Game Data

Team Info



Return to Main
Game 8: Testosterone, Alcohol and Softball
HardBallers try to keep their composure against a rowdy and obnoxious opponent
June 13, 2007

Score Box

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R H BB
The HardBallers
0 3 2 6 0 3 6   20 27 1
Balls Deep
7 9 1 3 1 1 X   22 X 1

The Balls Deep infield readies for the next pitch.  (Wolan)
Game Summary

After winning their last two games, the HardBallers put their modest 2 game winning steak on the line against Balls Deep. However, the BDs will prove to be unlike any team the HBs had faced this season: a rowdy and obnoxious bench coupled with a fast-paced style of play would prove to not only be a challenge to the HBs, but also be a source of controversy. And much like the HBs, the BDs are winners of their last two contests.

Setting the Tone

Taking the mound for the HBs was Nicole. Coach Corbett decided to put herself in as the starting pitcher despite the fact that she had just pitched an 8-inning game for the HB II’s moments ago.

The BDs got to work early in the match-up by establishing an aggressive, fast-paced tone of play. They first accomplished this in the top half of the first with a rapid-fire style of pitching. The pitching left little time between pitches, and was so quick that the pitcher managed to sneak a strike by Pierre while he was getting set between pitches. “I wasn’t ever ready” proclaimed Pierre with a distraught look. This pitching style truly caught the top of the HB line-up off-guard and caused them to quickly go down in order.

Was this legal? “Yes” said A-WOL. “It’s not polite, but if the batter is in the batter’s box, the pitcher can make the delivery. However, to slow things down all the batter has to do is to put one foot out of the [batters] box and the ump will disqualify the pitch. Not only that, not all umps allow a ‘rapid-fire’ approach in Co-Ed softball.”

In the bottom half of the inning, the BDs continued to establish their tone of play by both exploiting gaps in left field and with aggressive base-running that netted extra bases. In one instance, a runner kept running after a throw to second on a double and managed to stretch it into a triple after catching the HBs off-guard.

The BDs had scored several runs until Kenny managed to cash-in a 6-3 double play. A-WOL would end the inning with a running grab in right field, but not after the BDs had taken a 7-0 lead.

While there is nothing controversial about a fast-paced style of play, what the BDs did in addition was. Through-out the inning, and for the rest of the game, the BDs would scream and yell after every play or call that was in their favor. In many case, they would scream for no apparent reason. In addition, the BDs would also heard taunting some of the players on the HBs bench.

Clearly, the intension of this behavior was to intimidate the HBs and to disorganize the normally well-oiled bench. And that it did. “This first inning killed our mojo” noted Adam Knochowski after the game.

A-WOL, however, tried to remain undeterred. “Whenever they screamed and yelled, I tried to counter. My team looked distraught, so I wanted to lift the team’s spirits and show the other team that we can’t be easily intimidated.”

A Continued Shaky Start

Austin holds Jonathan at third aftering hitting an RBI triple in the 2nd.  (Wolan)
Perhaps the strategy worked. The HardBallers lead off the second inning in commanding style, scoring 3 runs off of 6 consecutive hits. After Lindsey hit an infield single to load the bases with no out, it seemed as the HBs were on the verge of bouncing back. However, that would be all they could rack together, as A-WOL, Corbett and Austin would fall in order, leaving the bases juiced.

In the bottom half, it was more of the same from the BDs and they scored 9 runs in their frame. Once again, the team exploited gaps in the HBs outfield. The HardBallers were unable to respond to their threat, despite some shifting the outfielder format and allowed the BD to take a 16-3 lead after two.

Despite the shacking start, the HardBallers would start to regain control in third. The team scored 2 runs on a Kenny 2-run ITP HR. The team’s defense would limit the BDs to just a run to tighten the score to 17-5.

“Line-Drive Base Hits”

To in effort to get the team back in the game, Pierre and Jason promoted what they felt was the Achilles heal of the BDs: “Line-drive base hits. That’s all we need, line-drive base hits.” And why not? The BDs were doing just that to exploit gaps in the HB outfield. And with the BDs replacing their pitcher, why not give it a shot?
The bench responded to the call and rallied to cut in the BDs lead. Jason got the inning off with a double, who would then advance to third and then score on back-to-back SAC hits by Lindsey and A-WOL. Nicole followed with a walk, who would then score on an Austin RBI double. The next four batters, (Pierre, Ian, Kenny and Adam,) would all hit extra base hits, scoring a run each. This string of good hits appeared to have phased the BDs just as they started to tone-things done just a bit. In all, the HBs would send 10 batters to the plate and net 6 runs over that span.

Kenny on third after hitting a triple in the 4th.  (Wolan)
The ump issued a warning to the BDs bench to start the bottom half of the inning. Apparently, the team was caught drinking alcohol in their dugout, which is a violation of league rules. If caught again, the team risked forfeiting the game.

Regardless, the BDs would get back 3 runs to make it a 20-11 game, but not after some controversy. The first came on a fly ball to center right field. A-WOL aligned himself to make the catch, but as he made the grab, the ball would bounce out of his glove and into the air. A-WOL was able to snag the ball on the rebound for the out. On that play, a DB runner, who was on second base at the time, tagged the bag and attempted to advance and then score. Many on the HB bench thought the runner left the bag too early. However, the umpire clarified the ruling, stating that “once the ball hits leather, the runner is free to advance after tagging the bag.”

The second play came on a play at the plate. With a BD runner proceeding to home for the score, a play was attempted at the plate with Jamie covering home. As the runner advanced to home plate, he knocked Jamie onto the ground and tagged home, dislodging the ball in the process. Though the runner thought he was safe, the umpire called the runner out for not obeying a league safety rule. Simply put, if there is a close play at any base other than first, the runner must make an attempt to slide.

Was the hit intentional? Jamie would seem to agree. “I think it was an honest accident, however, maybe the player would have remembered that you always have to slide when there is a play at home if the team hadn't been drinking.”

As for what happened on the play: “I was positioning myself to make a tag without blocking the base line or the plate, and it looked as if the throw was in time. But, he completely plowed into me and knocked me over without even trying to slide. So, I bobbled and dropped the ball. He seemed pretty upset with the call afterwards and tried to argue with the ump, which makes me think that he was surprised and did not do it deliberately.” Regardless, of what you may of the DB bench, the player did have a heart. “The player who hit me made a point of coming over to our bench to apologize and apologizing after the game. Also, some of the other players apologized for him as well.”

Continue to page 2 ...