Mighty Drake, Inc.

Softball - Whipping Boys - Summer/Fall '99

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Our first winning season!  Yeah!

Manager: Mo

Useful info

Here's a list of the game dates in a format that's easy to cut and paste:
Date - Time
July 19 - 6:30 - TCB - Loss 20-2
July 26 - 8:30 - Terminators - Win 8-1
Aug 2 - 7:30 - Main Street Liquid Co - Win Forfeit
Aug 9 - 7:30 - Hewlett Packard - Loss 17-6
Aug 16 - 9:30 - Killer Pecans - Win 22-10
Aug 23 - 8:30 - Sandbaggers - Loss 20-16
Aug 30 - 9:30 - Disposers - Win 13-8
Hewlett Packard
Not Necessarily the Whipping Boys
Main Street Liquid Co
Killer Pecans

July 19 - TCB - Loss 20-2

  1. 41   Scott Warren          1st
  2. 42   Drake Christensen   2nd
  3. 5     Brian Bonney          Left
  4. 99   Bruce Allsop           Short
  5. 9     Ken Bonney            Catcher
  6. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  7. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  8. 16   Ross Miller              3rd
  9. 33   Jacob Wild              Right
  10. 4     James Bonney         Right-center
Fan turnout:
1-1/2 Amys, Beth, Bill, Carole, Christy, Hanlon, Sylvia.

Mo asked everyone to show up at 5:45 to sign the roster.  Most showed up around 6:00.  Kevin managed to make it by 6:20.  In all, better than usual.  Scoo and Jay were out of town.

The other team was worse off than us.  They only had 5 at 6:25.  We're guessing half their team showed up at the other field.  It's hard to pick up ringers for the first game, because there aren't any previous games just finishing.  They picked up three ringers from the diagonal field.  We asked Ken if he wanted to play for them to bring them up to 9.  He said no, so Kevin volunteered to play for them and Ken played for us.  Then, somehow they came up with another to give them a full team.

As Scott Warren put it, our plan to tire them out by making them bat around apparently wasn't the best idea.

We couldn't tell the ringers from the normal team.  But almost all of them were incredible hitters.  One guy hit it to the top of the fence in center field.   Bruce insists that it hit a tree branch and then caromed off the top of the fence.   I couldn't really tell.  The angle and range made it real hard to judge depth.   Another guy hit one that landed three feet from the fence in right field.   When our outfield backed up they hit them short.

Our outfield had a horrible night.

Early in the game, Mo had a bad bounce.  He was lined up with the ball and it shot at least three feet to the side off the bounce.  He almost got it, anyway.   Later in the game he bobbled one but managed to make the circus catch.  The runner on second gave up on him when he saw the bobble and took off.  When we got the ball back in Scott and Bruce got Toad's attention and he threw the ball to second for the double play.

Greg dropped at least one that he should have had.  I think there were some missed grounders, too.

Jacob still has a problem of throwing the ball between people.  I don't think any of the other outfielders suffered from that this time.

Our infield was generally average.

One early play Scott said the field ump (Robby, the guy who oversees the softball leagues for the PARD) gave us an out.  Scott says he pulled off the bag and rocked back after catching the ball.  Later, Bruce snagged a grounder and made the force out at second and the throw to first.  Their runner was fast, but it looked to all of us like the throw was on time, but Robby called him safe.  I think we had one or two other bad calls in the field.

One popup was between me and Scott.  I called it early, but then he called it and he was closer.  I continued to move toward him, and then I noticed that Toad was still standing on the mound.  I ran to cover first, but Scott caught it.  Both Bruce and I reminded Toad that any hit towards first means that he covers first.

Toad had at least three strikeouts and I think only one walk.

I only had one ball hit at me.  A hot grounder to my left.  I thought I had it, but it was off the tip of my glove.  I must have taken my eye off of it.   The only other play I was part of was a grounder to Bruce who made an easy toss to me.

Our hitting was simply pathetic, though I don't remember many details.

