Lauren and Maria trying to control the pregame excitement
The Avery Eye Care/News 10 team was supposed to be off this week, but we played a make-up game. On Mother's Day, Buddies Tavern couldn't field a team, but instead of taking a forfeit win, we offered to reschedule. Because, come on, who wants to take a forfeit win in a co-ed softball league? Not us. And there seemed to be nothing to worry about anyway since Buddies was having a rough year so far and this would be their second game of the day.
After giving up a run in the first, the offense went to work. Lauren Zakalik hit her way on to set the stage for Chris Gervat's wake-up call for the Buddies defense. He smacked a line drive over a drawn-in outfield and easily cruised around the bases.
Chris eyes the pitch before smacking a homerun to center
This game was unusual from the get-go, but most notably because of the umpire. He doesn't work this league much and wasn't very versed in the rules. We had to explain a couple and he made some very odd calls, starting with calling Tori Steingreaber out for stepping on the plate as she crushed a line drive single. Say what? I've never seen an ump call that in co-ed softball. Later, he called a girl on their team out for throwing the bat and warned her if she did it again she would be ejected. Two pitches into the next batter he declared he didn't see the bat thrown and awarded her first base and took an out off the board. Say what? He also had a moving strike zone that didn't endear himself to the pitchers.
At any rate, the game went to plan for the first few innings with us holding an 8-4 lead going to the top of the 5th inning. Buddies proceeded to take advantage of nice hitting, a couple fielding errors and a couple walks to take an 11-8 lead. The inning didn't end until I made an over-the-shoulder catch in short centerfield.
Proctor connects for an RBI double in the 4th inning
In the bottom half we responded. Matt Ondecker kept his hot hitting alive and Rob Z. came up with a big hit to right as we pushed across 3 runs to tie the game.
The ump announced the 6th inning would be our last and we took the field. Buddies was game and able move a player around to take the lead 12-11.
Right about this time, the guy who runs the league shared a little wisdom with our manager, Jeff.
"This could go down as one of the worst managerial decisions of all time."
I'd agree. Taking a win off the board against a team SUPPOSEDLY inferior only to lose would be tough to take. But like I said two weeks ago, I'd rather lose than win a game by forfeit in a rec league.
Tense moments on the bench as we tried to come back
To the bottom of the 6th we went with Andy Pro, Maria Tocco and Me on the lineup card. Andy continued his great game at the plate with a double to center. Impeded slightly by the first baseman, Pro made it to 2nd just in time. Maria, in her glorious return to the team had a chance to tie it, but for the second time, struck out looking. She was killing it in pregame too. Anywho, down one with Andy on second, I ripped one down the left field line-- foul. Next pitch-- ball. Next pitch-- a grounder down the left field line-- fair. Andy turned and headed for home as I came upon second. I saw the throw headed home, so I made it to third. Shelley came up with Jeff on deck, so I was feeling pretty good with one out. That was until the ump stopped the game to declare we were tied and I was the winning run. Thanks. No pressure or anything, Shel. But Shelley came through again with a grounder to second-- plenty of time for me to sprint home and give us a 13-12 win.
Play of the game: Andy heading home in the 3rd and plowing the pitcher who, covering the plate, stepped in the base line. He dropped it and Andy reached out to touch the plate.
So a big sigh of relief from the squad as we shook hands and high-tailed it to Reno's for the 3rd period of the Wings game. Next week it's 6:15 at the East Lansing Aquatic Center if you care to join us.
Happy days after an exciting 13-12 win!