Re-Entry jumped to a quick 6--0 lead in the top of the first inning. Mike led off the game with an apparent homerun to deep center field, into the soccer field. After a protest by the Soft Ballers due to interference by the soccer players as the center fielder attempted to field the ball, the umpires (in consultation with the team captains) established a new ground rule in which all balls hit out to the soccer field would be automatic triples. Jenn followed up with an RBI single, and then A.J. drove her in with another deep shot to center field that was declared a ground rule triple. Later in the inning, Howie drove the ball to deep right field for an actual triple, driving in two runs. By the end of the inning, six runs had scored as Re-Entry batted around.
Unfortunately, the Re-Entry bats turned cold in the second and third inning as the Soft Ballers retired six straight batters. Meanwhile the Soft Ballers chipped away, cutting the Re-Entry lead in half by the end of the third inning. In the top of the 4th inning, Rob led off with a homerun to deep right center. Clara followed with a single and then scored on a two-run homerun by Howie to deep right center (replicating Rob's feat). Re-Entry had regained its six run lead. But, Re-Entry was not able to do further damage in that inning.
The Re-Entry downfall came in an ugly bottom of the 4th inning, when the Re-Entry defense had a meltdown. A number of untimely errors gave the Soft Ballers new life, and by the time A.J. ran down a sinking line drive (to claim the game's web gem), eight runs had crossed the plate. The Soft Ballers now had a two run lead. Re-Entry valiantly fought back in the 5th and 6th innings, and in each of these two innings, Re-Entry seized a one run lead in the top half of the inning, only to give it right back in the bottom half of the inning. In the 5th inning, A.J. hit a mammoth homerun right down the left field line (eerily resembling the championship game homerun that was declared foul in the spring of 2015). But, Re-Entry could not hold the lead, as the Soft Ballers matched their run total in the bottom half of the inning, in part due to an unsuccessful rundown play between third base and home in which the Soft Baller runner finally evaded the tag at home to score.
In the top of the 6th inning, Howie led off with a double down the
left field line, which was followed by three consecutive singles.
A.J. came up to bat and tried to repeat his heroics of the 5th
inning. But this time, the outfielders were playing deep and
A.J. could not manage to drive the ball over their heads. When the
left fielder caught the ball in deep left field, Salena on second base
and Mike on third base both tagged up. Remarkably, both were able to
score, and Re-Entry once again had a run one lead. But, as in the
5th inning, the Soft Ballers again scored three runs in the bottom of
the 6th inning to regain their two run lead for the third consecutive
inning. This time, Re-Entry had no answer, as it suffered its third
one-two-three inning in the top of the 7th inning. The final score:
17--15 in favor of the Soft Ballers.
|The Mighty Schmucks||1||1||3||10||7||x||x||22|
Re-Entry suffered its worst defeat since a 28--12 loss to MFC in the spring 2006 season. Today's defeat by The Mighty Schmucks was equally dispiriting, as Re-Entry's losing streak reached two games.
In was clear from the outset that Re-Entry runs would be hard to come by. Re-Entry could only manage to push one run across the plate in the first inning following A.J.'s leadoff double. A potential second run was cut down when Mike attempted to score, and then got caught in a rundown. In the second inning, Howie's one out triple to right field set the stage for Re-Entry's second run. Thanks to aggressive base running, Howie scored on a dribbler about ten feet in from of home plate,
In each of the first two innings, the Mighty Schmucks countered with a run of their own, and it was beginning to look like a pitcher's dual. But, the Re-Entry bats fell silent, with six up and six down over the next two innings. In the bottom of the third inning, the Mighty Schmucks scored three runs to take a 5--2 lead. It could have been worse, were it not for a magnificent play by Clara at second base, who fielded a ground ball up the middle and then spun around in a 180 degree turn to tag second base a split second before the runner arrived to complete the force play for the third out of the inning. This play earned Clara the defensive webgem of the game.
The bottom of the fourth inning was not so kind to Re-Entry. A few defensive miscues and superb hitting by the Mighty Schmucks led to ten runs; an inning that was mercifully stopped by the ten run rule. Especially impressive was the Mighty Schmucks' superb third baseman. Time and time again, she was able to hit line drives that fell between the infield and outfield, thereby sustaining the offensive onslaught by the Mighty Schmucks.
Re-Entry was not willing to roll over and die, at least not quite yet. They responded with a big inning of their own, mostly with singles and a one double. After loading the bases, Re-Entry caught a break when Howie's line drive single down the third base line was ruled fair despite landing about five feet to the left of the foul line, resulting in two runs. Later on in the inning, aggressive base running did not pay off, resulting in an out at home. Nevertheless, Re-Entry managed to push across seven runs, narrowing the margin to 15--9.
However, the Mighty Schmucks were unrattled. Continuing their
offensive prowess of the previous inning, the Mighty Schmucks
matched Re-Entry with seven runs of their own, and the end result
was no longer in doubt. In the top of the sixth inning, Rob doubled
to right field and eventually scored for Re-Entry's final run.