Their right-center fielder misjudged one of Rosy's hits.  This is the same outfielder that misjudged several the last time we played them.  This hit by Rosy was a line drive, so after it got over the guy's glove it rolled to the fence.  He slowed a little at first, stumbled at second, then Bruce was slow to send him on home and he stumbled again.  Finally, the throw was on-target and the catcher positioned correctly to easily tag him on his try for home.

I was zero for three, but two were decent hits.  The first was a weak popup to short.  The second was a line drive to left-center that did result in an RBI.   The third was a great shot right up the middle that hit the pitcher in the leg.   The carom went straight to short who threw Mo out at third.

Between the actual players and the ringers, this team doesn't belong in E league.

July 26 - Terminators - Win 8-1

  1. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  2. 5     Brian Bonney          Left
  3. 41   Scott Warren          1st
  4. 99   Bruce Allsop           Short
  5. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  6. 42   Drake Christensen   2nd
  7. 16   Ross Miller             Right-center
  8. 33   Jacob Wild             Catcher
  9. 2     Kevin Spaeth           Right
  10. 45   Jay Owens              3rd
  11. 4     James Bonney         DH
Fan turnout:
Amy, Catherine, Christy.

Woo hoo!  A win.  Generally, a decent game.

The other team's hitting pretty much sucked.  Almost everything was right at someone.

Toad had a good game pitching.  I think two strikeouts and no walks.  He also had two hit at him.  The first one there were runners on first and second.  The ball was almost straight down at the ground.  Toad thought that it took so long to get to him that he had to go after the batter at first.  He probably had time to make the throw to third.  That one ended up not costing us.  He had another chopper with nobody on that he got.

The outfield did a good job.  On one play, Kevin was charging to the left after a short hit.  He couldn't make the catch, but tried to get it on the hop.  It was a tough play to make on a dead run and he ended up booting it.  I don't think it cost us anything, and it's always better to err to the aggressive.  But Rosy was lined up on it and Kevin probably should have let it go.  I think they talked it over after the play.

One grounder to Brian, Bruce called for the throw to third.  I think that was a mistake.  Bruce thought Brian hesitated on his throw.  I didn't see that.   It just looked to me like the ball took forever to get to Brian, even though he charged it.  Because of the throw to third the batter got to second easily.

Bruce was commenting on the screwballs that were being hit to him.  He had three or four line shots.  The first one popped out of his glove, but the runner had given up on it so he made the play.  His first few throws to first were right on target.   Late in the game he had one overthrow to first.  They had a runner on third who went for home.  Scott made a great throw to Jacob and everyone thought Jacob made the tag.   Our fans think the ump gave the guy a mercy run.  We got robbed of our shutout.

I only had one ball hit to me.  A line drive that I thought I had easily.  As I crouched down to get my glove at a good angle I ended up putting a light right behind it.  So it tipped off the end of my glove.  There was one other on the far side of second base that I might have dove for, but I don't think I would have made the throw.

Our hitting was okay, though it could have been better.  Against this team we should have had a higher score.  Especially since they only had nine.  We nearly hit around the first inning, which we should have kept up.  The other team only had one nine-player error.  A hit to right-center that the right fielder nearly made at a dead run.  Most right-center fielders would have gotten it.  On another play, the shortstop made a diving play at a line drive over second.  He laid out completely and almost caught a snow cone.  A Sportscenter clip.

On one play, Rosy was on first when there was a popup to shallow center that ended up getting dropped..  Fortunately they took awhile to get a handle on the ball so Rosy got to second.  He was headed back to first and nearly there when the ball got to the outfielder.  Bruce and I suggested the he should have held about 1/3 of the way to second to watch the catch.  Rosy thought he had plenty of time to get to second, but he would have been thrown out easily if they had come up with the ball right away.

Bruce got a tater.  He put it between right and center all the way to the fence.

