Friday, August 31, 2012

And It's a Wrap: WSJ Pummel Bullets in 2012 Finale

The DC Bullets' 2012 softball season came to a close last night with a one-sided, 18-6 loss at the hands of Wall St. Journal.

WSJ scored four times in the first, once in the third and five times in the fifth before DC got on the board. After the comic book makers tallied four runs in the last of the fifth, highlighted by Kevin Schwoer's long home run to centerfield, inspiring thoughts of a comeback, WSJ put the game away with a seven-run sixth inning. DC tacked on two runs in the last of the seventh for the final score.

After falling behind early, highlighed by a two-run opposite field home run from WSJ, the Bullets misfired in the first. After Pat Braahhseauo's lead-off single, Vince Letterio, Mike Lorah and Andrew Arnold grounded into consecutive fielder's choices. In the second, Joel doubled into the left field corner with one out. Christine Napolitano's line single to left moved Joel to third, but Larry Ganem and Sal Cipriano both lined out to shortstop, leaving two runners stranded.

The third and fourth innings went similarly quietly for DC. Blake Kobashigawa flew out to center, Neil Hiremath popped up to short, and Brie Cortese, making her Bullets debut, grounded to short in the third. Jeff Boison and Pat flew out in the fourth, and after a resounding double from Vince, Mike lined out to right.

The Bullets broke through in the fifth. After Andrew started things with a single, Kevin crushed a line drive well over the centerfielder's head for an easy home run. Singles by CNap, Joel and Larry loaded the bases with nobody out. Sal drove home a third run, grounding in an unassisted fielder's choice at third base. Blake followed with a groundball that forced Sal at second, leaving runners on the corners with two outs. Neil punched a single to left, scoring Larry easily and sending Blake around to third base, but Neil was thrown out at second when the throw to third was cut off.

Sixth inning: Brie grounded to shortstop again, Jeff popped up to second, and Pat bounced back to the mound.

After Vince flew out to left to start the seventh, DC mounted a brief and too-short rally. Mike grounded a single through the middle, and Andrew lined a base hit to left. Both runners moved up two bases, with Mike scoring, when a throw from shallow left, attempting to catch Andrew rounding too far off first, went out of play. Andrew trotted home easily from third on Kevin's sacrifice fly to centerfield. After Joel's two-out single, CNap grounded into a 5-4 fielder's choice to close out the game and the season.

DC finishes the year 15-10 (2-8 NYMSL).

Bullet Box:
RF/P Pat Brosseau 1-3
LF Vince Letterio - 1-3, double
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3, R
LF/SS Andrew Arnold - 2-3, 2 R
CF/1B Kevin Schwoer - 1-2, R, 3 RBI, sac fly, home run
2B Joel Press - 3-3, R, double
SCF Christine Napolitano - 2-3
P Larry Ganem - 1-2, R
1B Sal Cipriano - 0-2, R
SS Blake Kobashigawa - 0-2
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-2, RBI
RF/C Brie Cortese - 0-2
RF/C Jeff Boison - 0-2

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eliminated - Forbes Knocks Bullets Out of NYMSL Playoffs

With only two games remaining in their season, the DC Bullets faced two must-win contests. Carrying a 2-6 record in the New York Media Softball League, DC absolutely had to knock off Forbes, the league's fourth and final playoff seed, to move within a half game of Forbes. The Bullets were not up to the challenge, as Forbes handed them a decisive 10-3 defeat, ending DC's slim playoff hopes.

Forbes jumped ahead quickly, scoring twice in the first against Joel Press and the DC defense. While two runs was hardly insurmountable, the first inning established the tone for Forbes' persistent offensive assault. They'd score at least one run in every inning except the second.

Meanwhile, DC struggled to mount any pressure on Forbes' defense. Facing an early deficit, the comic book makers couldn't muster a single hit in the first inning - Vince Letterio drew a two-out walk, but cleanup hitter Mike Lorah's line drive to left carried directly to the shortfielder. After Forbes' scoreless second, DC halved the lead: Pat Braseau lined a double into the gap. Christine Napolitano followed with an infield single, putting runners on first and second. A single by John Choi loaded the bases and Joel Press's RBI fielder's choice put DC on the board. Alas, a pop-out from Sal Cipriano and Nel Yomtov's hard line drive to the third baseman ended the threat.

Forbes plated a single run in the third, two in the fourth and one run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings, building a 7-1 lead before DC mounted another rally. In fact, DC sent only six hitters to the plate in the third and fourth innings - again, Vince was the only hitter to reach, smashing a long triple to left field. However, an ill-advised windmill from the third base coach led to Vince being thrown out at home by five feet.

DC loaded the bases in the fifth, but came away empty-handed. CNap and Joel singled, sandwiched around John's pop-out to shortstop. After Sal drilled a line drive to the waiting leftfielder, Nel lined a base hit through the middle to load the bases, but Danielle Yannetta fell behind 0-2 in the count and popped out to the pitcher, leaving all three runners stranded.

The top of the order finally came to life in the sixth, as Neil Hiremath singled and Blake Kobashigawa walked to put two runners aboard. Vince struck out swinging after a couple mighty foul balls, and Mike legged out an infield single to load the bases. Pat seized the opportunity, smoking a two-run double to the gap, but CNap's pop-up and John's routine fly ball to center field prevented DC from closing the gap any more. Down 7-3, we headed to the seventh.

And Forbes, to put emphasis on their supremacy (this day, anyway!), capped the afternoon with their highest run-scoring inning, driving home three insurance runs. Joel led off DC's last chance with a single. After Sal popped out to second, Nel worked a walk. Danielle grounded in a fielder's choice, forcing Joel at third, and the game wrapped up anticlimactically with Neil's pop-up to the pitcher.

So, yeah, we missed the playoffs. But with a 15-9 overall record, we've had a pretty good summer. We should improve on that 2-7 NYMSL mark next year though!

DC wraps up their 2012 season tomorrow on North Meadow #2 against the NYMSL's #2 seed, Wall St. Journal.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-4, R
IF Blake Kobashigawa - 0-2, R, BB
LF Vince Letterio - 1-2, BB, triple
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3
RF Pat Brosseau - 2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 doubles
SCF Christine Napolitano - 2-3
SS John Choi - 1-3
P Joel Press - 2-3
1B Sal Cipriano - 0-3
2B Nel Yomtov - 1-2, BB
C Danielle Yannetta - 0-3

Friday, August 17, 2012

DC vs. Marvel in Pictures

1B Laura Demoreuille warms up the infielders.
 3B Mike Lorah patrols the hot corner.
 We don't need no stinkin' Spiderman, we have Vince Letterio!
 Ace Larry Ganem whirls in a strike!
 SS Andrew Arnold stands ready.
 Speed Demon Neil Hiremath in the batter's box.
 3B Blake Kobashigawa getting set for his 3-3 day!
DC Letterer Carlos Mangual and friends.
 Go DC Supporters!
 Strike a Pose w/ Arnold, Kobashigawa, Jeff Boison, and Hiremath!
 Danielle Yannetta shows off her cape socks! Dan Bertoldi approves.
 Why is slugger Kevin Schwoer scared?!
Laura makes it to second!
 An Owl and friends enjoy a day at the park.
 DC Letterer Dezi Sienty and friend show their Bullets support.
 1B/Manager Sal Cipriano smacks an RBI single!
 Team Shot 2012!
 Team Shot #2!
 Hurray for the Bullets!
 CNAP says "Welcome to McGee's!" Andrew brushes his teeth with a cheese stick.
 Blake doesn't want to be in the middle of this family squabble.
 Bullets and coworkers and friends.
 Bullet Supporters Nick Napolitano, Andy Kubert and wife Theresa, and Roger Rivera!
 Prideful Bullets.
 Sal cheers you in the background.
 Waiting for drinks with Danielle and Pat Bressoooo.
 CNAP and our favorite bartender Michelle.
 PrePress coordinator David Pina (and owl) with happy Neil.
 Shock and Awe with Letterer Jared K. Fletcher and Sal.
 Cheers, Bullets!
 Cheers 2 now with extra Vince!
 Cheers 3, never enough!
Dan says, "Till next year, Marvel."

Bullets Beat Down on Chartbeat

In the final non-league game of the summer, the DC Bullets ran their record against teams outside the New York Media Softball League to a whopping 13-2. Their lackluster 2-6 record in the NYMSL isn't quite as inspiring, but with two games left, a small playoff window remains. For now, though, we'll celebrate Thursday night's 11-4 win over Chartbeat on North Meadow #2.

Short-handed, Chartbeat borrowed a few DC fielders defensively, but stuck to a seven to eight-person line-up (one person arrived late), which meant that their good bats got to the plate more often. They struck quickly in the first for a run, and they (aided by Larry Ganem's pitching, as the Bullets' ace took the mound for both teams!) turned DC away in the bottom half - with only Vince Letterio reaching base on a one-out single.

However, DC stepped up defensively in the middle innings, holding Chartbeat scoreless in the second through fifth innings, with Pat Braseau taking over on the mound in the fifth for DC. Meantime, in the bottom of the second, DC took the lead. Christine Napolitano and Nel Yomtov led off with singles, and after Blake Kobashigawa grounded into a fielder's choice, Sal Cipriano launched a two-run triple over the centerfielder's head. The Bullets' couldn't get Sal home, however, as Allison Klein lined to shortstop and Danielle Yannetta grounded to second base.

Larry Ganen singled with out away in the third, moved to third on Andrew Arnold's double to left field and scored when Dan Bertoldi lifted a sacrifice fly to shallow left, adding one insurance run. Kevin Schwoer made his 2012 pitching debut during this half inning for Chartbeat.

In the fourth, Neil Hiremath beat out a two-out infield single (Larry perhaps was a little too lacksadasical coming off the mound to field that one!). Mike Lorah lined a bullet to center, and then CNap and Nel each added an RBI single to cap a nice two-out, nobody-on rally. The Bullets went quietly in the fifth, however, as Sal popped out to short, Allie grounded to second and Danielle lined to short.

