring with a line drive homerun down the left field line. The Limp Noodles added a run in the bottom of the third inning, but their rally was killed thanks in part to another superb catch of a sinking line drive to right center field, this time by Yahoo to claim the third defensive webgem of the game.
Re-Entry began to pull away in the fourth inning, adding another three runs, thanks to back to back doubles by A.J. and Clara. Re-Entry added two more runs in the fifth inning. After a single by Howie, Taylor was robbed by a spectacular catch by the shortstop on a line drive that seemed destined for left-center field. However, Eddie somehow managed to make contact with the worst pitch of the game, golfing it down the right field line, inches fair, for a two-run homerun. The Re-Entry lead was now 10--3. The bottom of the fifth inning began inauspiciously when Howie at shortstop misplayed a ground ball to his left. However, Howie made up for the error on the next two plays. The next Limp Noodle batter sent a sharply hit ground ball into the hole between shortstop and third base. Howie was able to get his glove on the ball via the backhand, and then with a throw to Jessica at second base completed the force out. The next batter tested Howie again with another ground ball. Howie fielded the ball, moved quickly to his left to tag second base, and attempted to complete the double play with a quick throw to first base. The throw to first was short of the bag, but Rob fielded the ball cleanly on the short hop to complete the twin killing and end the inning on yet another webgem.
Once again, there was some confusion in the batting order, as Alexa missed her turn at bat. Instead, Clara opened the sixth inning with her third consecutive double and scored two batters later on a ground ball out by Pauline. At this point, Pauline had no hits but had recorded her third RBI of the game. Omar followed with his team leading fourth homerun of the season, extending the Re-Entry lead to 12--3. The Limp Noodles followed with a solo homerun of their own, and the score stood at 12--4 entering the final inning of the game. Although an eight run lead appeared safe, Re-Entry was leaving nothing to chance. After a solid but unspectacular offensive display up until this point, the Re-Entry offense finally came to life with a nine run outburst. A double by A.J. and a triple by Isaac got things started. Later in the inning, Eddie tripled to right-center field driving in Clara (thanks to vociferous third base coaching), and Eddie was quick to take the final extra base when the throw home got away from the catcher. Pauline finally got her base hit, and Yahoo drove her in with a deep drive to right-center field (this is NOT a typo; it was RIGHT-center field) for his second homerun of the game. A single by Taylor was followed by a two run homerun by Rob to right field, and Re-Entry had a commanding 21--4 lead.
The Limp Noodles were quickly retired in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Re-Entry assured themselves of a tie for first place when the second half of the double header was declared a Re-Entry victory by forfeit.
Yahoo singles to center field.
Clara grounds into a force out, shortstop to the second baseman. Yahoo out at second. Clara to first.
Rob triples to left field. Clara scores.
Pauline grounds out, shortstop to the first baseman. Rob scores.
Omar singles to center field and advances to third base on an error by the center fielder.
Taylor grounds out, shortstop to the first baseman.
A.J. strikes out.
Jessica singles to the third baseman.
Isaac flies out to deep left field.
Alexa flies out to the center fielder.
Re-Entry wins 21--4.
Re-Entry is declared the winner in the game vs. The Pretty Pigeons by
|Re-Entry vs. The Softballers|
|Nicholas "Yahoo" Yaholkovsky||3||3||3||2||0||2||0||1||.846|
|A.J. (Alex) Troup||3||1||2||0||0||1||0||0||.500|
In a semi-final contest against the Softballers, the Re-Entry defense quickly took charge. With a Softballers runner on second base and one out, the Softballers batter hit a lined shot out to left center field. Yahoo quickly reacted, caught the ball on the fly and sent a perfect throw to Clara at second base for the inning ending double play and the first defensive webgem of the game. The Softballers were thus dispatched with no runs scored. In the bottom of the first inning, the Re-Entry offense got off to a quick start. Yahoo opened the Re-Entry batting with a double to left field and scored on a two-run homer by Andrew to the left-center field gap. But the Re-Entry offense subsequently stalled, managing only an infield hit to third base by Eddie. After three quick outs in the top of the second, Howie led off the bottom of the second with a sharp single to left field. But he was left stranded as the three subsequent Re-Entry batters were unable to muster a base hit.