I hit two for four.  My first was a weak popup to short. The second a popup to the catcher.  I think that catcher had two or three tonight that he caught.  One was to center field.  They threw for third so I got to second easily.  Toad was congratulating me, so I pointed out to him that was one of my standard decision actions.   I think it was my third at-bat that was a line drive to center.  The outfielder misjudged it and it got over him.  Fortunately I had dug pretty hard to first.  I only slowed up a little to watch the catch.  Because of my charge to first I was able to go all the way for a home run.  Rosy said that he thought I had slowed up between second and third.  I told him that I'm simply slow.  I heard people telling me I could slow up about the time I got to third.  I'm slow enough that I went ahead and ran hard all the way.

August 2 - Main Street Liquid Co. - Win Forfeit

The other team only had seven players, and they didn't even try to drum up some ringers.  That was annoying.

We had to scramble to find people.  Mo and Greg let everyone know a week early that they wouldn't be there, so that was cool.  Then Brian injured his wrist but got word to us on Friday (responding to my confirmation email.)  Kevin never did tell anyone that he was out of town.  That's four of our outfielders.  Rosy got a friend for short so Bruce could play outfield.   Andy was planning on being there just for insurance, anyway.  We were going to put Rosy in LF, Bruce in LC, me in RC, and Andy in RF.

In the end, we just had batting practice.  Judging from my performance shagging those flies, it's a good thing the team wasn't counting on me.  I took my eye off of almost everything and dropped all except a couple.

August 9 - Hewet Packard - Loss 17-6

  1. 16   Ross Miller             Right-center
  2. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  3. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  4. 99   Bruce Allsop           Short
  5. 4     James Bonney         Left
  6. 42   Drake Christensen   2nd/Sub
  7. 33   Jacob Wild             Catcher
  8. 45   Jay Owens              3rd
  9. 41   Scott Warren          1st
  10. 2     Kevin Spaeth           Right

          0     Brian Bonney          Sub/2nd

Fan turnout:
Amy, Bill, Carole, Christy, Deb, Hanlon, Jacob's dad, Ken, Silvia

Woo hoo!  We beat the spread!  Too bad we haven't gotten little trophies to hand out.  Hmm, here's an idea for the inscription: "Trophy Hound Champions of the Richardson PARD Couch Potato Softball League.  Move up next season "

Given the competition, our overall play was pretty good (except me.)  The other team did an incredible job of hitting to the gaps.  Almost all of the fly balls were hit precisely between two outfielders.  Many were light taps short of the outfield.   Most catches were made on the run.  Overall, the outfield did a good job.   Though Greg needs to be a bit quicker about throwing the ball instead of running it in.  When does make a throw, he does it from a dead run, which makes for a weak throw, and often off target.

Our infield didn't have a lot of plays to even try at, except me and I blew almost all of them.  I had a busy night.  The first inning I had a hard grounder hit a little to my left.  I was so confident of making the play that I didn't get in front of it.  I reached down and let it under my glove.  I think that's the one my mom got a picture of, below.  A couple of plays later was a hot grounder right at me.  I moved towards it a couple of steps and then it tipped off the end of my glove to go between my legs.  Another was a line shot to my left that I thought I had, but didn't even touch.  One during my last inning before switching with Scoo, I dove for one that went over second and it took a funny hop over top of me, so that one doesn't count.  I also tried for one that dropped into no-man's land but couldnt' get to it.  And there were a few others that I couldn't get to.   Rosy sent me an email telling me that he got really winded chasing after all of the gournders I let through.

PuffOfDirtS99.jpg (47546 bytes) The puff of dirt on the right of the picture is the ball going past me.

I did actually stop one during the game.  With a runner on first, I bobbled the ball so I couldn't make the play to second, but I did get the guy on first.

I was even missing most of the throws in from the outfield.  Early in the game, they hit one over Kevin's head.  I ran out for the relay and as I was settling in place I knew it was going to come out of the sun.  I managed to make the catch, but my throw was short and landed in a really soft sand and just dribbled in.  I don't think it was in time, anyway.  I think this picture is that throw.

LooksImpressiveS99.jpg (69098 bytes)  The throw sure looks more impressive here than it ended up being.

I did manage to back up Bruce on a throw from left that might have been embarressing if it had dribbled on by.