Chartbeat finally broke through against Pat in the sixth - tallying three runs and cutting DC's lead to 5-4. However, with Larry due up in the bottom half, professional meatball hurler Mike took over on the mound for Chartbeat and the Bullets erupted for six insurance runs. After John Choi flew out to center, Larry sliced a triple down the left field line and scored when the throw to third went wild. (Note: Larry really wants credit for a home run, so congratulate him on hitting one when you see him.) Andrew and Dan singled. After Pat lined to right for the second out, Kevin banged an RBI double into the left center gap and Vince followed suit with a two-run triple. Neil's infield base hit added a fifth run, and Neil moved up to second on the shortstop's overthrow, setting up Mike's (now batting against Larry) inning-topping RBI single.

After a scoreless top seven, with time remaining on the permit, both teams opted for another inning - Blake picked up a single in the seventh for DC, but was left stranded. Chartbeat again went scoreless in top eight, and then asked DC if we'd bat bottom eight so they could have some extra fielding chances. They made the most of those oppotunities - after Danielle and John singled, Larry lined into a double play and Andrew fouled out to end the game.

15-8 (2-6 NYMSL), the Bullets battle Forbes (4-5 NYMSL) next Thursday on North Meadow #2.

Bullet Box:
LF/1B Kevin Schwoer - 1-3, R, RBI, double
LF/C Vince Letterio - 2-3, R, 2 RBI, triple
CF Neil Hiremath - 2-3, 2 R, RBI
3B/LF Mike Lorah - 2-3, R, RBI
SCF Christine Napolitano - 2-3, R, RBI
SS/2B Nel Yomtov - 2-3, RBI
3B/2B Blake Kobashigawa - 1-3, R
1B Sal Cipriano - 1-3, 2 RBI, triple
2B Allison Klein - 0-3
C Danielle Yannetta - 1-3
SS John Choi - 1-3
P Larry Ganem - 2-3, 2 R, triple
LF/SS Andrew Arnold - 1-3, R
RF/C Dan Bertoldi - 1-1, R, RBI, sac fly
RF/P Pat Brosseau - 0-2

Game Notes: Thursday's game featured the first-ever names-drawn-from-a-hat Bullets line-up, and it worked just fine. Some of the defensive positions in the box may be off - lots of players were shuffling late in this game. Also, some props to Danielle for coming back into the game after being literally run over by a Chartbeat baserunner in the third inning.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fantastic! Amazing! Incredible! Bullets Double Down in Win over Marvel

But clearly, Danielle's Batman cape-socks were the real winner.

The annual DC Comics vs. Marvel Comics softball showdown went down Thursday evening on North Meadow #2. Like the Bullets, Marvel's team has suffered some West Coast attrition in the last year or two. DC was short our vaunted and valued supersoldier Nel Yomtov Thursday night, while Marvel lost a key bat for the 2012 season to a torn ACL. Both teams brought vocal cheering sections (no costumed heroes this year, though quite a few Court of Owls' masks haunted the DC crowd), which only made the game more exciting and more hilarious for both sides. And in the end, DC rode a seven-run outburst in the third and fourth innings to an 8-4 victory.

Both teams showcased their defenses in the first inning - each team put two baserunners on, but neither could cash them in. Neil Hiremath and Blake Kobashigawa opened up DC's bottom of the first with line drive singles to center, but Mike Lorah popped up to the pitcher and Vince Letterio and Christine Napolitano followed with consecutive unassisted fielder's choices to third base.

In the second, Marvel strung together a few hits and pushed a run across for the early lead, but the Bullets rose to the occasion in the bottom half. Dan Bertoldi singled to left and Pat Brahsew singled to right to put runners on first and second. Andrew Arnold popped up to shortstop, but Joel Press picked up a hit, loading the bases with one out. Laura Demoreuille grounded to third base - Dan came home with the tying run, Pat was forced at third, and both Joel and Laura moved into scoring position when Marvel's third baseman's attempt for a 5-3 double play went wide of first base. Larry Ganem, helping his own cause, punched a two-run single to center, giving DC a lead they would not relinquish. Andrew Marino and Kevin Schwoer singled to reload the bases. Sal Cipriano lined a base hit to left, scoring Larry, but Andrew ran through the stop sign and was thrown out by five feet at home plate to end the inning.

DC added to the lead in the third. After Jeff Boison popped out, Danielle Yannetta - wearing her Batman cape socks - "doubled" (one of only two extra-base hits on the day for DC) with a little assistance from some Marvel infielders who had a hard time keeping a straight face when confronted with her fashion statement. Neil flew out to center, but Blake scored Danielle with a two-out single. Mike then capped the inning with a two-run bomb to right center before Vince popped up to third.

Larry, meanwhile,  kept mowing Marvel's bats down like Deathstroke the Terminator, keeping DC's lead unchallenged in the third and fifth innings, while Pat handled a scoreless fourth. Marvel's biggest threat came in the third, when they put runners on first and second with nobody out. The next hitter lifted a flare into shallow right field and it seemed nobody would be able to reach it - however, Joel Press, moving like the Flash himself (or at least Quicksilver), sprinting out from second base, made an amazing Willie Maysesque over-the-shoulder grab. The following hitter scorched a bullet to third, where Mike made the pick and forced the lead runner, and then Dan ran down a can of corn in right field to preserve DC's 7-1 lead.

The Bullet offense sputtered in the fourth and fifth innings thanks in part to some good Marvel D. CNap lined to third in the fourth, but Dan, Pat and Andrew followed with singles, loading the bases. Joel then ripped a laser beam back up the middle that Marvel's pitcher somehow speared, and Andrew was doubled off first. Laura and Larry singled leading off the fifth, but back-to-back popups by Andrew 2 and Kevin, followed by Sal's hard-hit fielder's choice to third, closed out another missed opportunity.

After the top of their order came away empty in the fifth, highlighted by Mike making a running back-to-the-infield catch in shallow left to deny their leadoff hitter, the middle part of Marvel's batting line-up regrouped and came on the attack in the sixth. Aggressive baserunning led to a first run and then one of Marvel's surprise sluggers crushed a long two-run double to center field to cut DC's lead to 7-4.

DC tacked on one insurance run in the sixth, however. Jeff flew out to left, but Danielle outran another infield single and took second on an overthrow. Neil lifted a fly ball to center for the second out, but Blake singled to left and Mike drilled an RBI single to center to push the lead to four runs. Vince also singled in the sixth, loading the bases for CNap, who grounded to the third baseman for an unassisted fielder's choice.

Larry went back to the mound in the seventh, inducing two routine plays - a grounder to Andrew at short and a fly to Kevin in left - before Marvel's #2 hitter lifted a flare to shallow left, but Kevin proved up to the challenge, making a running shoe-string, sno-cone grab to close out the game.

14-8 (2-6 NYMSL), the Bullets do battle against Chartbeat next Thursday on North Meadow #2.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-3
2B/3B/SS Blake Kobashigawa - 3-3, R, RBI
3B Mike Lorah - 2-3, R, 3 RBI, home run
LF/CF Vince Letterio - 1-3
SCF Christine Napolitano - 0-3
RF Dan Bertoldi - 2-2, R
P Pat Brosseau - 2-2
SS Andrew Arnold - 1-2
2B Joel Press - 1-2, R
1B Laura Demoreuille - 1-2, R, RBI
P Larry Ganem - 2-2, R, 2 RBI
C Andrew Marino - 1-2
LF Kevin Schwoer - 1-2
1B Sal Cipriano - 1-2, RBI
RF Jeff Boison - 0-2
C Danielle Yannetta - 2-2, 2 R, double

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bullets Savor Upside Down Cake Win Over Hachette Books

The Catchers in the Rye, the softball team from publisher Hachette Books, visited North Meadow #2 Thursday evening for a first-ever game against the DC Bullets, and Bullet Captain Sal Cipriano decided it was a good time to shake up the defense and the line-up, giving some Bullets regulars a few extra top-of-the-order at-bats - of course, everybody in the line-up got exactly three at-bats, but the intention was good. And the new batting sequence didn't matter much in an easy 13-2 win for DC.

The Hachette team struggled to muster a consistent offensive attack - they managed just two runs, both in the top of the sixth, and each scored with pitcher Pat Brahso threw away back-to-back trickling infield rollers (each with a moderate degree of difficulty). Pat got out of trouble, however, with a successful assist on a third consecutive comebacker. It was that sort of offensive showing from the opposition.

Although they didn't hit much, the Catchers played solid D and displayed a good sense of humor, and they're welcome back on DC's turf anytime. For the Bullets' part, the offense went like so:

With one out in the first, Blake Kobashigawa reached on a flare that dropped just beyond the second baseman. After Dan Bertoldi's fielder's choice, Neil Hiremath lined a double to left centerfield to put two runners in scoring position. Andrew Marino, however, grounded to shortstop to leave both runners stranded - no worries though, Andrew made up for it later.

After Laura Demoreuille and Nel Yomtov grounded out to start the second, it seemed Hachette's defense might be equal to the task of containing DC's bats. However, Sal lined a single to left and came all the way around to score when Pat burned the left fielder with a long double. John Choi added another RBI double before Vince Letterio bounced out to short.

Kevin Schwoer started the third with a half-mile high fly to center. Mike Lorah reached out and grounded a single to right and moved to second on Danielle's groundout. Then the two-out good times started up: Singles by Blake and Dan plated one run, and Neil added another RBI single. Andrew smacked a two-run double into the left center gap and scored when Laura drilled a line drive single almost through Hachette's third baseman. Nel added a single before Sal lined a rope directly to the shortstop to end the five-run inning.

John's one-out single was DC's only offense in the fourth, but they added three more runs in the fifth. Mike led off with another ground single to right, moved up on Danielle's groundout again, and scored easily on Blake's mulligan double to center (the Bullets forgot to put a base coach on first base and Blake was granted a do-over when nobody wanted to make the call on his bang-bang grounder to short - also, Blake's super-proud dad was watching the game, so we had to give him a chance to look good). Dan singled over shortstop and, after Neil flew out, Andrew tore the cover off a two-run triple to deep left field.

