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.
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