Bruce said he was getting annoyed at the batters taking their turn at first and then making a lazy walk back, so he made a try for one of them.  He said he that Scott couldn't get to it and the runner ended up getting beaned.  Almost got him, though.

One relay in, the throw was on target to Jacob, in time, and he caught it, but when he tagged the guy the ball popped loose.  An object lesson that he needs to use both hands.

Scoo had one hit right to him that took a funny hop just before it got to him and ended up ricocheting off his glove and arm straight up into the air.  There's a trench that runs across the infield between first and second angling toward the center of the infield that makes grounders really treacherous.

Toad was down on himself for not getting any of the grounders that were hit near him.   We keep telling him that the only way he's going to get one of those if they're hit to his glove side, right at his glove.  Well, that ended up happening in the last inning.  An incredibly hard line drive right into his glove.  The runner on first had taken off, and Toad had the presence to make the quick throw to Scott before he could get back.  A great play.  He also pitched well.  No walks, I think.

Our hitting was okay.  We ended most innings with a couple of people on base.

The ump was allowing incredibly tall pitches as strikes.  That forced us to swing at some really bad pitches.  Mo even whiffed one.  I don't remember any noteworthy hits.  Their infield did misjudge the hop of several grounders.   That's how I got my one hit.

We did have a running mistake.  As Scoo put it, he was evicted from second.   Kevin hit one deep and I guess they bobbled the catch.  Scoo held at second but apparently Kevin didn't watch to see what Scoo did.

It's pretty frustrating to have a decent game and still  have to spend so much time in the field watching the other team's incredible hitting.  That's not what E league is supposed to be about.

August 16 - Killer Pecans - Win 22-10

  1. 2     Kevin Spaeth           Left
  2. 33   Jacob Wild              Right
  3. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  4. 42   Drake Christensen   1st
  5. 45   Jay Owens              3rd
  6. 0     Scott O'Neal            2nd
  7. 4     James Bonney         Right-center
  8. 16   Ross Miller              Short
  9. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  10. 67   Ken Bonney             Catcher
Fan turnout:
Amy, Andy, Christy

Apparently this is the Killer Pecans' first season, and it shows.  We got a lot of extra bases from their fielding errors.

Their pitcher was a fun guy.  Lots of joking between pitches.  Their outfielders dropped a few that they were all set up for and just muffed.  And when they did get the ball in, they were nearly as inaccurate as our outfielders, but not quite.  Their infield play was about on par with ours.  They made a few plays, but even the hits they got to they tended to knock down and fumble with for awhile.   And the short overthrew first a few times.

OTOH, our hitting was pretty decent.  We hit around in the first inning.  We were hitting to the gaps in the infield and not popping up much to the outfielders.   They were playing us very short and I kept urging our hitters to go for it and try to put one over their heads.  I think Kevin was the only person who managed to do that.  Later in the game they played him way back.

Similarly, there was a huge gap in center field for most of the game.  I was also hoping someone (like maybe me) would punch one through the middle.

One of the things about a high scoring game like this, there were so many hits that it's hard to remember any particular hits.  On the plus side, we finally got some practice for the on-deck hitter acting as base coach at home.

We had some decent base running.  The other team was mis-throwing often enough, or throwing to third or home in a vain try for our lead runners that we had a lot of people end up on second.  I don't think any of our extra-base attempts ended in an out.

Ken did make one mistake on the base paths.  I was coaching first and nobody was in front of him.  He and I had gone over all the possibilities, and apparently his brain crossed a couple.  Kevin hit a hopper to third and Ken took off.  When the third baseman caught it, Ken said he had this overwhelming feeling that if he didn't get back to first that he'd be out.  We were all yelling at him to go on to second, but he got all the way back to first about the time Kevin got there.  I think the throw was off-target and he ended up making it to second safely.  No shame in that, because several of us have done the same thing in the past.

