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2012-366 Day 273 – Dodger Blog Softball Tournament II

Well that was fun. Sorry, you can’t see my smile as I type and I’m avoiding emoticons for this post, but I’ll repeat: that was fun. I’ll admit to being a bit nervous going into this tournament since I had such a good time at the last one but had to play on a different team this time. Not knowing anyone (at least last time I had Brian with me) and not having heard from the team, I had no idea what I was walking into. But I suppose I should start at the beginning of the day.

I arose around 7:20 for our 10 a.m. game since I didn’t know how Carmageddon II was going to affect the drive out to West Covina. I also had to stop for gas and groceries to donate before heading off, as well as picking up some breakfast (Subway sausage, egg, and cheese on flat bread if you were curious). I had everything gathered by around 8:15 and hopped onto the 118 to join up with the 210 (I decided to avoid the 5 in case there was any overflow from the 405 closure). All went well, as I made it to the field around 9:10. After finishing my sandwich (since they don’t allow outside food in the park) and getting my Powerades confiscated (since they don’t allow outside drinks other than water, which, thankfully, I also got. Dumb.), I dropped off the groceries and checked in. A large amount of my team had already signed in, so I went to our first field (the Fenway Park replica) to find them.

Turns out the first large group of people I ran across next to the field was my team (“Which team are you guys?” “Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness” “I’m with you guys.” “Cool.”), quick introductions were made and everyone was very nice. Stories were exchanged, game time drew near, and we warmed up. Unfortunately at the end of warm ups my elbow strain from karate Thursday flared up again (I’m pretty sure it’s a strain, though it may be a sprain or tear. Going to take it easy this week) and I knew I had to pace myself if I was going to be good for multiple games and the church game tomorrow. I wound up switching off with another guy at second for most of the day, although there were times that having me at full strength in right field or right center would have been advantageous. I did play the last inning of the day there when someone else wanted second and caught the one ball hit to me, though I did not try and throw the guy out at home tagging from third (a. I had no chance to get him, b. I would have hurt my arm more, and c. we were down by about 20 runs at the time). He was actually at third in the first place on a hit past the right fielder the at bat before that I backed up and had to throw in from the far corner, so my arm was already feeling it. Needless to say, I iced my elbow when I got home.

Our first game got off to a decent enough start, and we had a small lead going into the third inning. I grounded out to short in my first at-bat after hitting a flare over first base just foul (I for some reason thought I had tipped my hand and wanted to pull it so they wouldn’t over play me next time. I shouldn’t have worried about it). A couple errors let the other team score four runs to take over the lead, and then the next inning they cracked it open with a bunch of runs. I got a hit my only other at bat (to right field), but we couldn’t get more runs across and wound up losing 14-3.
Stats: 1-2

Since there were only 11 teams this time (versus 14 last time) the schedule was a little more spread out and we had an hour between each of our games. Needless to say, we were a bit down but we knew we had far more potential than we showed. Talking and bonding before our next turn, we watched the other games in progress. Finally it was time for our next game and we sent our coach out for the coin flip. Apparently he was 0 for 3 in the previous tournament and was already 0 for 1 today. Naturally, he lost it again and we were once again the visitors. That actually suited us as we exploded for 12 runs in the first inning. The offensive onslaught continued, so much so that it all kind of runs together now.

Defensively, however, this was the game where my star really . . . shined? Fell out of the sky? Blew up? I’ll let you determine which. Oddly enough there were three double play opportunities when I was playing second, and each of them went awry in a different way. In the first one the throw from third base pulled me off the bag and in all the commotion the relay throw to first was late. It was only when I turned around that I realized the runner had gone past the bag and I could have just turned around and tagged him. The second time the throw from short was good and I turned and jumped back to get the throw off . . . which went about half way down the base path and started bouncing toward first. Between jumping and my bad arm, the throw did not have my usual gusto on it. Good for us and unfortunate for the other team, the runner was one of their slower ones and so, three bounces later, the second out was recorded at first. The third double play effort started when the shortstop knocked a ball down up the middle and went to throw it to me from the ground. The ball never left the ground, however, and I had to dive to the side to stop the ball from scooting by. I managed to stop it with my glove and reach it with my bare hand, then slammed my foot down on the base to record the out. I wound up spread eagle face down on the ground with the ball in my right hand and my right foot on top of the base. But we got the out, right? The final tally was 23-7, and we moved to 1 and 1 on the day with a chance a the playoffs (the top six teams would get to play in the playoffs).
Stats: 3-3, 3 RBIs, 3 Runs scored