Three more runs plated in the sixth, with Nel doubling to right and Pat, following Sal's hard grounder to shortstop, slicing a triple down the right field line. John added an RBI single and went to third on Vince's line single to left. Kevin lifted a sacrifice fly to left before Mike popped up to right center to wrap the Bullets' offensive afternoon.

On the defensive side, Blake and John stepped in on the left side of the infield with a flawless afternoon, and Neil and Andrew did a spectacular job stealing hits from the Bullets by helping out in Hachette's short-handed outfield when they weren't up to bat. (Mike and Nel also stood in the Catchers' outfield, but neither saw much action.)

13-8 (2-6 NYMSL), DC's biggest game of the summer is next Thursday on North Meadow #2 - Marvel's coming to town!

Bullet Box:
C Danielle Yannetta - 0-3
3B Blake Kobashigawa - 3-3, 2 R, RBI, double
RF Dan Bertoldi - 2-3, 2 R, RBI
CF Neil Hiremath - 2-3, R, RBI, double
RF Andrew Marino - 2-3, R, 4 RBI, double, triple
1B Laura Demoreuille - 1-3, RBI
2B Nel Yomtov - 2-3, R, double
DH Sal Cipriano - 1-3, R
P Pat Brosseau - 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI
SS John Choi - 3-3, R, 2 RBI, double
OF Vince Letterio - 1-3
LF Kevin Schwoer - 0-2, RBI, sac fly
SCF Mike Lorah - 2-3, 2 R

Friday, July 27, 2012

Outside Looking In: WNYC Pushes Bullets to Brink of Playoff Elimination

Mathematically, the DC Bullets hopes of getting into the New York Media Softball League playoffs remain alive; however, the odds are stacked against DC after WNYC emerged victorious in nail-biting, down-to-the-wire 5-4 thriller on North Meadow #2. The loss drops the comic book makers (despite a respectable 12-8 overall record) to just 2-6 in league play, with upcoming games against Forbes and Wall St. Journal. Catching Forbes, currently 3-4 (games remaining: WNYC, High Times, DC), remains a mathematical possibility, but the Bullets will need to avenge an earlier defeat at the hands of the business mag and get a whole lotta help from their friends.

Despite the close score, DC actually trailed the entire way on Thursday evening. Three of the first four WNYC batters reached base on hard-hit singles, and a couple flares capitalized on the baserunners, plating three runs and taking an early advantage.

DC's bats, meanwhile, came out hot in the first inning, but couldn't find any holes. Pat Brahseau reached on a one-out single, but Mike Lorah followed with a 230-foot fly out. After Kevin Schwoer lined a two-out base hit to center, John Choi ripped a line drive - right to the shortstop.

Larry Ganem and the DC defense stepped it up after the first, holding WNYC scoreless in the second, third and fourth innings, but the Bullets had a hard time stringing together any offense. Joel Press struck out on a change-up to start the bottom of the second (one of four strikeouts collected by WNYC's ace. Christine Napolitano pulled a single through the infield and Vince Letterio followed suit, but DC couldn't take advantage. Nel Yomtov ripped a ball toward the leftcenterfield gap, but WNYC's leftfielder closed quickly and made a terrific catch to steal away extra bases, and Sal Cipriano popped up to second to leave two runners stranded.

DC didn't manage a baserunner in the third, as Dan Bertoldi punched out and Laura Demoreuille and Neil Hiremath popped up on the infield. However, the comic book makers broke through in the fourth inning. After Pat took a called strike three, Mike outran a trickler down the third base line. One out later, John singled through the middle and Joel clubbed a long double into the left field corner, scoring both runners. Joel held at second on CNap's infield single to third, but Vince went down swinging, reaching for that slow floater from NYC's pitcher.

After their first inning flurry, WNYC tacked on just two insurance runs, both largely due to pure speed. In the fifth, with runners at first and third and one out, Larry induced a routine grounder to third. Mike fielded the ball, stepped on third for one out, and then threw across to first a half-step too late to complete the potential inning-ending double play. WNYC's speedy leftfielder, at first base when the play started, never broke stride and sprinted around to third on the play, and then scored on a clean single to left from the next batter. The next batter lifted a flare into shallow left which might've scored another run, but Kevin closed quickly and made a terrific sliding catch to end the threat.

Down 4-2, DC couldn't get the run back in the bottom half of the frame, managing only Blake Kobashigawa's two-out single, grounded hard just beyond the second baseman's reach. After holding WNYC down in top six (on three successive pop-ups to Laura at second base!), DC again cut the deficit to a single run. After Larry was robbed when NYC's leaping second baseman pulled down his line drive toward right field, Pat grounded a single through the right side and Mike hammered a pitch off the pitcher for an infield single. Kevin lined a base hit to centerfield, scoring Pat and moving Mike, the tying run, to third base. However, John and Joel both popped up to third base, leaving the two more runners stranded.

WNYC hustled up another run in the seventh. One out, runners on first and second, and a WNYC hitter fisted a squibber between Joel at second base and Laura at first base. With Joel cheating toward second for the force play, it was too far for him to go and there was no way for Laura to field the ball and get back to the base. Which, by itself, wasn't an issue, but WNYC's speediest runner was on second base. Without breaking stride, he rounded third and headed home. Joel shoveled the ball, late, to Laura, and there simply wasn't time, with the ball hit so slowly, for Laura to turn and throw home. And that final run turned out huge.

After CNap was barely thrown out on a groundball to third, Vince Letterio finally conquered his dragon - a long fly ball that bounced atop the fence in the left field corner of the field and over for a solo home run, cutting the lead to 5-4. Nel grounded out, and the Captain, Sal, picked up a two-out single before Dan grounded softly to third base to close out the game.

12-8 (2-6 NYMSL), the Bullets have a three-game NYMSL break now; next Thursday, they meet Hachette Books on North Meadow #2. And to whet your appetites, the following week, on August 9, is the biggest game of the summer, as the Marvel Comics squad ventures to North Meadow #2.

Bullet Box:
P Larry Ganem - 0-2 / CF Neil Hiremath - 0-1
C Pat Brosseau - 2-3, R
3B Mike Lorah - 2-3, R
LF Kevin Schwoer - 2-3, RBI
SCF John Choi - 1-3, R
2B Joel Press - 1-3, 2 RBI
RF Christine Napolitano - 2-3
OF Vince Letterio - 2-3, R, RBI, home run
SS Nel Yomtov - 0-3
1B Sal Cipriano - 1-3
C Dan Bertoldi - 0-2 / 3B Blake Kobashigawa - 1-1
1B/2B Laura Demoreuille - 0-2

Friday, July 20, 2012

DC Bullets Rout iTV

For a brief moment, it appeared that one of the Bullets' own might hand them a loss, as Andrew Marino - playing for a short-handed iTV team - cranked a mammoth three-run home run in the fourth inning, cutting DC's lead to only two runs, but the Bullets responded in style, shutting out iTV the rest of the way and tacking on runs in every ensuing inning en route to a 17-4 blowout.

Andrew and Neil Hiremath volunteered to go over to the iTV side for the day, while the DC roster included a bevy of returnees from San Diego - welcome back Larry, Vince, Kevin and Blake. With Larry Ganem back on the mound working his magic, DC held iTV scoreless through three innings - including Larry getting Neil on a fielder's choice and Andrew on a popup to shortstop in the second inning.

DC took the early lead when the first three batters in the first inning reached base and scored. Both Mike Lorah and Pat Bra-sew singled and came around to score on Andrew Arnold's long double. After Kevin Schwoer flew out, John Choi grounded a single through the infield, moving Andrew to third. Christine Napolitano's fielder's choice scored Andrew for the third run before Larry popped up to end the inning.

The Pressman, Joel Press, and Dan Bertoldi picked up two-out singles in the second inning, but were left stranded in DC's only scoreless inning. Mike started the third with a bloop double to right field and went to third on Pat's single - Pat, however, was thrown out trying for second on the play. Andrew reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners for Kevin, who slugged a double to left. Mike scored easily, and Andrew trotted home when the throw to third went out of play. Kevin moved up to third on the overthrow and scored, after John's shallow fly to left, on CNap's liner down the third base line.

In the fourth, iTV got rid of their goose-egg score, first with an RBI single, and then when Andrew 2 belted a three-run homer over Kevin's head in left. The big fly cut DC's lead to 6-4, but the Bullets went back to work extending the lead in the bottom of the frame: After Blake Kobashigawa flew out to center - the fly ball tracked down by our own Neil - Sal Cipriano yanked a base hit past the third baseman and Joel pounded a run-scoring triple. Dan's groundout to shortstop scored Joel before Vince Letterio flew out to deep left for the second time.

Mike and Pat singled in the fifth again. After Andrew popped up to first, Mike scored on Kevin's second double of the evening, and Pat came home when the throw to third went out of play. Kevin moved to third, but was left stranded on John's groundout and CNap's fly to left.

Now holding a 10-4 lead, the comic book makers put the game away in the last of the sixth, batting around and tallying seven more runs. Larry, Blake and Sal singled, plating the first run. After Joel's fielder's choice, Dan and Vince picked up RBI singles, and Mike drove them both home with a triple to right center. After Pat's shallow fly out, Andrew plated a run with a single to left, and consecutive singles by John and Kevin brought him around to score. Finally, CNap grounded into a fielder's choice at third base to wrap DC's scoring for the day.

iTV put two runners on base - Andrew Marino again, beating out a groundball single, was one - before Larry induced the final out, a routine grounder to Andrew Arnold at short.

12-7 (2-5 NYMSL), the Bullets have a big New York Media Softball League showdown next Thursday on North Meadow #2. WNYC currently holds the fourth and final NYMSL playoff spot with a 2-4 record, one-half game better than the Bullets. Earlier this year, WNYC defeated the Bullets 4-3 in nine innings.