My hitting was mediocre.  I think two for five.  My first time up I chased after a low pitch and got lucky and punched it up the middle.  My second time up, still in the first inning, I had a really sweet pitch that I popped up to the catcher.   Arrgh.  I don't remember where I hit the next one, but I was on first when there was a popup to right-center.  I led off about 1/3 of the way and I could hear Mo telling me to come back to first.  The guy dropped it and I had to scramble to get to second before the throw.  For my other two at-bats I was really trying to crush the ball on the first pitch, and then when I got behind I'd try to take it easy on the next one.  One I popped to the pitcher and another was a nice line drive, but it was right to the left-center fielder.

Since I made a lot of third outs I was third base coach fairly often.  Rosy says that I'm not loud enough in my instructions.  I need to work on that.

The field ump was not very good and he cost us a couple of outs.  One in particular, I was coaching third, so I had a good angle on Scoo running to second.   It looked like Scoo made it by a couple of inches to me, and Scoo said he was certain he made it from the sound of the ball hitting the glove.  But the ump made the call so quick that it was obvious that he had made up his mind before Scoo ever got there.  There were a couple more like that.  One was a throw, I think from Jay to me at first, that was pretty close, but I thought we got him in time.  One other time, the field ump was standing near second and made another quick call on a tag Jay tried at third.  I questioned the plate ump because he had a better angle, but he upheld the call.

Our fielding was mediocre.

Our outfielders had an awful night getting the ball in.  Several throws that were in between people.  Even some that were caught were more luck than throws that were anywhere close to the target.  One from left-center in particular was funny.   The throw to Rosy was over his head, Scoo was close to Rosy and couldn't react in time to Rosy's miss, the ball hit the ground and Toad misjudged the bounce and it got past him and I got down on one knee to get the dribbler and it went under my glove and between my legs.  Three backups weren't enough.

OTOH, the actual fielding in the outfield was pretty good.  Jacob managed to make life exciting on one catch that he nearly misjudged.  Mo had to charge a few and he made the catches.  On one play in particular all of the infield commented on the collapsing outfield where Greg and Jacob were positioned nicely to back up Mo if he didn't get to the ball on his charge.

I think we only had a few infield plays.

One Rosy overthrew me and the runner went on to second.  If the ball had bounced off the fence I might have been able to throw him out, but it got stuck at the base of the fence.  That might have been Rosy's only throw to me.  In the first inning, he and Jay teamed up to get two at third.  For the third out, it was a high infield fly in front of Scoo.  Rosy had the better angle on it and he made the catch on the run.   His outfield training helped him there.  Everyone was impressed.

Toad got one, and he didn't look the runner back at third.  But he did make the throw to me.  Scoo had a hot grounder that he handled and got to me.  Early on I had a really hot one-hopper right at me that I got and ran to first.  And that was about it for me.  There were several times I should have been backing home plate, but I never thought of it during the play.  I got lucky and that never cost us.

Oh, yeah.  Mo wanted me to highlight his hitting performance.  If I remember what he told me, he got 12 hits in 8 at-bats, including 9 home runs and 56 runs batted in.   He called his shots and hit so hard at each player on the other team (including the catcher) that they were intimidated and dropped the ball.  On defense, I think he had two single-handed triple plays, too.  Overall, an average night for the best hitter in the league.

August 23 - Sandbaggers - Loss 20-16

  1. 42   Drake Christensen   2nd
  2. 45   Jay Owens              3rd
  3. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  4. 99   Bruce Allsop            Short
  5. 16   Ross Miller              Right-center
  6. 0     Scott O'Neal           DH
  7. 2     Kevin Spaeth           Left
  8. 33   Jacob Wild              Right
  9. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  10. 41   Scott Warren            1st
  11. 5     Brian Bonney           Right/Sub
4     James Bonney         Sub/Right
Fan turnout:
Amy, Amber, Andy, Beth, Betzi, Christy, Kevin's girlfriend(?)

We lost a heartbreaker to the trophy hounds.  Our score shows that we were hitting.  Andy contends that two fewer errors and we would have had them.  I think we were tied or leading at the end of each inning until the last.  I'll bet we had them sweating.

