Notes for Game 08s
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Game date: Aug 16, 2011

Score Box
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R H HR
5 2 1 1 4 0 6   19 32 2
Mass Medical
2 0 2 5 0 4 1   14 X 0
Game Media (G08)
Stats from the Game

Coach’s Game Analysis:

Work done to the field in preparation for today's game. (Wolan)
Officially, the Verdasys Softball team won the contest against Mass Medical via a forfeit, ending the team’s 2-year long losing streak. However, the folks back at the office were more impressed with the fact that the team won the scrimmage game that was played afterwards. Final score was 19-14.

M&M may not be the best team, but they proved capable of scoring runs if given the opportunity. We cannot let our guard down when competing against this opponent, especially in a close game.

The field:
In anticipating the wet weather over the weekend, A-WOL took some steps to ensure the field was playable on game day. On Saturday, he raked most of the infield to even out bumps, and loosen the soil. When it rained on Sun. and Mon., the soil hardened into the shape molded from the raking.

On game day, the field was wet from prior days of rain. A large storm threatened to bring more rain, and perhaps postpone the game. But by the time that the storm reached the area, it fizzled and brought nothing more than a drizzle.

By game time, the weather had cleared, and produced some sunshine. While the outfield had time to dry out, the infield did not. The dirt was soft in spots, with standing mud in the area around the mound and right batter’s box. The latter made it difficult to stand near the mound and right batter’s box. Despite all of this, there was no standing water, so no massaging of the field was necessary. In fact, no “bad hops” were observed during the game.

If it means anything, the teams playing on neighboring Cusick Field had to massage the infield prior to the game.

 - While the afternoon was sunny, the sun itself was blocked by clouds for most of the game, giving the fielders a break. The sun only poked through during the 6th inning.

 - Kaveesh’s catching abilities were paramount in making quick outs of batters, regardless of whether A-WOL or Pete was playing SS. Should consider making him the starting first baseman for the playoffs.

 - A-WOL, Pete and Naren switched places through-out the game. A-WOL started at SS, then OF and then returned to SS. Naren played 3B, and then OF. Pete played, OF, SS and then 3B.

A-WOL was most comfortable at SS, gobbling most grounders for outs. Naren is skillful at 3B, and is quite mobile. He also has a sufficiently strong arm for the outfield. Pete showed flashes of great playing ability at SS, but appeared better suited at 3B. I forgot what he did in the outfield.

 - Overall, the M&M’s outfield unit defense was spotty. Some players knew how to play the position, while others had trouble and allowed balls to get by them. Mixing lefties and righties can cause trouble for the M&M defense. Formation-wise, the M&M’s four outfielders were spaced evenly across the field.

 - The M&M infield had trouble fielding grounders to SS, maybe because of the soft infield. Pop-ups and infield flies were gobbled-up effectively.

 - M&M had one heavy hitter who, on his first at-bat, hit a ball that one-hopped and hit the leftfield fence. Their team had no lefties, so a vast majority of their hits were either in left field or in center field, with a stray fly ball or two just behind 1B.
 - At least one of the women players on M&M was observed hitting the ball over the infield and into the outfield on several occasions.
 - Various M&M batters were hitting ground balls, giving our infielders a steady diet of grounders to field. Strong fielding at SS and 3B is necessary to keep the M&M scoring in check.

Base running:
Some of the players on M&M are experienced cricket players. While running the bases, these players got the two sports confused and were easily forced out. (For example: in cricket, you don’t have to run when the ball is hit. In baseball/softball, you only need to run if there is a runner behind you.)

The M&M’s inexperience also gave our team some free outs as the M&M team tried to make force-outs on bases where there were none. Don’t count on the M&M’s inexperience to lead to free outs in future games, as this is something that be overcome with practice and experience.