Bullet Box:
3B/CF Mike Lorah - 4-4, 4 R, 2 RBI, double, triple
RF/C Pat Brosseau - 3-4, 2 R
CF/SS Andrew Arnold - 3-4, 3 R, 3 RBI, double
LF/1B Kevin Schwoer - 3-4, R, 2 RBI, two doubles
SS/2B John Choi - 2-4, RBI
SCF Christine Napolitano - 1-4, 2 RBI
P Larry Ganem - 1-3, R
3B/SS Blake Kobashigawa - 1-3, R
1B Sal Cipriano - 2-3, R, RBI
2B Joel Press - 2-3, 2 R, RBI, triple
C Dan Bertoldi - 2-3, R, 2 RBI
LF Vince Letterio - 1-3, R, RBI

And for iTV:
CF/2B Neil Hiremath - 0-3, R, RBI
SS/C Andrew Marino - 2-3, R, 3 RBI, home run

Also, credit to Sal for moving the defense around and giving everybody at least one inning on the bench. I may hate being off the field, but it's fairer than having the same people always sitting every other inning. Particularly in these non-league games.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Closer, but Not Quite: Bullets' Rally Comes up Short Against High Times

At least the final score was relatively close. At Hecksher #2 on Monday evening, the High Times Bonghitters held off a late rally to best the DC Bullets 10-7 in the New York Media Softball League. DC's defense could've been slightly sharper, but operated well within the bounds of presentable softball standards, a big improvement over Thursday's Bad News Bearish effort - High Times simply managed a few extra key hits and capitalized on two good innings to claim the victory.

DC took an early lead, as leadoff hitter Pat Broesow singled to center and advanced to second on an errant cut-off throw. After Mike Lorah lined out to shortstop, Andrew Arnold ripped an RBI single to left and took second on the throw home. John Choi flew out to deep left, and Joel Press grounded a single through the left side to score Andrew. High Times managed to halve the lead in the bottom half, but DC held a 2-1 lead after an inning.

In the second, Nel Yomtov collected a one-out base hit, but never advanced beyond first, as Dan Bertoldi popped up to third base and Andrew Marino flew out to center, and the Bonghitters seized on DC's scoreless turn with a five-run second, capitalizing on Pat's uncharacteristic wildness - three walks in the second.

Laura Demoreuille and Pat flew out to start the third, but Mike Lorah got one run back with a laser line drive down the right field line, an easy opposite field home run. Andrew singled as well, but John's fielder's choice ended any possible threat. High Times went scoreless in the third, and DC trailed 6-3 after three.

Joel led off the fourth with a single, moved to second on an overthrow and to third on Christine Napolitano's groundout to third. Sal Cipriano drew a walk to put runners on the corners with one out. Nel Yomtov's fielder's choice grounder scored Joel, but Dan struck out after working a full count. DC was chipping away, but High Times tallied four in the bottom of the fourth to attain their margin of victory - the decisive blows being Mike's errant throw, a weak toss meant to protect his sore right arm more than get an out, which allowed two runs to score, and a mammoth two-run triple to dead centerfield.

The fifth and sixth passed uneventfully. The Bonghitters didn't tack on, but DC never cut into the lead either. Andrew Marino singled in the fifth, moved to second with two outs, and basically gave Mike a free hit by breaking for third on a routine groundball to shortstop and somehow diving around the tag at third base. But the Bullets couldn't capitalize on the two-outs, runners-on-the-corners chance. In the sixth, Joel's one-out hit provided the only offense, so we went to the seventh, DC down by six, 10-4.

After Nel flew out to right field, Dan and Andrew Marino singled to left field. Laura popped out for the second out, and Pat lined a base hit to center to load the bases. Mike scalded a ball into the hole between shortstop and third, but High Times' shortstop somehow made a spectacular backhand play on the ball - and he shoveled to third. Andrew, sprinting from second like a young Hiremath, somehow beat the third baseman to the bag - Dan scored, the inning remained alive. Andrew Arnold picked up his third hit and second and third RBI of the afternoon, singling to left, scoring Andrew and Pat, and bringing the tying run, clean-up hitter John Choi, to the plate. Oh, the drama... if only the lead graph hadn't spoiled the outcome. John launched a fly to deep left, but it hung up long enough for the Bonghitters' leftfielder to run it down for the game's final out.

11-7 (2-5 NYMSL), the DC Bullets meet iTV this Thursday on North Meadow #2.

Bullet Box:
P Pat Brosseau - 2-4, 2 R
3B Mike Lorah - 3-4, R, 2 RBI, home run
LF Andrew Arnold - 3-4, R, 3 RBI
SCF/CF John Choi - 0-4
2B Joel Press - 3-3, R, RBI
RF/SCF Christine Napolitano - 0-3
CF/RF Sal Cipriano - 0-2, BB
SS Nel Yomtov - 1-3, RBI
C Dan Bertoldi - 1-3, R
C Andrew Marino - 2-3, R
1B Laura Demoreuille - 0-3

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bonghitters Clobber Bullets - What More Is There to Say

Anybody who has observed the New York Media Softball League since its inception, particularly since the dissolution of the slugging BusinessWeek team, knows that Wall St. Journal and the High Times Bonghitters have been the league's premier teams. The DC Bullets have played some epics games against both squads and have occasionally come out on top in those contests. But sprinkled throughout those competitive games, you'll find those "DC wants it too much and psyches themselves out" affairs. Thursday night on North Meadow #2, it was one of the latter games.

By a final score of 16-3 (the NYMSL site has 17-3, but really, what one run more or less at this stage?), the Bonghitters shellacked the Bullets, dropping DC to 2-4 in league standings. In a game plagued by missed cut-off men, overthrows and just plain missed balls, DC couldn't seem to do much right in the field. Even if they had, with the offense sputtering, the outcome wasn't in much question, although the final score could've been a lot closer. I mean, High Times might've scored less than ten runs anyway...

From the top of the first, the Bonghitters seemed to deflate the Bullets and put pressure on them, both defensively and offensively. A four-run opening frame put DC back on their heels, and the comic book makers did little to retake the momentum in the bottom half of the inning: Neil Hiremath grounded to shortstop and Pat Broso popped out on the infield. Mike Lorah lifted a routine fly ball to right center, which was dropped, giving Mike a gift double, but Andrew Arnold popped up for the final out.

Both teams were scoreless in the second, as SuperSoldier Nel Yomtov, Christine Napolitano and Joel Press went down in order, and after a five run third for the Bonghitters, DC went down meekly again - Sal Cipriano, Dan Bertoldi and Andrew Marino all failing to reach base. Note on the hitting: High Times pitcher threw a little faster than DC's used to and threw high in the strike zone, so most Bullet hitters were underneath the ball. Nine Bullets were retired on infield pop-ups during the game. (Swing for the top half of the ball next time.)

High Times added one in the fourth, but DC finally broke through in the bottom half. Allison Dugas-Behan rolled a trickling ground ball into no man's land between third base and the pitcher's mound and beat it out for an infield single. After Neil flew out to left, Pat bounced a single through the middle and Mike, jammed on a handle shot, dropped a bloop single behind the first base bag. The Bonghitters' firstbaseman made a good effort, got a glove on it, but couldn't corral the flare. Andrew then punched a two-run single to left, but consecutive groundouts from John and Nel halted the rally.

If any drama remained in the game's outcome, High Times iced that with a six-run fifth. Laura Demoreuille and Joel Press lined singles to left to start the bottom of the inning, but Sal popped up to short, Dan bounced into a fielder's choice and Andrew 2 popped out to end that scoring chance.

High Times didn't score in the sixth or seventh. Nor did DC in the sixth - after Danielle grounded out, Neil lined a single to left and Pat flew out to deep left center. Mike lined a single over the second baseman, sending Neil to third, but Andrew grounded to short to close the sixth. In the last of the seventh, John ripped a ground single through the left side. Nel flew out to left, CNap lined a base hit over third base and Joel popped up to short. With two down, the captain refused to let the Bullets go too quietly - Sal lined a single to right center, scoring John (actually pinch-runner Andrew), but Dan bounced back to the mound for the game's final out.

11-6 (2-4 NYMSL), the Bullets rematch against High Times next Monday on Hecksher #2 in Central Park. Everybody, breathe this time.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-3
RF Pat Brosseau - 1-3, R
3B Mike Lorah - 3-3, double
LF Andrew Arnold - 1-3, 2 RBI
2B John Choi - 2-3, R
SS Nel Yomtov - 0-3
SCF Christine Napolitano - 1-2 / 1B Laura Demoreuille - 1-1
P Joel Press - 1-3
1B/SCF Sal Cipriano - 1-3, RBI
RF/C Dan Bertoldi - 0-3
C Andrew Marino - 0-2
C Allison Dugas-Behan - 1-1, R / C Danielle Yannetta - 0-1

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bullets' Late Run Locks Down Win Over Vanity Fair

That's what they call a nailbiter. At the end of five innings, the DC Bullets nursed a 2-0 lead over Vanity Fair on North Meadow #10 on Tuesday evening, and clung to a 3-2 lead after six, before plating five runs in the seventh to finalize an 8-2 win.

From the start, Vanity Fair made it clear that runs would be hard to come by. DC's first three hitters went down in order to start the game - Neil Hiremath popping up and both Pat Brohsoh and Mike Lorah grounding to shortstop. Andrew Arnold swallowed some infield dirt on a head-first dive into second base, leading off the second with a double, and Nel Yomtov followed with a base hit to put runners on the corners. After Allison Klein popped up, Sal Cipriano punched a single through the left side, plating Andrew with the game's first run. Dan Bertoldi's fielder's choice erased Sal, but moved Nel to third where he was in position to trot home on Andrew Marino's clutch two-out single.

The early runs didn't lead to much comfort at the plate for DC, however. During the third through fifth innings, the Bullets managed only one baserunner - Pat's one-out single in the third. Every other DC hitter made an out during the second turn through the order. Fortunately, with Pat's pitching and DC's defense having a big game, those two second inning runs were holding up through the end of the fifth. Nel, reminding us of his ageless Super-Soldier training, gobbled up everything anywhere near him, turning screaming line drives, short-hop spinners and anything else into an out. With a runner on first and one down in the fifth, Nel ranged far to his left, knocking down a bouncer over the second base bag and then shoveling the ball back to Allison for the force out. Vanity Fair's other biggest chance came in the fourth, a runner on third with one out: Mike fielded a hard groundball near the line, looked the runner back and fired a bullet to first to set up a routine two-out groundball chance for Nel to keep VF scoreless.