It seems that in recent games, there has been one inning where the Re-Entry defense has fallen apart. In this game, that inning was the top of the third inning, and the Softballers took full advantage, pushing six runs across the plate. It seems that once the defense got rattled it was difficult to right the ship. Overthrows and off-line throws turned singles into multiple bases and sure outs into singles. By the time the third out was recorded, the Softballers led 6--2. In particular, a single by the Softballers leading hitter with runners on first and second an no outs, followed by aggressive baserunning and ill-conceived throws ending up turning into a three run home run and kicked off a wild celebration in the Softballers dugout. As the Re-Entry defense walked off the field at the inning's end, we pledged to tighten up the defense going forward and were determined to render that Softballers' celebration premature. But, to accomplish this required a revival of the Re-Entry bats.
The Re-Entry offense chipped away at the Softballers lead in the bottom of the third inning, with a double by A.J. and subsequent two-run homerun by Yahoo. The latter was a deep drive that hugged the left field line and fell inches fair (where else?) behind the outfielders. But, otherwise the Re-Entry offense remained quiescent, as it could only muster one further single by Andrew. The Re-Entry defense made good on its pledge of the previous inning, as it held the Softballers scoreless in the top of the fourth inning. But things did not look particularly bright when Howie came up to bat after two quick outs in the bottom of the fourth. Down to his last pitch, Howie hit a flare out to short right-center field. The right-center fielder, the right fielder and the second baseman all made an attempt to reach the ball, but it dropped safely, untouched. The next batter, Clara, was also down to her last pitch, when with a mighty swing sent the ball six inches in front of home plate. The Softballers, who were short one player, did not have a catcher, so this unintentional bunt went for a single. With runners on first and second, Rob delivered the biggest hit of the game---a triple down the right field line scoring two runs and tying the game. The tying run was Clara, who barely beat the throw to home plate to score that critical run. The next batter, Pauline, delivered the second biggest hit of the game---a line drive single to left field, driving in the go-ahead run. With three two-out RBIs (which obviously must have inspired the Giants, who delivered seven two-out RBIs later that evening vs. the Cardinals), Re-Entry owned a 7--6 lead.
The lead was short lived, as the Softballers tied the game in the top of the fifth inning. But in the bottom of the fifth inning, Yahoo led off the inning with a double to left field, A critical single by Taylor put runners at the corners for Andrew, who delivered a run-scoring single to right-center field, as Re-Entry re-took the lead. Two batters later, with runners at the corners once again, Eddie hit a sacrifice fly ball to center field scoring Taylor from third, and Re-Entry claimed a 9--7 advantage. Still the game was up for grabs, and the Softballers looked like they were ready to do some damage when they put runners on first and third and nobody out following singles from their first two batters in the top of the sixth inning. The next Softballers batter hit a low line drive to the left of shortstop. Howie was able to get his glove on the ball with a backhand grab just inches off the ground. He then alertly threw a strike to first base to complete the double play, as the runner on first was on the move on the batted ball that looked like it was headed into left field. The runner on third base had frozen, so there were now two outs with a runner still on third base. This webgem was the critical defensive play of the game, which stopped a potentially big inning for the Softballers. The next batter grounded out, stranding the runner at third base. The Re-Entry 9--7 lead was still intact.
The Re-Entry offense now had a chance to add some insurance. Howie led off the bottom of the sixth inning, with a ground ball right over the first base bag into right field. The right fielder, who was positioned close to the right field foul line fielded the ball cleanly, but Howie sensed that he could stretch the single into a double. The throw from right field to the shortstop covering second was an accurate one, but Howie slid under the tag. On a very close play, the umpire called Howie out. Since video replay was not available for this play, the Re-Entry manager was unable to challenge the call. Later, with two outs in the inning, Re-Entry managed two singles, including a ground ball by Rob to the first baseman, who was playing so far off the bag that Rob was able to beat him to first base for the hit. But, this time the two-out RBI was nowhere to be found, and Re-Entry missed a golden opportunity to extend the lead.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Softballers led off with a single, with the baserunner advancing to second on a ground out. The next Softballers batter hit a line drive single to left field, and an ill-advised throw to home plate allowed the batter to take an extra base. The score now stood at 9--8 with the tying run at second base with one out. The next batter hit a dribbler in front of the plate a few feet down the first base line. Alexa at catcher alertly retrieved the ball and threw in time to first base for the second out of the inning, as the Softballers baserunner advanced to third base. With a chance to tie the game, the next Softballers batter hit a sharp ground ball to shortstop. Howie fielded it cleanly and a strong throw to first base resulted in the final out of the game. Re-Entry barely survived with an 9--8 victory and a ticket to the Championship game of the UCSC Premier Intramural Softball League.