The game was called after six innings, with Re-Entry on the wrong side
of a 22--11 drubbing.
Re-Entry and the Big Bangers squared off for the eleventh time in this storied rivalry, which dates back to the fall of 2007. Re-Entry was looking to break a two game losing streak while the Big Bangers were attempting to overcome a 0--10 record lifetime vs. Re-Entry.
However, Re-Entry was not willing to see their perfect record against the Big Bangers blemished. After falling behind 1--0 in the first inning, Re-Entry made their statement by sending thirteen batters to the plate in a ten-run first inning that ended by virtue of the ten run rule. Howie opened the game with a single to deep short and Clara hit a solid single into left field. A.J. tripled to left center-field on a beautiful line drive hit into the gap, driving in two runs and the rout was on. Re-Entry adopted the Kansas City Royals style of offense, mostly with singles (and no home runs). Re-Entry benefited from the fact that the Big Bangers were one player down and opted to not play a catcher. This meant that a single would easily score a runner from second, and in some cases from first. The relentless Re-Entry attack continued, and at the end of the first inning the score stood at 10--1.
The Big Bangers pushed back a little by scoring three runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning. They might have scored more were it not for a spectacular catch by A.J. in left field on a line drive that seemed headed for the gap between the left and center fielders. A.J. looked like Curtis Granderson in the bottom of the 6th inning of Game 3 of the World Series, as he tracked down the well struck line drive for the third out of the inning, thereby earning the game's defensive webgem. The Re-Entry bats were quiet in the second inning, but the defense held for the next two innings while Re-Entry tacked on seven more runs to widen their lead to 17--4 by the end of the fourth inning. Those runs included two sacrifice flies, one of which was a popup to the shortstop. Without a catcher, the Big Bangers defense could nor react fast enough as the Re-Entry runner at third base alertly tagged up and scored.
The Big Bangers were not quite dead. Aided by a few defensive
miscues, they pushed across seven runs in the final two innings, to
make the final score respectable. The game ended after six innings
due to the lateness of the hour. The final result--a
Re-Entry 19--11 victory, extended the Re-Entry winning streak over
the Big Bangers to eleven. More importantly, it provided the first
win of the Fall 2015 season. Re-Entry took some important strides
today, with improved batting up and down the entire lineup, while
limiting the errors on the defensive side. With only four teams in
the league, Re-Entry will have additional chances to improve its
play against the top two teams in the league.
Re-Entry was short some of its key players in this rematch against the Soft Ballers. With only seven players available for most of the game, it could only provide three players for the outfield and no catcher. For the first two innings, it seemed like Re-Entry might be able to compete against a tough Soft Ballers team. Although the Soft Ballers jumped out to a 4--0 lead in the top of the second inning, Re-Entry responded with a five run bottom of the second inning, their only sustained offensive production of the game. Relying mostly on singles without the services of our leading slugger A.J., Re-Entry loaded the bases with no outs, and then succeeded in pushing five runs across the plate, thereby taking a 5--4 lead.
But, the lead was very short lived. In the top of the third inning, The Soft Ballers bats came alive. With a number of defensive errors to help them along, Re-Entry could no longer contain their opponents, as the Soft Ballers scored ten runs (thereby invoking the ten run rule). With a 14--5 Soft Ballers lead, the outcome was no longer in doubt. Three up and three down in the bottom of the third inning did not help matters, and the Soft Ballers continued to pour it on with another three runs in the top of the fourth inning. It might have been more, but on a single to center field, Howie took the relay throw behind second base and fired home (which was being covered by Salena). With a deft tag, Salena cut down the Soft Ballers runner trying to score, completing the defensive webgem of the game.
Re-Entry managed only one run in fourth inning due to a homerun by
Adrian to center field which just eluded the center fielder,
and one run in the fifth inning due to a drive to deep center field by
Mike into the soccer fields. But, it was too little too late, as
Re-Entry went down to its biggest defeat in almost than a decade.
After five innings with the score 22--7 in the Soft Ballers favor, the
game was called due to darkness.
|The Mighty Schmucks||1||2||4||8||3||x||x||18|
In a rematch against the top team in the league, Re-Entry jumped to a 3--0 lead in the top of fist inning. Howie led off with a double down the righ field line, and then alertly tagged up and slid into third base under the tag following a flyout to left field by Salena. Joe singled in Howie for the first run of the game. After a line drive out by Clara, A.J. followed with a line drive shot over the head of the center fielder for a two run homerun. The Mighty Schmucks and Re-entry traded single runs over the next two half innings, but in the bottom of the second inning The Mighty Schmucks offense was threatening to break out. But thanks to a nice defensive play by Clara at second base who ranged to her right to field a well hit ground ball for the 4--3 putout to end the inning, Re-Entry clinged to a 4--3 lead.