The comic book makers finally tacked on an insurance run in the sixth. Pat picked up a one-out single and Mike drove an outside pitch into the rightcenter field gap for a double. Vanity Fair's shortstop then dropped Andrew's easy pop-up, and Pat sprinted home, beating the recovery and throw by a step. Nel ripped a line drive right at the third baseman and Allison grounded out, stalling the rally, but even a single run was huge as VF's first two batters in the last of the sixth reached on a single and a double. Both eventually scored, but Andrew Marino ran down the second out in rightcenter field and Pat, with the tying run on third base, induced an easy comebacker to the mound to close out the threat.

DC ended much of the drama in the seventh with a five-run outburst. Sal's double into right center set up Andrew 2 for a one-out RBI laser through the middle. With his sixth inning catch and two-out second inning RBI, Andrew had a very big game. Danielle Yannetta legged out an infield roller and Neil picked up his first hit to load the bases for Pat. And Pat, being Pat, delivered a Pat Special, a soft liner down the right field line. Andrew 2, Danielle and Neil all scored easily, but a terrific relay throw cut down Pat at third base for the second out. Mike then clobbered a fly ball over the centerfielder and raced around to third base - and as he cruised into third, the centerfielder's throw ricocheted off his lower back and went out of play, allowing Mike to score the Bullets' final run. Andrew added another single, his third hit of the evening, before VF closed out the seventh. Pat put the finishing touches on a strong pitching performance with a three up, three down last of the seventh, getting the last out on bouncer back to the mound.

11-5 (2-3 NYMSL), the Bullets face the High Times Bonghitters, currently undefeated in NYSML action and sitting atop the league's playoff bracket, for two games in the next four days starting Thursday evening on North Meadow #2.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-4, R
P Pat Brosseau - 3-4, R, 3 RBI, double
3B Mike Lorah - 2-4, R, double, triple
LF Andrew Arnold - 3-4, R, double
SS Nel Yomtov - 1-4, R
2B Allison Klein - 0-3
1B Sal Cipriano - 2-3, R, RBI, double
RF Dan Bertoldi - 0-3
SCF Andrew Marino - 2-3, R, 2 RBI
C Danielle Yannetta - 1-3, R

Friday, July 6, 2012

Relentless Bullets Power Past ProPublica

Thursday at North Meadow #2, the DC Bullets overpowered ProPublica, tallying a 17-11 win. Offensively, the game was exactly what you like to see - consistency up and down the line-up, with every player scoring a run or driving in one and ten of twelve hitters compiling at least two hits on the afternoon. Defensively, however, the Bullets played a little sloppy and didn't have their heads in every play.

Against DC's Mike Lorah, making his 2012 pitching debut, ProPublica put their first three runners on base and seemed poised for a big inning. After getting the clean-up hitter to pop up to shallow left, Mike surrendered two runs on a single and a groundout, but managed to minimize the threat.

During DC's turn at-bat, Neil Hiremath and Vince Letterio both flew out, but Mike helped himself get a run back, grounding a hard base hit into left that turned into a triple when the leftfielder misplayed the ball. Andrew Arnold followed with a clean RBI single to halve ProPublica's lead.

Holding ProPublica scoreless in the second and third innings, DC quickly seized the advantage. Base hits by Sal Cipriano, Christine Napolitano and Blake Kobashigawa tied the game before any outs were registered in the second. Dan Bertoldi's infield single loaded the bases, and Andrew Marino rapped a hard fielder's choice to shortstop - erasing Dan, but chasing home CNap with the go-ahead run. Allison Dugas-Behan followed with another fielder's choice, taking Andrew 2 off the bases, but scoring Blake. Nick Sienty, making his Bullets debut, lined an opposite field single to left, and Neil reloaded the bases with a liner to center. Vince capitalized, clubbing a two-run double. Mike and Andrew followed with RBI singles before Nel launched a long fly ball into the left field corner. ProPublica's left fielder appeared momentarily to catch the ball, but in reality trapped the ball against the fence (and, good sportsman that he is, admitted so). As there was some confusion on the field and comic book makers had batted around anyway, we opted to credit Nel with a base hit, but also close out the inning - a seven run frame that put DC in the lead 8-2.

The Bullets tacked on two more in the third: Sal singled, moved to second on an overthrow, and then held his ground as CNap and Blake popped up on the infield. Dan collected the big two-out hit, fisting a single shallow left. Andrew 2 lined a single to left, scoring Sal, and Allie beat out an infield roller to score Dan. Nick launched a deep fly to left, but ProPublica's left fielder ran this one down to end the inning.

ProPublica picked themselves up with two runs in the fourth. DC equaled that total in their half of the inning. Vince took second base on an infield single and an overthrow, and scored in Mike's liner into centerfield. Back-to-back base hits by Andrew and Nel scored Mike before Sal grounded out and CNap popped up to end the inning.

In the fifth, ProPublica scored three more times. DC scored five. Singles by Blake and Dan, and a all-hustle double from Andrew 2 put one on the board. One out later, Nick drilled a two-run double to left center. Nick held at second on Neil's infield single and was forced at third base on Vince's fielder's choice ground ball to third. However, on the attempt for the 5-3 double play, the throw went wide of first, putting both Neil and Vince in scoring position. And both came home on Mike's headhunting rocket over the pitcher's mound. Andrew added a single, his fourth hit of the game, before Nel grounded out to end the outburst.

After a quick and scoreless top of the sixth, with time expiring on the permit and the 7:00 teams raring to go, the Bullets and ProPublica opted to forego the bottom of the sixth inning and let ProPublica take their last licks in the top of the seventh. And things got a little more interesting than they maybe should have - Blake dropped a ball while making a tag, Andrew dropped a fly in left for the first time in a long, long while, and Mike forgot the baserunners and, rather than getting a sure home-to-first double play on a trickler in front of the plate, only took the sure out at first. But the lead held up - ProPublica scored four times, but Mike got the last hitter on an easy comebacker to the mound to secure the win.

10-5 (2-3 NYMSL), the Bullets travel to North Meadow #10 on Tuesday to square off against Vanity Fair. Next Thursday (and the following Monday), DC returns to New York Media Softball League action against perennial powerhouse High Times.

Bullet Box:
RCF Neil Hiremath - 2-4, 2 R
LCF Vince Letterio - 2-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, double
P Mike Lorah - 4-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, triple
LF Andrew Arnold - 4-4, 2 RBI
SS Nel Yomtov - 2-4, RBI
1B Sal Cipriano - 2-3, 2 R
2B Christine Napolitano - 1-3, R
3B Blake Kobashigawa - 2-3, 2 R, RBI
RF/C Dan Bertoldi - 3-3, 2 R
RF Andrew Marino - 2-3, R, 3 RBI, double
C Allison Dugas-Behan - 1-3, R, 2 RBI
RF Nick Sienty - 2-3, R, 2 RBI, double

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wall St. Journal Rocks Bullets

First of all, sorry for the delay in getting the game summary up - both Sal and I had very busy weekends and very busy Mondays, so I didn't get the box score until noon Tuesday, and wouldn't have started on the write-up if I'd gotten it earlier anyway.

Saturday morning's New York Media Softball League match-up against three-time defending NYMSL champion Wall St. Journal didn't go as well as the DC Bullets hoped. Despite several big run-scoring opportunities early in the game, DC couldn't get the big hit, and WSJ just kept adding on runs, aided on occasional by some sloppy DC defense (though to be fair, most of the errors were over-throws, allowing runners to take extra bases, and likely would not have resulted in any extra WSJ outs), finally icing the game with a six-run fifth inning en route to a 14-4 victory over the comic book makers.

Under a scorching 11am sun on North Meadow #7, the Bullets put pressure on early, but couldn't capitalize, and then wilted as the game wore on. Neil Hiremath lined out to lead off the game, but Pat Brohsew, Mike Lorah and Andrew Arnold singled in sequence to load the bases. Nel Yomtov's fielder's choice scored Pat, but the Pressman, Joel Press, lined out to third, leaving two runners stranded. Wall St. Journal seized on DC's shortfall, tallying four runs in the bottom of the frame.

After Christine Napolitano's fly out to left, the Bullets again loaded the bases - singles by Sal Cipriano, Dan Bertoldi and, after Emily Winter's pop up, Neil created a big opportunity. Pat lined an RBI single to center, but Mike drilled an easy one-hopper to shortstop to let another big chance slip away. WSJ scored twice more in their turn at-bat, taking a 6-2 advantage.

Andrew led off the third with a bomb to left field, beating the relay home for DC's third run. But after Nel's base hit, Joel, CNap and Sal went down in order and DC settled for a single run for the third time in the game. Wall St. Journal's defense, however, consistently hit their cut off men and handled the routine chances, preventing the Bullet baserunners from taking any extra bases. Two more Journal runs scored in the third. 8-3.

Both teams put up scoreless efforts in the fourth, with the comic book makers managed only Neil's two-out single. In the fifth, with one down, Andrew collected a line-drive base hit and then sprinted around to third on Nel's single into shallow left. Joel lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Andrew. But CNap's groundout to third wrapped the inning, and WSJ put an emphatic exclamation point on the game with their six-run outburst.

Neither team scored in the sixth - Sal, Dan and Emily went down in order for DC - and the Bullets' last gasp in the seventh (Mike beat out an infield single with two down, and Andrew doubled into shallow left - they were playing him deep after his earlier home run) couldn't manage a single run, much less the ten required to extend the game.

Despite their overall 9-5 record, the Bullets now stand at 2-3 in the New York Media Softball League, in fourth place, holding the last playoff spot. We're going to have to step it up, gang. The next game, a non-league affair, is Thursday on North Meadow #2 against ProPublica.

Also, a Bullet "Thank You" to Emily Winter for coming out and playing with us.