I just have to start off with Toad's two taters.  Twice he punched it up the middle, and between the dead run for the line drive and the funny hops they got through.   Both times he hustled hard and made it around.

Bruce got one home run, plus a triple that he turned into four when they blew the throw to home.  He had one double that he turned into a triple when the left fielder made a lazy throw to the cutoff man.  That one was really close, though.

Kevin finally managed to spank one down the left field line.  Even with his incredible pull, the left fielder was leaving a huge amount of space to the line at the end of the game.  If Kevin could have flattened his hit out and gone his normal direction that could easily have been a home run.  Though, tonight he managed to pull one so far foul that it went into the dugout of the adjoining field.

I remember Jay had a few perfect singles.  He's becoming very consistent at that.

Next to the last inning, we had runners at second and third when Bruce came up.   The pitcher just pointed at him and said he wanted to walk him.  That put Rosy up with the bases loaded.  He said he wasn't trying to smash it, but he ended up popping up.  Too bad, because it would have been sweet to put a few more on the boards.

I was the runner on third for that hit.  To get there, I hit a perfect little base hit right down the center.  They were playing me pretty shallow, so if I had taken my normal swing it likely would have gone right to one of them.  So I took a very easy 50-60% swing at it and dropped it on the grass just behind second.  Exactly what I wanted to do.  Very satisfying.  My first two at-bats were weak popups.  My third was a single to right-center.  They threw to third, so I made it to second easily.

Once again, the many runs gave our on-deck hitters lots of practice coaching runners headed for home.  They did a good job.

Their fielding was not quite as good as their standings would lead you to believe.   Their outfielders were pretty good.  Their left fielder made a shoestring catch that stole one from someone, can't remember who that was.  Their shortstop had a pretty quick release, but his accuracy wasn't all that good.  He threw most either too high or too low, and we had at least four hustling players make it on when the first baseman dropped the ball or couldn't handle it.  I was expecting them to throw behind our players and try to pick us off, but we never really gave them any opportunities to do that.  Late in the game the shortstop also got several lucky hops that were chest high and easy to handle.  Ours always seem to be the weird hoppers.

Our fielding was generally better than usual, with a few exceptions.  I think we only had one overthrow of first.  Jay had a couple of tags at third.  I think one of those came from Scott after we had made the play at first.  Jacob nearly had a tag at home, but never really got a handle on the ball before going for the tag.

Our outfielders are still missing the cutoff man too often.  I don't think any ended up getting completely lost, but several were off-target.  Bruce kept trying to get them to back up, and they still had a few hit over their heads.  They got to most of them, but even when they did they didn't have time to set up.  Greg had one hit the pocket of his glove and go right through.  It's probably about time for him to buy a new glove.

Rosy had one early on that he felt he could have charged and gotten to.  From my point of view it looked like he would have needed an awfully quick jump to have gotten to it.  Late in the game he made a throw from medium deep all the way to third.   The batter made it easily to second.  He feels that if the throw had been on target we might have made the play.  I think that almost anything in right field should go to second to hold the batter.  Going for third is a very low-percentage throw, and it always gives the batter a walk to second.

Toad snagged a must-catch that was nearly at his head.  He made the turn to try to pick off a runner, but none of them had time to get far from the bag.  He had two or three strike-outs, and I think only one walk.

That walk was their clean-up hitter.  Jay says he got in his head.  Jay called that he wasn't swinging on the last pitch and after it was a ball he asked Jay if he wanted the guy to hit.

There was one swinging bunt by their slowest runner down the third base line that neither Toad nor Jay could get to.  It was about the only place in the infield the guy could have put it that would have gotten him on.  Scott managed to nail a line drive from their lefty between him and the line for the third out that inning.