This game was won with the help of a stout defense for six of the seven innings and some timely hits. Still, it is troubling that this was the least impressive offensive production of the season. It is clear that to achieve success in the Championship game, we will have to avoid that one bad defensive inning and try to regain some of the offensive mojo from earlier in the season.
Yahoo doubles to left field.
Alexa grounds out to the shortstop.
Andrew homers to left-center field. Yahoo scores. Andrew scores.
Laurie grounds out to the second baseman.
Eddie singles to the third baseman.
Clara lines out to the third baseman.
Re-Entry wins 9--8.
|Re-Entry vs. Team Musashi|
|Nicholas "Yahoo" Yaholkovsky||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||1||.765|
|A.J. (Alex) Troup||3||1||3||1||0||0||0||1||.579|
Re-Entry's only loss in the regular season came at the hands of Team Musashi. The Championship Game provided Re-Entry with a second opportunity. Unfortunately, Team Musashi put on an impressive hitting clinic, leaving Re-Entry with the task of playing catch-up. The Re-Entry hitters did manage to provide some clutch hitting, producing 10 RBIs with two outs! But, Re-Entry scored no runs in four of the seven innings, and thus was not able to produce enough offense to overtake Team Musashi.
In the top of the first inning, Team Musashi struck first for five runs before any outs were made. The damage could have been greater. But, Clara playing second made two critical plays. On a pop-up behind second base with the bases loaded, Clara quickly moved deftly to her right to track down the ball, and then alertly headed to second base to tag the bag before the Team Musashi runner could recover, thereby completing an unassisted double play and earning a webgem. The next batter hit a hot ground ball in Clara's direction, but she was up to the task. Fielding it cleanly, she threw the runner out at first base to end the inning.
Already down five runs, Re-Entry responded in the bottom of the first. Yahoo launched a line drive to deep left field. The left fielder made a valiant attempt to reach the ball but it grazed off his glove and got past the left-center fielder backing up the play. The end result was a homerun, and Re-Entry was on the board. Two quick outs followed, but Re-Entry was just getting started. Back to back doubles by Laurie and Omar followed by an RBI single by Alexa brought the Re-Entry run total to 3. Howie then laced a double down the right field line, and suddenly Re-Entry had runners at second and third. Pauline then drove in two runs with sharp single to center field, with Howie just beating the throw home. Re-Entry had tied the score, which now stood at 5--5.
Re-Entry held Team Musashi scoreless in the second inning. The defensive highlight and webgem occurred on a single to Laurie in right field. The Team Musashi batter attempted to stretch the single into a double. But, a perfect throw by Laurie to the shortstop Howie covering second arrived simultaneously with the runner. The runner attempted to avoid the tag, and actually overran second base, at which point Howie was able to tag him out. In the bottom of the second, Re-Entry put two runners on with two outs, but the two out magic was not there this time, and Re-Entry was held scoreless as well.