Bullet Box
CF Neil Hiremath - 2-4
SCF Pat Brosseau - 2-4, R, RBI
3B Mike Lorah - 2-4
LF Andrew Arnold - 4-4, 2 R, RBI, double, home run
SS Nel Yomtov - 2-4, RBI
P Joel Press - 0-2, RBI, sac fly
RF Christine Napolitano - 0-3
1B Sal Cipriano - 1-3
C Dan Bertoldi - 1-3
2B Emily Winter - 0-3

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fantastic! Early Lead Holds Up, as Bullets Top Scientific American

Shaking off the disappointment of their three-game losing streak, the DC Bullets started a new winning streak Thursday evening, making it two in a row as they bested Scientific American 11-5 on North Meadow #2. Jumping out to an 8-0 lead after three innings, the Bullets survived a late rally to close out the victory. Of the thirteen Bullet players, seven different batters drove in at least one run, and seven different batters scored at least one.

After retiring SciAm in the first, the Bullets grabbed a quick lead with Vince Letterio - who rotated among all four outfield spots during the game - yanking a groundball down the third base line. A misplay in the corner enabled Vince to leg out a leadoff triple, and Mike Lorah followed by hitting a ball in nearly the exact same spot for an RBI double. After Andrew Arnold flew out to left, Kevin Schwoer drove Mike home with a base hit to center. Nel Yomtov and Sal Cipriano flew out, but the Bullet defense and pitcher Pat Brossoh - undefeated as a starter in 2012 - shut down the opposition in the second to maintain the two-run edge.

After Christine Napolitano lined out to start the bottom of the second, Pat, Laura Demoreuille and Neil Hiremath singled in sequence to add a run. Allison Dugas-Behan's fielder's choice and Dan Bertoldi's groundout ended the frame.

With the defense continuing to hold down Scientific American's hitters - the third through fifth also passed without SciAm scoring, in part due to Andrew's ridiculous range in left field and CNap and Laura sticking SciAm's lefty leadoff hitter with a hitless afternoon - the Bullets finally broke the game open in the third.

After Danielle Yannetta's pop up, Vince singled and sprinted around to third on Mike's base hit. Andrew's fielder's choice scored Vince, and Kevin singled. Back-to-back doubles by Nel and Sal plated three more runs. CNap and Pat closed out the five run outburst with successive singles to drive Sal home.

In the fourth, Neil's lead off single was wasted, but DC added two runs in the fifth when Mike and Andrew picked up one-out singles, moved into scoring position on Kevin's chopper to the mound, and scored on Nel's line drive to centerfield.

Top six, Scientific American finally broke through with a three-run rally. Pat doubled with one out in the bottom half, moved up on a ground out, and then scored when Neil outran a routine groundball to shortstop. After SciAm went scoreless in the seventh, both teams agreed to an extra inning - thirteen minutes still remained on the permit; see what happens when both teams are on time and we forego batting practice!

The Bullets went quickly, with only Danielle reaching on an infield single, and Scientific American added two more runs in the top of the eighth to wrap up the game.

With the win, the Bullets climb to 9-4 (2-2 NYMSL). Tomorrow morning, North Meadow #7, 11am, Wall St. Journal hosts the Bullets in a big New York Media Softball League showdown. It's ON!

Bullet Box:
OF Vince Letterio - 2-4, 2 R, triple
3B Mike Lorah - 3-4, 2 R, RBI, double
LF/1B/SS Andrew Arnold - 1-3, 3 R, RBI
RCF Kevin Schwoer - 2-3, R, RBI
SS/LF Nel Yomtov - 2-3, R, 3 RBI, double
DH Sal Cipriano - 1-3, R, 2 RBI, double
2B Christine Napolitano - 1-3
P Pat Brosseau - 3-3, 2 R, RBI, double
1B Laura Demoreuille - 1-3
LCF Neil Hiremath - 3-3, 2 RBI
C Allison Dugas-Behan - 0-3
RF Dan Bertoldi - 0-3
C Danielle Yannetta - 1-3

Additional note: The 7:00 permit holders, the Wild Things, wound up short players, so Mike and Nel stayed on to play a second game. The Wild Things were absolutely shelled, 19 (I think, but it was hard to keep track) to 2. However, Mike and Nel represented the Bullets well, driving in both Wild Thing runs - Mike's fifth-inning RBI triple, followed immediately by Nel's run-scoring double, salvaged some pride in not being shut out, and Mike provided his steady third base defense to the cause (Nel, roaming the outfield, didn't see quite as much action, but also acquitted himself well).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Heart of the Order Shines as Bullets Take Down Left/Right

The DC Bullets' roster provided plenty of heroics to highlight during Monday's 17-11 win over Left/Right Productions on Hecksher #2 in Central Park. DC's third, fourth and fifth hitters put a monstrous combined stat line of 13-15 with ten runs scored and eleven RBI (including Kevin "Mr. Greedypants Stats" Schwoer's second cycle of the summer). Joel Press also collected two doubles and Laura Demoreuille, playing with a 116 degree fever, added two hits and closed out the game by snaring a screaming line drive that looked destined for centerfield.

In the first-ever game between the Bullets and Left/Right, the opponents, despite the loss, proved a tenacious and talented opponent. The top of their order continually pressured DC - including a four-run first inning. Facing an early deficit, DC begin immediately chipping away at Left/Right's early advantage.

Neil Hiremath tomahawked a head-high pitch into centerfield for a leadoff single, and Pat Breaussow, showing no rust after his seeming interminable honeymoon, rapped a double just beyond the centerfielder's reach. Mike Lorah blooped a two-run double down the right field line and then scored on Kevin's Schwoer's base hit. The comic book makers couldn't manage to tie the game though. After Christine Napolitano and Sal Cipriano grounded into fielder's choices, Joel Press singled and Blake Kobashigawa grounded into a force to close out the first.

DC's defense made quick work of the opposition in both the second and third innings, as pitcher Joel Press kept things under control with a series of routine fly balls to Neil and Kevin. Down a run, the Bullets dug out and then some in the second. Laura led the frame off with a shrieking line drive to left. After Neil lined out, Pat added a single, and then Mike grounded into a fielder's choice. First and third, two outs, things were just getting started. Kevin's double chased Laura home, tying the game, and CNap put the home team on top with the first of her four singles. Sal smoked an RBI base hit to left, and Joel brought CNap home with a booming double. Blake cashed in both Sal and Joel with a line single to center before Laura, who'd started the inning off with a hit, grounded into a fielder's choice to close out the six-run frame.

Neil and Mike singled around Pat's fly out in the third, and Kevin followed with a bomb to right centerfield. Two runs scored on the triple, and Kevin seemed disappointed that he wasn't able to score himself on the play, but honestly, with doddering old-timers like Neil and Mike clogging the bases, what can you expect. Kevin had to freeze at third on CNap's flare just past the third baseman's reach, but Sal picked up the RBI with a groundout to shortstop. CNap came in from second on Joel's second double of the afternoon. Blake then singled to left, but the inning closed out when the third base coach, Coach Lorah, opted to challenge the left fielder's arm and got Joel thrown out by ten feet.

Left/Right seized the momentum shift, plating three runs in the fourth, cutting DC's lead to 13-7, but the Bullets put two more back on the board in the bottom half: Laura grounded a single through the middle and two outs later, Mike drilled a line drive past the second baseman. Kevin and CNap followed with two-out, RBI base hits.

DC took their only scoreless inning in the fifth, following a single run from Left/Right. Joel and Neil collected singles during the frame, but a fielder's choice, a pop up and Pat's grounder to the first base bag prevented any runner from advancing past second base.

Top six was the Mike Lorah defensive highlights inning - Mike got the first out of the sixth by backhanding a smash down the third base line and firing a laser to Laura (who played first in the even-numbered innings) to nip a speedy runner. He also got the third out, snaring a low line drive to keep Left/Right off the scoreboard. Mike led off the last of the sixth with a hard ground single to left, and Kevin completed the cycle with a emphatic home run to center field. The blast also capped DC's scoring efforts for the afternoon - CNap added another single, but the next three hitters went down in order.

Left/Right put up a nice rally in the seventh, tallying three more runs, but with two more aboard, Laura (second base for the odd-numbered innings) ranged to her right and speared a line drive to secure the Bullet victory.

8-4 (2-2 NYMSL), the Bullets meet Scientific American on Thursday at North Meadow #2.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 3-5, 2 R
RF/C Pat Brosseau - 2-5, R
3B Mike Lorah - 4-5, 5 R, 2 RBI, double
LF Kevin Schwoer - 5-5, 3 R, 7 RBI, double, triple, home run
C/RF Christine Napolitano - 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI
1B/2B Sal Cipriano - 1-5, R, 2 RBI
P Joel Press - 4-5, R, 2 RBI, two doubles
SS Blake Kobashigawa - 2-5, 2 RBI
2B/1B Laura Demoreuille - 2-4, 2 R

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bullets' Ego and Stats Buoyed up by Rubin Museum

The DC Bullets looked forward to a chance to redeem themselves against New York magazine on Thursday, but a change in the magazine's working hours prevented their squad from making it to North Meadow #2 by game time. Fortunately, the great crew at the Rubin Museum stepped in on short notice to provide the Bullets an opponent. The Bullets put an emphatic halt to their three-game losing skid, pummeling the Museum staff 26-1.

Firstly, a huge thanks to the Rubin team for coming out on short notice and in arid conditions. They're a fun bunch, as we got to find out when several of them came to the bar with us after the game, and their team's still fairly new. Once they figure out who their regulars are going to be and what those players' strengths will be, I'm sure they're going to be a much more competitive team. Good luck, Rubin!

In the first, Rubin put immediate pressure on the Bullets, grounding and flaring a series of hits just beyond the reach of a DC fielder. With the bases loaded and two outs, Larry Ganem seemed to work out of the inning scorelessly when he induced a routine groundball to second, but Joel Press buckled under the pressure, bobbled the ball, and denied Larry (and co-pitcher Pat Brosseau) a shutout. (I have to give Joel a hard time about it; he had a monster game at the plate.) Larry retired the next batter, and the Bullets went to work making up the early deficit.