Game Highlights:

Memorable Events:
 - The Verdasys Softball team started the game with 9 fielders, and ended the game with just 7. For the final 5 innings of play, RF was vacant. The team was not handicapped by this limitation since M&M hit primarily to left field.
 - Ryan’s triple play occurred on a night in which the Boston Red Sox made their first triple play since 1994. (Link) The Brewers converted their own the night before.
 - In the 2nd inning, Usha hit into a 1-3 force out to end the inning. On the play, Usha made a dash to first base. Ryan, who is Usha’s competitor in the Verdasys “Walking Challenge,” commented by saying “Good run, Usha. I saw like 17-steps.”
 - While attempting to go grab his sun glasses, A-WOL discovered his eye glass case was empty. As he held it up for the players to observe, A-WOL exclaimed “Why did I pack an empty eye-glass container?” As he was sorting through that issue in the dug-out, the next batter came to the plate. Though Verdasys was temporarily down to 6 fielders at this moment, the batter hit a pop-up.
 - After the game, a flock of geese performed a fly-by over the field in a “V” formation. V for Verdasys! (Photo of the geese.)
 - Team fan Nick A. shook hands with Coach Wolan after the game, not because the Verdasys team officially won the scheduled game by forfeit, but because they won the scrimmage game.

NOTE: Report for Game 08e is the writing staff’s 120th Game Summary/Game Notes article.

Big Bats:
Pete:7 for 7 (2-2B) with 3 RBIs and 5 runs scored.
A-WOL:5 for 6 (2B, 3B, ITP-HR) with 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored. (Solo ITP-HR.) Hit the cycle for the first time in his career, and in Verdasys Softball club history.
Kaveesh: 6 for 7 (2B), with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Hit first career double, which was a bases-loaded clearing double in the 7th. (Hit broke the inning wide open for Verdasys.)
Kristen:5 for 7 with 1 RBI and 1 run scores.
Ryan:3 for 7 (ITP-HR) with 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored. (3-run ITP-HR.)

Web Gems:
Grimard:F7-U7-4 single handed triple play (2nd). First triple play in club history. First triple play observed by writing team since 2006. (Link) (2nd)
for M&M:
Made a force-out at home plate to end the inning. (5th)
Pete:While attempting to catch an infield pop-up near 3B, Pete and A-WOL nearly crossed paths, with Pete getting in front of A-WOL for the eventual grab. (6th or 7th)
Kaveesh:Made at least two bare-handed catches of a hard throw by A-WOL from SS to first base. He did this as a natural reaction to catching a ball as a cricket player.

His catching technique is very elaborate: first, let the ball strike the palm of the hand. After it hits the palm, roll your fingers over the ball to secure it. As you are securing the ball, allow your arm to go back to help absorb the impact.)
Verdasys:2 shut-out innings, including 5 innings where 2 runs or less were allowed.

A-WOL Watch:

5 for 6 (2B, 3B, HR) with 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Hit the cycle for the first time in my career.
 - Grounder by short for an RBI single
 - F8. Was trying to hit it into RF, but made a towering pop-up. Was not a great swing.
 - Solo ITP HR. Ball was hit past fielders in left field.
 - Infield single for an RBI.
 - Triple into left center field.
 - RBI double. (Not sure where it landed.) Could have had a triple if I was not held-up by Kaveesh, but the hit completed the cycle.

Started at SS. Played outfield for 2 innings and then returned to SS.
 - Made many plays at SS. Had little to no trouble fielding ground balls. Made numerous force-outs at 1B and 2B. Was firing the ball to first base cleanly using a corkscrew sidearm toss.
 - For most of the game, the sun was hiding behind the clouds. But during the 6th, it poked out, giving me lots of trouble.
 -  Missed catching a line-drive to my right. My feet could not react fast enough in the soft dirt, and dragged as I moved to my right. This slowed me down and prevented me from fielding the ball.
 - Caught a line-drive on the ground near 2B. Was ruled that ball was "trapped". Regardless, I was so impressed with catch that I did not try to make a play at 2nd. (I am unsure if the ball was caught or not. Just saw a piece of mud fly up as I lifted the glove.)
 - Made no plays in the outfield. Had ball hit over my head. Mis-timed it as a short hit instead of a long one. Apparently glasses don’t help. Made a strong throw to the infield from deep in the outfield, over the cutoff, and into the infield.

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