Sociable

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Magical Flying Unicorns sweep their way into the playoffs

The Magical Flying Unicorns swept their way into the playoffs with two impressive double digit scores against good teams. CHA and TNT are two teams that we have gone up against for years. The first game was CHA. We defeated this team in the semi finals two falls ago to set up our first championship effort. We lost in the finals 3-2 that year.

The key to the victories on Tuesday were big innings and of course Pitch and defense. We started off the first game with four runs in the first thanks to big hits by Turk and Bassmaster after the usually reliable T-Bear (don't forget to click on the T-Bears) started off the game with a fly out.

We broke out in the second inning in a big way with 8 big runs. New Unicorn Gina showed shades of Sparky with a lead off hit. T-Bear followed with a double. Both Unicorns scored on a double by the red hot Turk. Legend and Bassmaster followed with doubles and the route was on. Everyone got into the act as Ruben singled and scored as did Smores. Jackie-O also scored and Gina finished the inning the way she started it with a single. Two hits in one inning. Great job Gina.

Our usual top notch defense was really suspect. Fortunately, this team did not have the bats to take advantage of our errors. One error was wiped out by a 4-6-3 double play after a wayward throw by the Legend. Awesome job by Bassmaster for starting the twin killing. Another error by Bauer was almost erased by another double play as T-Bear started what should have been a 6-3 double play, but it just turned out to be a 6 unassisted fielder’s choice (for those scoring at home) as 3 dropped the ball.

In fact, 3 (the code for first baseball scorecard lexicon) dropped four balls. After the fourth drop it was time for management action. For those that know Bauer they know that she is feisty, proud, and ornery. Yelling at her, or really anyone for that matter would not be effective and replacing her would not work as although Bassmaster could play first we are better defensively the way we are.

I figured the best option would be to make fun of her in front of everyone. That would get her pride up and piss her off and make her focus. I went over and comically inspected her gloves for holes as something had to be wrong with it. Of course she got angry and after that she focused and did not drop a ball the rest of the game. In fact, she was a star in the second game.

Photo caption: Agent Bauer looked more like Agent Soriano in beginning of the first game

There are certain plays in a game that really take the wind out of the other team's sail. In this game it happened when their very capable lead off dude hit a line drive up the middle. Our 35 year old Pitch showed reflexes of a 20 year old and like a cat scooped up the ball on the short hop and threw it over to Bauer (who finally caught one). This demoralized the other team and although we never scored another run after the second inning, we did not need to as we ended up winning 12-5.

I love the fact that T-Bear went 1-4 and we not only won, but we won convincingly. Usually when the leadoff hitter gets only 1 hit it does not bode well for the rest of the team. Thanks Unicorns for picking up my poor offensive performance.

It was on to play TNT. This is a team that has been a thorn in the side of the Unicorns for 3 years. In our inaugural fall season we lost to them 14-13 in the first round of the playoffs. We lost to them last year too by one run and I think we lost to them in another season by one run as well. We have only beat them once and that was last fall. They just beat the undefeated team, so it was apparent that they were still good.

T-Bear started off with a double and scored on a Turk sacrifice fly. Even when the sizzling Turk gets out he contributes. We went out meekly in the 2nd and 3rd, but we kept TNT scoreless for the first two innings.

TNT is not a team that hits the crap out of the ball, but they are very talented at hitting them where they aren’t. Their girls are also well versed in placing the ball in the gaps. They showed off this talent in the bottom of the third inning and scored 6 runs. We did not play our best defense in this inning, but we did not play our worst. There were a couple of hits that just barely went off gloves for base hits. That is what TNT does when they score runs.

After being down 6-1 after three innings T-Bear really thought this game was lost. We had only scored 1 run in the last 8 innings and it was doubtful that we could keep up with TNT considering we were already 5 down. Then the Unicorn offense awoke with a vengeance.

The top of the fourth not only saw us catch up to TNT, but we passed them with 8 big runs. We had consecutive hits and all of those Unicorns scored. The highlight of the inning was a two run triple by Bassmaster who blasted a line drive right up the gut of the defense and it kept rolling. Jackie-O also smashed a line drive double right down the line in the middle of the hit parade.

Not only did we score runs, but we also held TNT after the 4th inning. Since TNT pulls the ball it really puts pressure on the right side of the infield and they responded. Bauer made a nice play on a ground ball and made an unassisted out and also had an unassisted double play after catching a line drive. Jackie-O continued her solid play as rover and caught several balls out in center and Pitch and Bassmaster continued her solid play at second. Turk also shrugged off early season catching woes and made a great play on a sinking liner. Legend made two nice throws at third in the later innings to help seal the game and Bauer held on at first.

Speaking of sealing, the Unicorns came through with a ton of insurance in the top of the 7th. Six more runs put the Unicorns up 15-8 and put the game on ice. The Unicorns showed great offensive production with two huge innings. T-Bear, Turk, Legend, Bassmaster, Ruben, and Smores all had 3 hits.

Another proud Unicorn is Bassmaster who has been in a little bit of an offensive slump this year although she has been great with the glove. After our last game T-Bear encouraged her to fire up her hitting. She did this with a vengeance in this game with five hits including some huge RBI in some of our most productive innings.

The Unicorns are currently tied for first place with the team that we play next week. Although we know that seeding does not mean much, but it would be nice to be the #1 seed. We have never been the #1 seed, so it would be another feather in our horns.

See you on Tuesday Unicorns.

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