Vince Letterio and Mike Lorah started DC up with back-to-back singles, and Andrew Arnold put the team in the lead, banging a triple over the left fielder's head. DC never trailed again. In fact, twelve batters later, when John Choi, the last hitter in the lineup, grounded a two-run single into left, only one Bullet batter had been retired, and DC opted to enact the mercy rule - going back into the field without making a third (or second) out. Kevin Schwoer added in RBI hit, Joel Press clubbed a bases-loaded triple, and Larry, Pat, Dan Bertoldi and Blake Kobashigawa provided tack-on run-scoring hits.

After Rubin's scoreless second, DC's turn at bat went much the same. Vince singled and Mike drilled a two-run  bomb to dead center. Andrew, Kevin and Nel Yomtov singled to the bases. Sal Cipriano popped out to shallow center, and Christine Napolitano cashed in a run with a fielder's choice grounder. With two outs ... well, there never was a third out. The next eight hitters reached safely, mostly station-to-station run-scoring singles, and after John's single, the Bullets again opted for mercy.

The third went quietly, with Rubin scoreless and DC tallying only a single run. Vince hustled out a double and sprinted home on Mike's liner to left center. Andrew singled, Kevin grounded to third, where Mike was forced, and Nel singled, loading the bases for Sal. The Captain launched a high pop-up to the shortstop, who, backpeddling, missed the ball. However, he recovered quickly and threw home to force Andrew at the plate. The pitcher, covering, then threw across to second base to force an inattentive Nel, who'd not run from first base, for an inning-ending double-play.

DC added three more in the fourth. CNap lined a single to left, and Joel demolished the first pitch he saw, launching it to deepest left field for a two-run homer. After Larry's pop-up, Neil lined a hit to left center, moved up on Allison Klein's similar line drive single, and came home on Dan's fielder's choice for the final run of the afternoon. Pat added a double, but Blake and John grounded out to end the inning and, as it turned out, the game. With the Rubin team getting to the field almost forty minutes after scheduled game time and the 7:00 permit holders ready and waiting, the Bullets/Rubin contest was limited to just four innings.

7-4 (2-2 NYMSL), the Bullets have a full slate of games next week. On Monday, at Hecksher Field #2, they'll meet Left/Right for the first time ever. Then it's Scientific American on Thursday at North Meadow #2 and the first meeting of 2012 with reigning New York Media Softball League champions Wall St. Journal on Saturday at North Meadow #7.

Bullet Box:
LF Vince Letterio - 3-3, 3 R, double
3B Mike Lorah - 3-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, home run
LF Andrew Arnold - 3-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, triple
3B/SS Kevin Schower - 2-3, 2 R, RBI
SS Nel Yomtov - 3-3, R
1B Sal Cipriano - 2-3, R
SCF Christine Napolitano - 1-3, 2 R, RBI
2B Joel Press - 3-3, 3 R, 6 RBI, triple, home run
P Larry Ganem - 2-3, 2 R, RBI
CF Neil Hiremath - 3-3, 3 R, RBI
2B/RF Allison Klein - 2-3, 2 R, RBI
C Dan Bertoldi - 2-3, 2 R, 3 RBI
P Pat Brosseau - 3-3, R, 2 RBI
RF/CF Blake Kobashigawa - 2-3, 2 RBI
RF John Choi - 2-3, 3 RBI

Also, thanks again to Danielle Yannetta and Andrew Marino for joining the Rubin Museum roster for the evening.

3B Andrew Marino - 1-2
C Danielle Yannetta - 0-2

Friday, June 15, 2012

NBC Sports' Write-up!

As noted, we played/lost to NBC Sports yesterday evening. Our opponents put together their own comic-book inspired "write-up". Kudos to them, it's pretty awesome:

NBC Sports Sends Bullets to Third Straight Loss

With Thursday's 13-6 loss to NBC Sports, the DC Bullets have lost three consecutive games. However, unlike the last two games where our own defensive lapses or impatient at-bats doomed the team, the NBC Sports squad provided steady offense (at least one run in every inning, but no more than three runs in any frame) and robbed DC of several hits with plus defensive plays. The score might've been tighter if a few line drives moved two feet to the left or right, but the team from 30 Rock simply outplayed the comic book makers. On this particular day, anyway...

After NBC grabbed an early lead - their fifth hitter blooped a two-out, two-run triple onto the right field line - DC hit four balls hard in the bottom of the first, but never moved a runner past second base. Vince Letterio led off with a line single to left, and moved to second on Andrew Arnold's hard grounder to shortstop. However, Nel Yomtov hit a bullet directly at the third baseman, and Mike Lorah followed suit, with a line drive directly to NBC's second baseman, our own Allison Klein, helping out the short-handed opposition.

NBC added two more in their half of the second. Sal Cipriano started off DC's second inning with a double, a line drive to left that skipped under the left fielder's glove (one of only two NBC misplays that I can recall). Christine Napolitano singled into shallow left, but Sal was unable to advance with the ball being directly behind third base. Neil Hiremath followed with a line drive toward the middle, but the lunging shortstop snared the ball. Sal and CNap moved up a base on Dan Bertoldi's slow ground ball out before Blake Kobashigawa grounded out to end the threat.

With three more run in the top of the third, NBC Sports opened up a seven run edge, but the Bullets finally got on the board in the bottom half - though smarter baserunning and a luckier bounce might've led to more. Allison Dugas-Behan legged out an infield single and moved to second when the pitcher's throw to first went wide and out of play. Andrew Marino, making his 2012 debut, crushed a drive to deep left center, scoring Allie easily. However, slightly over-exuberant Andrew was thrown out easily at third base for the first out. Danielle Yanneta (who played two innings for the opponents, but moved back to the DC side in the third when NBC's own late-arriving woman made the scene) grounded out, and Vince tattooed a hard grounder off the third baseman's shins, but NBC's man on the hot corner recovered in time to throw a bullet to first to retire Vince.

After holding NBC to one run in the fourth, DC briefly cut into their lead. Andrew Arnold doubled to deep left field. After Nel popped out, Mike ripped an RBI single through the middle and then came around to score on Sal's double into the left field corner. A pop-up by CNap and a groundout by Neil - featuring another strong throw by an NBC infielder to get the speedy Mr. Hiremath - ended the threat, however.

NBC added two in the fifth (the Bullets went meekly in order - a fly to left from Blake sandwiched between groundouts by Dan and Allie) and three in the sixth, and the game went to the last of the sixth, with time running out on the permit and DC down 13-3.

Andrew Marino crushed another drive toward left center, only this time NBC's centerfielder made a terrific diving catch to rob extra bases. Danielle and Vince followed with one-out singles, and Andrew Arnold capitalized, crushing a drive to deep left field for a three-run homer. Almost as impressive as Andrew's power was his fancy footwork, dancing around the tag to score the third run. However, it was to be the Bullets' last gasp, as Nel flew out to left and Mike was again robbed - NBC's centerfielder making another spectacular catch, this one a back-to-the-infield, over-the-shoulder showstopper to again steal extra bases from a Bullet hitter.

6-4 (2-2 NYMSL), the Bullets will attempt to right the ship (and perhaps gain a little revenge) against New York magazine next Thursday on North Meadow #2 in Central Park. New York handed DC their first loss of the summer back in early May, a 19-14 slugfest at Walker Park.

Bullet Box:
CF Vince Letterio - 2-3, R
LF Andrew Arnold - 2-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, double, home run
SS Nel Yomtov - 0-3
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3, R, RBI
1B Sal Cipriano - 2-2, RBI, two doubles
SCF Christine Napolitano - 1-2
P Neil Hiremath - 0-2
RF Dan Bertoldi - 0-2
2B/1B Blake Kobashigawa - 0-2
C Allison Dugas-Behan - 1-2, R
RF/2B Andrew Marino - 1-2, RBI, double
C Danielle Yannetta - 1-2, R

Also, thanks to Danielle and Allie K. for joining the NBC Sports' roster.
Danielle - 0-1
Allison Klein - 1-3, R

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

WNYC Stymies Bullet Offense, Hands DC Second Consecutive Loss

Well, that was a frustrating game.

North Meadow #10 has never been kind to the DC Bullets, and WNYC always plays everybody tough. So maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise that neither team mustered much offense. With each team eking out only a baserunner per inning, the game went very quickly (a good thing, I suppose, since the 6:00 scheduled time turned into a 6:40 first pitch and the game went two extra innings before a decisive run could score). In the end, the comic book makers rapped out only thirteen hits, spread across nine frames of softball, and WNYC managed just a few more, walking off (literally) with a big 4-3 win in New York Media Softball League action Monday evening.

Both teams trades zeros in the first, with their clean-up hitters grounding out with a runner aboard - Nel Yomtov, who'd singled with two outs in DC's case. The Bullets looked like they were going to break through in a big way in the second, as Kevin Schwoer, Sal Cipriano and Christine Napolitano all singled to load the bases with nobody out. Andrew Arnold followed with a line drive down the left field line, scoring Kevin easily. Sal pulled up at third, but then took off for home when the left fielder momentarily bobbled the ball. The throw home, somehow, bizarrely, ricocheted off Sal's head, directly to pitcher - who covered the plate - and Sal was tagged for the first out. Pop-ups by Vince Letterio and Larry Ganem stalled the rally, limiting DC to one run. WNYC responded in kind, tallying a single run and knotting the score.

The third inning went quietly. Another two-out single, this one by Dan Bertoldi, kept DC from putting any pressure on the opposition. One out into the fourth inning, Mike Lorah lined a single into center field, and then Kevin - who seems to have sewn up the rookie of the year ballot only a third of the way into the season and is eyeing the team MVP award - clubbed a line drive over the right fielder for a two-run home run. But then Sal lined out to the short fielder and CNap popped out, as the Bullets stalled again.

Larry slapped a two-out single to right in the fifth, and Neil beat out a five-foot roller with one away in the sixth, but DC couldn't capitalize. Making his 2012 season debut, Jeff "Hard Luck" Boison, following Neil's hit, drilled a scorcher right back at WNYC's pitcher, who somehow speared the ball and then doubled Neil off first. Nice play, much credit there. But for the most part, the Bullets made it easy, with routine pop flies galore.

