Friday, May 31, 2013

Can't Win for Losing

I don't usually use this space to loudly call out problems I see on the team, but one clear trend this season has been worrisome. Turnout at McGees has been pathetic. Absolutely awful. Thursday night, Andrew, Taylor, CNap and I were there - that's it. Four Bullets and Thursday night was a pretty good night compared to some other Thursdays this summer. This is shameful behavior. What would LP say?

I'm going to say it now: the team that drinks together, wins together. So think about your priorities.

As for the game, by New York Media Softball League rules, the DC Bullets scored a big triumph over WNYC Thursday night. With only eight players, and only one woman, WNYC could not field a full roster and DC took the win via forfeit. Of course, we all just want to have fun, so after the forfeit was agreed upon, we played anyway, with WNYC batting only eight and DC providing two fielders (whoever made the last two outs the previous half-inning) to occupy the catcher and right field spots.

The NYMSL standings may show the Bullets won on Thursday, but the play on North Meadow #2 told a different story, with WNYC's short-handed squad besting the comic book makers 7-4. WNYC smacked a few long fly balls that maybe could've been caught, but the humidity and sun certainly made tracking balls difficult. Third baseman Mike Lorah also misplayed a routine ball in the fifth that allowed a run to cross. But, for the most part, WNYC earned their runs (and with a short line-up, got their better hitters to the plate more often). DC, while facing probably the best slow-pitch pitcher they'll see all year (unbelievable stat: he struck out four batters in a slow-pitch game on Thursday!), struggled to put runners on and failed to capitalize when they did.

WNYC put DC back their heels immediately with a four-run first inning, and with manager Sal's vaunted top four batters all in attendance, the sad-sack 1-2-3 response from the Bullets in the bottom half wasn't a positive omen. Mike launched a towering fly to center for one out, before Andrew lined a bullet to third and Kevin smashed a bomb to deep left field where it was run down for the inning-ender.

Jay Kogan grounded a single through the left side to start the second, but only moved to second base on Neil Hiremath's one-out base hit. In between, Vince Letterio popped up, and after Neil's hit, Christine Napolitano and Sal Cipriano flew out.

WNYC tacked on a run in the top of the third, and Larry Ganem (pop-out), Laura Demoreuille (pop-out) and Brittany Holzherr (K) sat down in order. Both teams went scoreless in the fourth, with DC again failing to put a runner on base. Taylor Esposito swung through a third strike, Allison Klein grounded to shortstop, and Mike popped out to right field.

After watching WNYC score twice more in the fifth, the Bullets finally mustered some fight-back. With one out, Kevin and Jay singled, and Vince smashed a double to put the comic book makers on the board. Neil and CNap followed with RBI singles and a fourth run scored on an overthrow. Larry squeezed a single in between pop-ups from Sal and Laura, and DC cut the deficit to just three runs.

Alas, the score never changed over the final two frames. WNYC couldn't tack on, but Britt, Taylor and Alli went down sequentially in the sixth, and DC loaded the bases in the seventh - singles by Mike, Andrew and Vince, but all the runners were left stranded. Kevin punched out swinging, Jay smoked a bullet that was snared by the pitcher in a moment of pure self-defense, and Neil came up empty swinging at a third strike.

So the Bullets have a win in the New York Media Softball League standings. Except they still haven't actually beaten an NYMSL team, which may be a problem in the long run.

4-3 (1-2 NYMSL), DC and WNYC wrap up their regular season series on Monday, North Meadow #10, 6pm.

Bullet Box:
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3
SS Andrew Arnold - 1-3
OF/1B Kevin Schwoer - 1-3, R
LF Jay Kogan - 2-3, R
OF Vince Letterio - 2-3, R, RBI, double
OF Neil Hiremath - 2-3, R, RBI
SCF Christine Napolitano - 1-2, RBI
DH Sal Cipriano - 0-2
P Larry Ganem - 1-2
1B Laura Demoreuille - 0-2
2B/C Brittany Holzherr - 0-2
C Taylor Esposito - 0-2
2B Allison Klein - 0-2

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