Friday, September 3, 2010

The Magical Flying Unicorns sweep a double header

The Magical Flying Unicorns sweep a double header and are now 3-1 as we are already more than halfway through the season. Last week we split a double header with an 18-2 victory over POAs who were one of the worst teams I have ever seen.

Their female shortstop actually had a decent glove, but it is ridiculous to go down to one knee in the infield. That is a maneuver done in the outfield in little league. Their pitcher was so bad that she was somewhat effective. However, her defense could not catch a ball, so we killed them.

The next game was one of those games we should have won, but two great plays by their right fielder kept us from tacking on key insurance runs and the second catch from winning in walk off fashion in the 8th inning. We have gone on an impressive run lately, and we were bound to lose a game, so no big deal. If we play them again we will be motivated to win and we should have confidence knowing that we can win.

The first game this week featured a rematch with the Norc Cobras. We played them the first game of last season. We beat them 10-6 thanks to a Juice grand slam. They were horrible last year and were lucky to score 6 except that we gift wrapped them 5 unearned runs.

I have to say they are much improved and scored 4 runs in the first to take a quick lead. There were no errors either as they got lucky with some well placed hits.

T-Bear (as always click on the links and give the coach some love) led off the game with a walk and scored, and Turk plated Pitch to cut the lead in half. After the four runs in the first, our defense and Pitch took over. The rest of the game felt like a game of catch between T-Bear and Agent Bauer.

Thinking back on it I don’t think there was one play where I had to move. All were routine grounders hit right to me. The only one I moved a little bit on was the last play of the game where Bauer made a fantastic stretch to end it. This is a testament to the unhittability of Pitch's arc. The opposition can only weakly hit it to short.

The offense chipped away at the lead and then took it and never looked back. T-Bear and Turk paced it with perfect games including a home run by Turk.

The only thing that slowed the Unicorns down was the umpire. This guy was in no hurry. In between innings he briefed their mini me on how to fill out a score card. I think he also gave him the history of keeping score from the Stone Age all the way to electric score cards and now the internet.

The first lady of unicorns hurt her pretty little leg following an at bat, but gutted out the remainder of the game. In fact, she made a great catch and double play as rover with a hurt quad. We might have to change her nickname to Butkus after that display of toughness.

The next game was a much tighter affair against Hagan’s Heroes. We actually got them in order the first two innings, and I was thinking this could be a perfect game, but they got a hit in the third, so the press conference for Pitch was canceled.

Jackie could no longer fight the injury and gave way to Pitch Jr. Pitch Jr. promptly grounded out for her first at bat, but it was a productive out. T-Bear sailed around third and it was an RBI in Pitch Jr.’s first at bat.

The game remained tight and Pitch was giving me a heart attack with a number of 3-1 counts on guys. Not once though did she give in on the 3-1 count and create an automatic walk situation. Great control here as automatic walks will kill you in close games.

It was 3-2 going into the later innings when Hagan’s Heros launched their secret weapon. Their girls started to bunt. Unfortunately, they failed to read the league handbook, which states that bunts are illegal. The ump in fairness let them have a do over and did not even call a strike on the bunt attempt. He could have called her out.

In response the Heroes went with secret weapon number two. They campaigned a ruthless war of the whine. They bitched and moaned, they cried, they sobbed, they complained, and it was not just the coach, but the whole team.

A second bunt was called and again he fairly let her hit again, and they intensified their sobs. It finally worked as the ump had a defeated look on his face and waived a white flag. The Unicorns took note and played shallow for their weak hitting ladies.

3-2 is not a very safe lead and fortunately Turk came through with what turned out to be the winning run with a 6th inning home run. They scored again in the bottom of the 6th and then Smores came through with some huge insurance to put us up 5-3 going into the bottom of the 9th.

We were up two runs last week and allowed them back into the game where they eventually won, but not this time. We got the first two critical outs before they got a hit. Then one of their ferocious bunters came up.

Sure enough she pooched a little soft liner to third that went through the Legend’s legs. Normally T-Bear is apprehensive to grab anything that emerges from in between the legs of the Legend, but there was no time to ponder this thought and I picked up the ball and threw to Bauer to end the game and seal the double header sweep.

The real key of the week harkens back to the drinking performance from Ruben, Turk, and T-Bear. Many Unicorns immediately bailed and left a heavy burden on the livers of the remaining trio of Unicorns. New Unicorn Gina helped out with a few, but it was the three aforementioned players that drank tall and set us up for victory in this week’s double header. This bodes well for next week as we once again were the last to leave Grant Park, and we also had decent participation at Cactus.

I have some very sad news to impart. After a long and lengthy softball career including one Unicorn championship and one runner up and three other softball championships, T-Bear's shorts are finally going to be laid to rest. Say a prayer for a pair of shorts that had an amazing career. In five years it will sure to be a first ballot softball hall of fame inductee.

See you next week.

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