The heart of the Team Musashi lineup returned to bat in the third inning, and a few defensive lapses along with superb Team Musashi hitting resulted in six runs. Both the Team Musashi men and women were hitting line drives to the outfield gaps, and their hitters deserve full credit for an impressive offensive display. The damage could have been worse. Omar, playing third, charged a slowly hit ground ball. As he fielded it, he tripped as he was getting ready to throw to first. Desperately trying to maintain his balance, Omar finally gave in to the inevitable, but somehow managed a shovel throw to first just before hitting the turf. Remarkably, the throw was on target and beat the runner for the third out of the inning. Meanwhile in the bottom of the third inning, an opening single by Yahoo was immediately erased by a double play by the outstanding Team Musashi shortstop. The score stood 11--5 in favor of Team Musashi at the end of the third inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, Re-Entry realigned their defensive. Previously, Rob was at first, Clara at second, Pauline in left and Laurie in right. But, the manager Eddie decided to move Clara to first, Laurie to second and Pauline to right, in order to get more range at second base and left field. Initially, the change in defensive strategy showed no effect,as Team Musashi kept up the offensive pressure,scoring four runs and loading the bases. The next batter hit a hard grounder to first base. Clara alertly fielded the ball, stepped on first base for one out and then fired home to Alexa. There was now no force at home, but Alexa deftly tagged the runner from third to complete the unusual 1--2 double play. The next batter sent a fly ball to short right-center field. Laurie, now playing second, got a great jump and managed to track down the flare for the third out of the inning, thereby holding Team Musashi to four runs scored. Re-Entry now trailed by a 15--5 score, with half the game completed.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Re-Entry summoned some more two out magic. With Omar at second base, three singles in a row by Howie, Alexa and Eddie resulted in two runs. Eddie alertly took second on the throw to the outfield, and Re-Entry now had runners at second and third. For the second time in the game, Pauline provided the key hit--a single to center field driving in two runs. Rob followed with a deep drive to left field resulting in a triple and the fifth run of the inning. Re-Entry had pulled to within 15--10. In the top of the fifth inning, Re-Entry held Team Musashi scoreless for the second time of the game, and in the bottom of the fifth, a massive homerun to deep left field by A.J. (way over the head of the left fielder) started the inning on a positive note. Two outs followed, but once more the two-out magic was invoked. Two singles by Alexa and Andrew brought up Pauline who delivered yet another RBI single to center field. All in all, Pauline had 5 RBIs for Re-Entry, all of them occurring with two outs. Re-Entry had closed the gap to 15--12, with two innings remaining.
With the new defensive alignment in place and seemingly working, Re-Entry held Team Musashi to one run. The game would turn on a key play in the bottom of the sixth inning. The inning looked promising with three singles by Clara, Howie and Eddie loaded the bases with one out. Next, Alexa hit a line drive up the middle for what looked to be an RBI single. But the pitcher, Omar, who was trying to avoid getting hit by the ball turned the wrong way and the line drive barely grazed his glove on its way to center field. This was not immediately noticed by the umpires, but was quickly pointed out to them by the Team Musashi shortstop. After a conference, the umpires ruled interference by the pitcher. The batter was declared out and the runners had to return to their bases. The bases were still loaded but now with two outs. Unfortunately, the two-out Re-Entry magic had run out, and a pop-out to the second baseman ended the last credible Re-Entry threat.
The seventh inning was somewhat anti-climactic. Team Musashi managed to push across two insurance runs. One notable defensive play by Re-Entry came with a runner on first base. A flare to short right field froze the runner. A.J. fielded the ball on a bounce and threw to Omar playing shortstop to get the force out at second. Re-Entry made some noise in the bottom of the seventh, putting two runners on base via singles by A.J. and Clara. But Yahoo's sharp grounder to third was fielded cleanly by the Team Musashi's talented female third basewoman, who was guarding the line as is typical in the latter stages of a game. (Not really...by now everyone knew of Yahoo's preference for the third base line.) A force play at third base recorded the second out, and a fly ball to right field ended any chance of a Re-Entry comeback.
So, the championship three-peat was denied. Although the outcome might have been different with a more consistent offensive production, Re-Entry tipped our collective caps to a very talented Team Musashi, who clearly earned the victory on solid defense and an impressive offensive display (in particular from the distaff side of their team). There was no doubt that this was the best team that we had faced in the last two years (four seasons) of play. Still, four championship games and two championships something that Re-Entry can be proud of. Although we will be losing some key players (including Laurie and Clara---we will miss you!), we look forward to the fall 2014 season with many players returning, and another opportunity to compete for those championship T-shirts.
Yahoo homers to left field. Yahoo scores.
Clara grounds out to the shortstop.
Andrew flies out to right field.
Laurie doubles to right-center field.
Omar doubles to right field. Laurie scores. Omar advances to third base on the overthrow.
Alexa singles to right field. Omar scores.
Howie doubles to right field. Alexa to third.
Pauline singles to center field. Alexa scores. Howie scores. Pauline advances to second on the throw to home.
Eddie pops out to the shortstop.
Re-Entry loses 12--18.
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the Spring 2014 Re-Entry Coed Softball team web page