Knowing that we had to win the next game for our best chance at making the playoffs, we settled in to wait for our next game with our pizzas and soda, checking the other scores and trying to figure it all out. When our wait was finally done, we proceeded down to the field and our coach finally won a coin toss! We would get to be the home team for our only time that day. This was our closest game of the day, so we’ll fast forward to the last few innings. We were down 12-11 with a few minutes left and managed to tie it up at 12 on a diving play where the ball managed to get away from the fielder. We held them through the top of the inning and I came up with one out and runners on first and second. I hit a ball down the first base line that the first baseman knocked down. We were in a race for the bag and I beat her there, unfortunately the umpire back at home plate did not agree. That allowed them to intentionally walk the next batter and get the final force out.

We were now out of time and I got my first taste of international tie breaker rules. A runner starts at second base with no outs, putting the onus on the defense to prevent them from scoring. We actually managed to do that, and came up in the bottom of the inning with our own runner on second. We loaded the bases with one out and our lone female batter up. She tapped back to the pitcher, who was unable to make a clean transition to get the runner at home. As the ball rolled towards third, the winning run crossed the plate and we had a walk off win!
Stats: 1-2, 2 RBIs, 1 Run, Sacrifice Fly (should have been 2-2)

That win allowed us to sneak into the playoffs as the final, sixth seed. We were playing the third seed (the first two seeds got a bye) and things looked bad as we couldn’t get anything going and were down 5-0. My first at-bat was a two out single which ended with me stranded on third as we left the bases loaded. Things turned in the fourth inning, however and after five innings we were up 13-5. We ran a few more runs across, then withstood a string of hits in our opponent’s last at-bats to finally lock down the final three outs and win 16-9. One fun item, I found the other Dodger Thoughts alumni from the first tournament, she was our pitcher and was pitching for this team. I don’t think she remembered me, and I did feel bad lining a shot right back up the middle off her glove (although I suppose I shouldn’t have since I was automatically out for hitting a line drive though the “box”, an approximately five foot square area around the pitching area which you can’t hit line drives through).
Stats: 2-3, 2 RBIs, 1 Run

Much like the first tournament, we met our match with a powerful team in the semi-finals. Our offense never got on track, and theirs never got off track, and we were mercy ruled 23-2 after five innings.
Stats: 0-2

We took a team picture on the Dodger Stadium replica field (oddly enough, we played five games and none of them were on the Dodger field – 3 at Fenway, 2 at Tigers Stadium – which was the maximum possible because if we had made the finals, it would have been at the Dodger Stadium replica) and said our goodbyes. I grabbed an ice cream drumstick, reclaimed my confiscated Powerades, and loaded the car for home. Thankfully traffic cleared up after Pasadena and I was able to get home relatively quickly.

I’ve had a great experience with this tournament in both of its iterations with two different teams, and I will gladly keep playing in it for as long as it is around. Looking forward to next March when we think the next tournament will take place. I’m pretty sure this team will still be around then, so I’m definitely excited to play with the same guys (and girl) again.
Total Stats: 7-12, 7 RBIs, 5 Runs

Weight: 226 Loss: 14 lbs – Running Yearly Mileage: 304 miles
Softball Stats: Game 1 – 3/3 (1.000), 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI Season – 3/3 (1.000), 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI
Fitocracy Level: 26 ID: disciplev1

Posted in Matt 2012-366, Matt General. Tagged with , , .

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  1. M said

    How do you remember all these game details without keeping the score sheet? What recall!

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