I had a fairly busy night.  I've been playing farther up than I used to.   There's a ridge just outside of the base path that always makes the ball hop funny, so I want to be in front of that when going for the ball.  I let the first grounder at me get under my glove because I didn't get in front of it.  Later I knocked one down, picked it up and made the play at second.  Bruce made two throws to me.   The first was one of those that was just at the wrong height that dropped out of my glove.  I still managed to pick it up before the runner got there.  Later we had another similar play that I caught, but when I turned for the throw to first the runner was about 10 feet from the bag.  All except one player on their team was plenty fast enough that I wasn't going to turn a double play.  Late in the game their lefty hit one close to second base that I dove for and touched, but didn't actually stop.  I had several other balls come in to second to hold runners.

I had two throws from the outfield at players that were trying to turn two.  Scott did a great job of warning me they were coming in plenty of time so that I could concentrate on the catch.  Both times, I tagged too high.  The first runner I could have put out if I had gotten my glove down to the base.  Instead, I came down on his arm at the end of his slide.  The second I thought maybe I had gotten in time.   Bruce said I definitely did.  Andy screamed, "That's bullshit!" so I'm pretty sure we know what he thought.  The umpires gave a warning to Mo about Andy and Andy held his tongue the rest of the game.

In all, a fun, close-fought game.  Rosy said he really enjoyed himself and was really in the game.  Mo got really pissed that we ended up dropping it at the end.   I think most of us are happy that we came so close to putting down the trophy hounds of the league.  That would have been so sweet.  As it is, we'll just have to be satisfied with soundly beating the spread.

August 30 - Disposers - Win 13-8

  1. 2     Kevin Spaeth           Left
  2. 5     Brian Bonney           Right-center
  3. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  4. 99   Bruce Allsop           Short
  5. 4     James Bonney         Right
  6. 33   Jacob Wild              Catcher
  7. 41   Scott Warren           1st
  8. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  9. 42   Drake Christensen   3rd
  10. 0     Scott O'Neal           2nd
Fan turnout:
Amy, Christy, Jacob's father, Scoo's friend(?)

Woo hoo!  Our first winning season!  And great game to end the season with.

Coming into this game, we expected a blow out.  But we weren't sure who was going to blow out whom.  Both teams looked pretty hit and miss from the standings.

We were visitors, and I think we had a couple of quick outs and then rolled in a few runs in a two-out rally.  We did that several times during the game.  A couple of quick outs and then very steady hitting and good base running to add a few more runs that inning.  In at least one inning we nearly hit around.

Bruce had one home run early, and then a triple where the throw to home got past the catcher and there wasn't anyone backing up home.  The catcher really scrambled when he got the ball and if Bruce hadn't been so quick he might have caught him.  Later in the game, Bruce and I were commented on how short the right fielder was playing.   Bruce managed to place one a little behind the guy right on the right field line.

I think Toad managed to punch another line drive through.  If not for a homer, at least for a few bases.

I made a lot of third outs, so I coached third base a lot.  On one, I sent Greg on home and was telling him to hustle.  If they had thrown at him it would have been pretty close, but because he was hustling they didn't take the chance.  Any slower and they would have tried for him.

My hitting sucked.  I think I went 0 for 4.  My first was a weak grounder where they got me by a couple of inches.  My second felt great coming off the bat, but was a line drive to short left that the left fielder tracked down.  Everyone commented on how he got such a quick jump on the ball that it looked like he was moving before the ball even left the bat.  After that, Bruce and I decided I should try the 50% swing like last week.  Doing that, I popped one up to the infield, and the other went straight to the short stop.  I thought he was going to catch it on the fly, but he pulled up at the last second.

Toad also thought the guy was going to catch it and apparently pulled up.  He said that if he had kept running and slid that he might have made it.  It's good to see that he's critiquing himself and learning.  He's become a much smarter runner than a few seasons ago.

The other pitcher walked a lot of people.  The ump liked the ball really flat and had a really small strike zone.  Toad did a pretty good job of adjusting and I think only walked one or two.  He also struck one guy out.  And Mo pointed out that even though he was building 3-2 counts, he was getting them to swing on that last pitch.

Our fielding was mostly pretty good.  They had some power hitters, but they didn't have the discipline to take base hits.  So our outfielders played them deep and had plenty of opportunities to catch the ball.  And their throws in were almost all on target.  There was only one that would have landed in the middle of the infield if I hadn't snagged it.

