Softball - The Playoffs

Three minutes could have saved us the agony of defeat.

News 10 (6-4) vs. Mid-Michigan MRI (9-1).

The first matchup ended with a 13-3 mercy win for MRI, but that game we were missing me and Brian Hirten.  Back in the lineup we shot out to and early lead 5-3 after 1.  Our defense was a thousand times better than last game and we held an 11-8 lead going into the sixth inning.  MRI scored two in the bottom half with two outs that was tough to swallow, and if the inning had lasted another 3 minutes we'd have won on time.  But, we went to the last inning nursing a 1-run lead.  Again we scored none in the top half and made the first out in the bottom half as Andy once again snared a line drive up the middle from the pitcher's mound.  A girl we'd gotten out all game, followed by dribbling one toward third.  Andy had to throw from his knees, the ball got away and she ended up on 2nd.  The next guy blooped a single and made it to 2nd.  The next girl grounded it to short and in an instant I glanced at the runner at third and the ball went under my glove.  Which sucks, because I'd been playing the best game at short of my life until that point.  Tie game and that brought up the top of their order and he'd gotten 3 hits already.  He got another won and MRI won it 12-11.  No crying just some disappointment.

How about some end of the season awards?

Most Underrated Player - Shelley - Playing 2nd base, she started the year with three awful plays in the first inning of our first game.  But, quickly she showed that was a fluke.  She made big play after big play and was always there to cover 2nd.  At the plate, she came up with a number of 2-out hits to keep rallies alive as well.

Most Improved Player - Tie Jen Dunaski/Jason Colthorp - Jen started the year with about 8 straight strikeouts.  She was jumping and swinging at the same time which you might think isn't possible.  Let me tell you it's both possible and hideous... and not very effective.  But, by the end of the year, Jen had her first base hit - a single over the head of a first baseman a few games ago, and she's made contact just about everytime since to move runners along.  I started the year having never played shortstop since little league.  I thought I did pretty well, outside of last week when I couldn't hit the water if I fell out of the proverbial boat.  And after a mini-hitting slump mid-way I finished the season not making an out in the last 4 games.

Most Valuable Player - Ladies: Lauren Zakalik - Lauren is not only one of the few girls who can throw out a guy playing third base, she can hit the crap out of the ball.  She came through in the playoff game too with some big time hits.  Men: Chris Gervat - Chris showed off the speed in the outfield and on the base paths and had a lot of big hits.

Best Defensive Play - With apologies to Brian Hirten's off-balance force out at second on a base hit to get a guy out who refused to leave the base, this one goes to the Chef.  Jeff Proctor playing right center got all 300 pounds on his 6'3" frame moving quickly to make a sliding grab of a pop fly... and then promptly threw it over my head, but we'll cut it off at just the catch.  Matt Ondecker gets an honorable mention just for all his scoops and tag outs at first.

The other awards for Best Post-Game Drinker, Easiest Out, Best Player with a Hangover and Worst Pittsburgh Penguins fan will be handed out at the team banquet in September.  But hey, there might be more softball updates, because we're signing up for fall ball!

 

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