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Game 1: Season Opener
HardBallers kick off the season with a double header
April 26, 2007

Score Box
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R H BB
17 10 5 1 0 X X   33 X 6
The HardBallers
0 0 3 1 0 X X   4 5 3

The ump, catcher, John and Pierre look on as Nicole hits a ball to right field.  (Wolan)

You could not have asked for better weather, as the Boston West Co-Ed Softball League kicked-off the season on a sunny and unseasonably mild spring afternoon. Making their league debut was the newly formed “HardBallers” organization. The HardBallers, lead by Coach Corbett, took full advantage of the nice weather as they were scheduled to play an afternoon doubleheader. First up for HB: the “Underdogs”.

Taking the mound for the HardBallers was the team’s latest acquisition, Andy Wolan. “A-WOL”, who played as a back-up pitcher for the past three seasons, agreed to be the team’s starting pitcher for the entire 2007 season. Unfortunately for A-WOL, this game would be the first time on the mound (in game or practice) since August 2006. He was not alone.

Being a new team, its members have had little time to practice and prepare for the season. In addition, because of the new faces, the team has not had time to establish the “team dynamics” necessary to win ball games. To make matters worse, The HB’s were scheduled to face seasoned teams, including one of which was 2006 Sunday league champion. In all, the team was facing a rough start.

The game began with the HardBallers allowing 17 runs through the top half of the first inning alone. Unfamiliarity with one another, a struggling “A-WOL” on the mound, and some off season “rust” contributed to the rough start. After the top half of the inning had ended, Coach Corbett rounded up her troops to calm the team’s nerves and to get the squad focused and back on track.

In wouldn’t be until the third inning when HB’s defense finally caught its stride. After giving up over 25 runs through the first two innings, the team limited the “Underdogs” to 5 in the third. Their momentum continued for the rest of the game, limiting their opponent to just a run in the fourth and a “one-two-three” inning in the fifth.

As for the pitching, A-WOL comments that his pitching started to “come alive” in the third as well. “I struggled to find the strike zone in the first half of the game, while I also struggled to rediscover my “finesse” pitches.

“As the fourth inning rolled in, my top-spin pitches were resulting in ground balls and my back-spin were netting fly balls. All I could do was hope that the batter did not hit the ball into a gap so the fielders could do their work. The only pitch that seemed to work throughout the game was my ability to “jam” batters with inside pitches, yielding towering foul balls into left field.”

The HardBallers offense came to life in the third as well, and Lindsey and A-WOL lead off the inning with back-to-back walks. Lauren drove in the first run with an RBI single, followed by a sac fly into right field by John and an RBI single by Jason. The team would tack-on one additional run in the fourth: Kevin lead-off the inning with a triple and would then score on an Adam infield single.

Though the game kicked-off to an extremely rough start, the team did manage to find its groove late in the game. Though the game was called in the fifth due to the “mercy” rule, it is worth noting that once the team regained its composure, they did manage to match the scoring of their opponents in the final 2 innings of play.


  • HB limited the Underdogs to just 1 run in the final two innings of play.
  • A-WOL: first walk drawn since playoff game #2 in 2004.

  • Game Photos & Audio Clips | HBs' Player Stats from the Game | Scorebook
    Corbett's Post Game Analysis | Commentary

    Andy Wolan is a reporter and photographer for BWCS. This story was not subject to the approval of the league or its clubs.