Our infield did pretty good.  Bruce had a couple of throws to first, though one did end up in the dirt.  He also caught a high infield fly that was in front of me.   I started to go for it, but he had the better angle.

Toad had one hit back at him that he had a little trouble handling.  Bruce told him he had plenty of time, but his toss was so relaxed that it barely made it in time.   On another play, Toad ended up with the ball with a hitter just getting to second.   I guess it was an overthrow from the outfield.  Bruce was trying to tell him to hold the ball, but he tossed it in the general direction of second.  The runner was standing on second between Bruce and Scoo and the ball went pretty much over his head.   The runner got to third on that play.

I was playing third because Jay was out of town.  I had a fairly busy night.   In the second inning, I watched a batter take a long look down the third base line.   Sure enough, he put it on the grass behind third, about six inches from the line.   I almost got to it.  I did catch one infield fly early in the game, though.

They also pounded about five or six between me and Bruce.  Finally, near the end of the game there was a chopper that I charged and caught at about waist high on a dead run.  As Scott Warren pointed out at the beginning of the game, from third, when I charge the ball I'll be moving toward first.  That came to mind as I caught the ball.   After the catch I looked up I could see the hitter really moving.  I kept running towards first and dug the ball out of my glove, luckily on the correct stride to be balanced for a strong, accurate throw to first.  Apparently the play looked really good from the field.

On one play, the ball was hit to Bruce with runners on first and second.  I set up at third and it looked like Bruce was going to make a fairly easy throw.  He says that something crossed in his brain and instead of throwing to my glove hand he threw at the ground and across the runner's path.  Luckily, the runner saw me setting up and assumed that he was out, so he let up.  If he had kept charging and slid he probably would have broken up the play.  Instead, I got down in front of the ball, but with one toe on the bag.  I had a little trouble getting handle on the ball, but did pick it up at least a step before the runner got there.  Surprisingly, the plate ump called the guy safe.  I pointed to my foot and said that it was on the bag.   Then I looked and pointed to the field ump to challenge the call.  Meanwhile, the runner had continued past the bag and was heading for the dugout.  I heard his team start to yell at the guy to get back to the bag, but by the time it sank in, the guy was already there.  The two umps conferenced for a couple of seconds and then called the guy out.  It was the right call.

In closing I think I'll share the words of our tumultuous manager, Mo:

Ode to the NNT Whipping Boys:

As I sit back applying a poultice to an almost certain fatal leg injury (and if not fatal, at least gangrenous; and if not gangrenous, at least very raw), I stretch way back into time and memory to remember the season that was Summer '99.

Ah, what a good year it was. Four-and-three-our first winning season ever. The Boys of Summer showing the talent that everyone (well, they at least) knew they had. The Coach; the finest manager they ever had. It was a magical season. That last game; a symbol for which they all stood-Grit.

Many times during that fateful game the antagonists thrashed themselves upon the Will of the team known as NNT Whipping Boys, only to be turned away time and again. Smashing line-drives, stifling defense, and a kinship born of six frustrating years of losing seasons washed away the self-loathing and doubt that had plagued this team throughout its rough journey. In the end, the feeling of a goal achieved and the confidence won by this team was the most satisfying trophy of all.

Useful info:
Softball Mailing List
Current season at Sports Standings
KXAS weather radar
WFAA weather radar
Commentary for previous seasons:
Summer '00 3-4 Scott Warren came so close
Spring '00 5-2 I'm the greatest manager this team has ever seen! *
Winter/Spring '00 1-6 Scoo's "run-producing clusters" were no match for the sandbaggers
Fall '99 3-4 Rosy couldn't match Mo's record
Summer/Fall '99 4-3 Our first winning season!
Spring/Summer '99 3-4 The Golden Boy debacle
Spring '99 2-5 The season of taglines
Fall '98 0-7 Toad probably won't manage again
Summer '98 1-6 Couldn't put the Sharks away

* Okay, maybe not

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