Re-Entry extended their lead by one run in the top of the fourth inning, but could not contain The Mighty Schmucks in the bottom half of the fourth inning. With the help of a few defensive miscues, The Mighty Schmucks scored four runs to take a 7--5 lead. It might have been worse if not for a fine play by Brandon at third base who chased down a pop fly behind third base in short left field for the final out of the inning and the webgem of the game. Re-Entry responded in the top of the fourth inning with two runs to tie the game at 7--7. However, Re-Entry was not able to achieve the shutdown inning that was needed to keep the game close. It seems that this season there has always been one inning where the wheels come off. A combination of defensive errors and seeing eye hits helped fuel an eight run fourth inning, as The Mighty Schmucks finally seized control of the game.
Still, Re-Entry was still not ready to roll over. In the top of the fifth inning, Re-Entry added three runs, thanks in part to a triple by A.J. to deep left field that would have been a homerun against any other team. But, the skillful left-fielder ran down the ball and with a strong throw back into the infield succeeded in preventing the homerun. By the end of the inning, Re-Entry had cut The Mighty Schmucks lead down to five runs, but that was as close as it would get. The final score after six innings was 18--12 in favor of the Mighty Schmucks, as the game was called due to darkness.
Nevertheless, despite the loss, Re-Entry could take some consolation
in its much improved play as compared to last week, as well as a
slightly better showing against the top team in the league the second
With only four teams in the fall coed softball league, all teams qualified for the playoffs. Re-Entry faced the Soft Ballers for the third time this season. Before all the fans had a chance to sit down in their seats, the Soft Ballers first batter hit a homerun down the left field line on the first pitch of the game. With the help of a couple of Re-Entry miscues, the Soft Ballers added three more runs to take a 4--0 lead. In the bottom of the first inning, Howie led off with a double down the left field line. With one out, Mike laced a single to left field. Howie, running hard, beat the throw home for the first Re-Entry run. But, Re-Entry was unable to keep the rally going and the Soft Ballers maintained a 4--1 lead.
The second inning saw no scoring by either team. The Soft Ballers threatened with a couple of infield hits. With the bases loaded and two outs, the Soft Ballers batter hit a fly ball to medium center field. Adrian, playing right center field had to come in a long way, and at the last moment stuck out his glove to make the basket catch, Willie Mays style, to end the Soft Ballers threat and earn a webgem. Re-Entry held the Soft Ballers scoreless again in the third inning. Overcoming a muffed ground ball to open up the top of the third inning, Howie made amends with an acrobatic snare of a hard hit line drive to the backhand side in the hole between shortstop and third base, earning the game's second webgem. Howie continued to take control of the inning with runners on first and second as he tracked down a towering pop fly ball behind second base.
In the bottom of the third inning, with Re-Entry still trailing by three runs, Howie stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second base. After two foul balls to the left side of the field, Howie struck a line drive to the right side of center field. The Soft Ballers center fielder made a valiant attempt to reach the ball but came up short, and the ball was by him. Howie was just able to beat the throw home to complete the three run homerun and tie the game at 4--4. But the Soft Ballers responded in the top of the fourth inning with three runs of their own to re-establish a three run lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Re-Entry bats came alive again. After an A.J. single followed by an infield single by Alex, Rob delivered a RBI double. Two batters later, with two outs and runners on second and third, Adrian delivered the biggest hit of the game--a line drive shot to the right-center field gap that made it all the way to the soccer field. The throw to the plate actually beat the runner, but the Soft Ballers catcher juggled the ball and Adrian crossed the plate untouched. With that three run home run by Adrian, Re-Entry took their first lead of the game. The score now stood at 8--7 in Re-Entry's favor.
With darkness quickly approaching, the head umpire declared that the fifth inning would be the last inning of the game (unless it was a quick one). Until this point, the Re-Entry defense had mostly held up, with a few errors causing minimal damage. Sadly, this would not continue in the top of the fifth inning, as the defensive meltdown that had plagued Re-Entry during most of its fall quarter games recurred one more time. Giving the Soft Ballers so many extra outs ultimately doomed the potential Re-Entry upset. Indeed, the Soft Ballers seized the advantage, adding a number of key line drive hits to drive in runners that should have never been on the bases. By the end of the deluge (with no ten run rule in effect during the final inning), the Soft Ballers had plated twelve runs to take a 19--8 lead. Re-Entry was unable to recover; after a lead off single, the next three Re-Entry batters recorded outs, to end the game and the season.
In the final analysis, Re-Entry was unable to make up for the loss of their three top hitters and outfielders, who departed Santa Cruz at the end of the spring season. Although Re-Entry had two valiant efforts against the Soft Ballers this fall season, it could not overcome the one big inning their opponents seemed to always muster. Still, it was a spirited effort by a Re-Entry team with lots of heart. We gave the Soft Ballers a good scare! Meanwhile, we will look to improve in the upcoming Spring 2016 season and try to get back to the winning Re-Entry tradition!
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the Fall 2015 Re-Entry Coed Softball team web page