WNYC rallied for two runs in the last of the sixth to tie the score. With out across and two outs, Neil Hiremath got his glove on a slicing liner in shallow center field, but couldn't hang onto the ball. The tying run scored easily, but the go-ahread run - attempting to come all the way around from first base - was gunned down at the plate by Neil, giving the Bullets a chance to retake the lead in the seventh.

Alas, with the heart of the order up, the comic book makers had their worst offensive inning of the evening, as Nel and Mike popped up to first and Kevin flew out to left. WNYC's scoreless turn in the bottom half took the game to extra innings. With two outs already registered, again, Andrew lined a base hit to left in the eighth. Nothing came of it. Larry led off the ninth with a single, only the second time DC put their leadoff hitter on base in an inning. After pop-ups by Joel Press and Laura Demoruielle, Dan flared a single to left, pushing the go-ahead run into scoring position. Jeff, however, continued his hard luck ways, driving a pitch to deep center where it was run down for the final out.

Last of the ninth, WNYC first hitter rolled what appeared to be a routine ground ball to third, but Mike couldn't stay with the bad hop (off the chest, juggled momentarily, but ultimately fumbled), putting the winning run on first base. A line drive single to center moved the potential run to second base. The final batter of the game smacked a grounder to Nel's backhand side, where our shortstop was able to knock the ball down, but unable to come up cleanly with it. With Mike on the outfield side of the third base bag and the baserunner bearing down, Nel's shovel pass crossed behind the runner to the inside of the bag, where Mike couldn't reach it. The ball trickled into the WNYC dugout, allowing the runner to walk home with the win for WNYC.

The frustrating loss drops the Bullets to 6-3 (2-2 NYMSL). The next game is Thursday on North Meadow #2 against NBC Sports.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-2 / RF Dan Bertoldi - 2-2
2B Blake Kobashigawa - 0-1 / RF/2B Jeff Boison - 0-3
SS Nel Yomtov - 1-3
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3, R
LF Kevin Schwoer - 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, home run
DH/1B Sal Cipriano - 1-3
SCF Christine Napolitano - 1-3
LF Andrew Arnold - 2-3, RBI
CF/RF Vince Letterio - 0-3
C Larry Ganem - 2-3
P Joel Press - 0-3
1B/2B Laura Demoruielle - 0-3

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chamber Empty, Frustrated Bullets Fall to Forbes.

The Bullets knew coming into their third NYMSL tilt things were about to get more difficult, but having dominated Newsweek/Daily Beast in the first two games of the league season their confidence was soaring. Their latest opponent (Forbes), though, were looking for some payback after being shutout on the season series last year (which contributed to them missing the playoffs in their inaugural league season). Frustrating DC with great defense all night, they got that payback with an 8-5 victory over the comic book makers.

DC got off to a decent start with three consecutive singles from Neil Hiremath, Nel Yomtov, and Kevin Schwoer that plated the Bullets' first run. A fly out and fielder's choice (by a returning Andrew Arnold) set up the first of many frustrating plays. Team manager Sal Cipriano roped a line drive that was destined for the left field line, and probably 2 RBI's, but was denied with a nice snare by the Forbes third baseman. A heavily stacked top of the Forbes order pushed them to the early lead in the bottom half of the inning 2-1.

In the top of the second, two fielder's choices and a ground out sandwiched two singles by Larry Ganem and Allison Klein, but none came across. Forbes was also held scoreless in the bottom half of the second.

Both teams put up two more runs each in the third. First, Nel singled and Kevin followed up with his 3rd HR of the year, a booming shot to center. Forbes to their credit answered back with 2 consecutive home runs that went under left fielder Kevin's glove and rolled away into the Riverside night.

Nel and Sal singled around an Andrew walk in the top of the third, but Forbes escaped with the bases loaded. That was the first of three straight goose eggs in the coming innings that their defense put up. Forbes struck their biggest blow of the night scoring 3 runs that ultimately put the game out of reach in the bottom of the 4th. They added one more in the bottom of the sixth to make the task all the more difficult for DC.

But the Bullets don't give up easily, and after a ground out and line out by Neil and Nel, Kevin doubled and scored on John's single. Andrew added another single which set up the final frustrating play of the night, amazingly with Sal again. The DC Manager stroked a hard grounder seemingly through the 3B/SS hole, but the SS somehow grabbed on his back heel and tried to make the play to first. John, in the meantime, scored as the ball was overthrown into the Bullets "bench" area. Sal, hearing shouts that it's "live ball" rounded first heading towards second base with Andrew starting his run to the plate. Forbes' first baseman, however, made sure that didn't happen as he recovered quickly and fired to second where the second baseman (miffed from an earlier incident) put a hard tag on Sal for the final out.

A tough battle on an unforgiving field was won by the home team on this night, but the last inning 2-out rally left the Bullets craving more. They'll have to wait till August for the rematch to get back at Forbes, but they'll be right back to NYMSL action this Monday against WNYC. That game will be played on the shock jocks' North Meadow Field #10 at 6PM.

Big offensive shout out goes to Kevin, who once again had a big night almost scoring his second cycle in a row, missing out on a triple! On the defensive side, Neil made a tremendous outstretched catch of a line drive fly to right center that saved the Bullets from further damage. 

Bullets Box:

CF Neil Hiremath 1-4 R
3B Nel Yomtov 3-4 R
LF Kevin Schwoer 3-4 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR
DH John Choi 2-4 R, RBI
SS Andrew Arnold 1-3 BB
1B Sal Cipriano 2-4 RBI
RF/2B Christine Napolitano 1-3
SC/C Joel Press 1-3
P Larry Ganem 2-3
C/RC Blake Kobashigawa 1-3
2B/RF Allison Klein 1-3  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bullets Rout Newsbeast

Thursday afternoon at Riverside Park, the DC Bullets batted around twice in the first inning, tallying seventeen runs, en route to a 27-7 blow-out win over Newsweek/Daily Beast. The victory boosts the Bullets to 2-0 in New York Media Softball League (or 2-0-2 if you want to count for the rainouts). The downside to these offense-heavy games is trying to jam in all the offensive highlights - and there were a lot. Kevin Schwoer had a 5-5 day with a cycle and 7 RBI. Sal Cipriano and John Choi had four hits each, and Vince Letterio, Mike Lorah, Christine Napolitano, Larry Ganem and Dan Bertoldi compiled three-hit afternoons, including a three triple day from Mike.

The first turn through the line-up, in the top of the first, the Bullets made only one out, and that one out only when Vince didn't realize that he didn't get a base on an overthrow of first and was tagged out while strolling to second base. The other ten batters all scored, with John, Sal and CNap collecting RBI singes (two scoring on John's hit) before Kevin clubbed a two-run triple to deep center field. After an infield single, Dan drove home a run with a line single to left and Allison Dugas-Behan legged out an infield hit to load the bases. The second time through the line-up, Neil Hiremath singled for two more runs, and Vince singled to reload the bases. Mike stroked an outside pitch into the right field corner for a bases-clearing triple. Nel added an RBI double. Two more hits loaded the bases, before CNap's fielder's choice tacked on another run - but created the second out, with John being forced at third base. Kevin's RBI double gave him half the cycle (still in the first inning), then Larry and Dan capped the explosion with run-scoring singles. Allie lined out to short to end the slaughter.

To their credit, Newsbeast did not give up. They battled back with five runs in the bottom of the first, causing a few Bullets to say that the game was far from over.

So DC got those five runs back in the second - Mike notched another triple, a one-out flare into right, scoring Neil, who'd walked leading off the frame. Nel's fly to left was deep enough to bring home the second run, before John singled, Sal doubled, and CNap, Kevin and Larry singled in sequence to plate three more runs. Newsbeast answered with one run in their half of the second, when a line-drive split the left center gap, enabling Newsbeast's first baseman to circle the bases for a solo home run.

The third started almost the same as the second. After Allie was retired, Neil drew a walk, Vince smashed a long foul fly out to left, and Mike hammered a long triple to dead center field to score Neil for the inning's only run.

Sal and CNap singled with one out in the fourth, and Kevin completed his cycle with a bullet to center field, enabling him to circle the bases and easily beating the relay throw home.

The fifth went quietly. After Allie's lead-off walk, Neil popped up to short. Vince singled to put runners on first and second, but Mike chopped a one-hopper back to the mound, forcing Allie at third, and Nel grounded hard to third base to wrap the Bullets' only scoreless inning of the evening.

Despite a quickly fading sun, the teams squeezed in a sixth inning (getting the soccer and lacrosse players off the field pushed the start time back by a solid twenty minutes). After a double by John and Sal's walk, CNap grounded to the shortstop, forcing John, and Kevin singled to load the bases. Larry's fly to left scored Sal, but after Dan singled to reload the bases, Allie grounded out to end DC's scoring for the evening.

Newsbeasts tallied one final run in the bottom of the sixth, as their second baseman lined a two-out RBI triple into the left center gap. Larry then induced a pop-up to the mound to wrap the game.

Amidst all the hitting, DC managed a few defensive standouts as well. In the fourth, Vince Letterio snared a ball inches off the turf after a long run in left field, and a diving Nel Yomtov stole a line-drive hit in sixth.

The Bullets (6-1, 2-0 NYMSL) meet Forbes next Thursday at Riverside Park in New York Media Softball League action.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 2-3, 4 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
LF/2B Vince Letterio - 3-5, R
3B/LF Mike Lorah - 3-4, 3 R, 5 RBI, BB, three triples
SS Nel Yomtov - 1-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, double, sac fly
DH John Choi - 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, double
1B Sal Cipriano - 4-4, 5 R, RBI, BB, double
SCF Christine Napolitano - 3-5, 4 R, 3 RBI
2B/LF/3B Kevin Schwoer - 5-5, 3 R, 7 RBI, double, triple, home run
P Larry Ganem - 3-4, R, 3 RBI, sac fly
RF Dan Bertoldi - 3-5, R, 2 RBI
C Allison Dugas-Behan - 1-4, R, BB