May 16 2013: Pirates vs Hampstead Heat

You have to love our so called Summer! With big heavy dark clouds in the sky it looked as if our first home game was going to be played in the rain. Fortunately the weather Gods had been kind to us as the predicted downpour failed to materialise. Even better the council had actually marked out a nice new (small) pitch though hadn’t gone so far as to actually cut the grass but as Meatloaf said “two out of three ain’t bad baby”. Clearly Meatloaf never played softball on uncut grass!

With Shorty still on honeymoon, Lorraine and Marines away we had the unusual situation of having too many guys playing so had to play 6-6 with a Neil and Dave subbing for pitcher.

Line up:

Neil (Dave), Nadine, Gideon, Alice, Chris, Shazza, Bola, Baldeep, Phil, Josie, Sohan (DH), Merin (DH)

With the Heat first to bat we took to the field with a slightly different set up with Alice playing first and Phil on second with the usual suspects in the infield (Nadsoon third, Sharon catch, Neil pitching) and outfield (Josie, Bola, Gideon, Baldeep). The new set up worked a treat with the Chris to Alice combo taking out their first two batters. Unfortunately our flying start was brought back to earth with some great play from the Heat who managed some cracking shots to the outfield to drive in three runs until Nadine’s bullet to second put a stop to their rally.

Bottom of the first and it’s Neil up to bat or rather not bat as he makes Sandeep pay for his pitching and takes the walk to second. That was unfortunately exactly where he stayed as both Nadine and Gideon were caught out fly balls and Alice narrowly missed getting to first base. D’oh!

1st Innings: Pirates 0, Heat 3

The second innings for the Heat was almost as short as our first bat as Chris and Phil linked nicely for a double play and their third batter was out before reaching first. That’s the way to do it- tight and aggressive or at least that was the plan. With Chris and Sharon caught on fly balls it was left to Bola to make them pay, which he duly did with a nice walk to second. That’s again where it ended as Baldeep just missed getting to the safety of first base.

2nd Innings: Pirates 0. Heat 3

At this point in time Neil subbed out to let Dave come in to pitch. With some tight defence we managed to hold the heat to only a couple of runs despite the fact that their male batters were on fire and pinging shots all over the outfield. It looked as if it was going to be another short innings with Phil out on a fly ball but out of the blue we started to rally with great hits from Josie, Sohan (run), Merin (run), Dave (run), Nadine, Gideon (run), Alice (run), Shazza, RBiola. next thing you know and we’ve made a 6 run rally. As Bola said ” all the bats are getting hot at the same time!!”

3rd Innings: Pirates 6, Heat 5

Back to the field again but this time with Sohan and Alice back in familiar territory on 1st and 2nd respectively and with Meirin at catch. Again the Heat came out strong on the attack, driving the ball into the outfield and taking advantage of every bobble the grass could create. With Phil and Alice tantalising close to catches our work was cut out for us but with some neat plays to Chris and Sohan together with a strike out we were back at bat with 3 runs conceded.

And then it came;

Contentious moment number 1:

The entire team could see that Phil’s run to first was clearly in but someone the blue ruled it out. Not happy but despite the travesty of justice Josie and Sohan both made first. Sadly Josie couldn’t make second and with Meirin victim to a dodgy strike out (low strike zone) we were out with no runs scored.

4th Innings: Pirates 6, Heat 8

This time around it was Nadines time for a rest while Josie got to play third and slim shaz in the outfield. Again the Heat kept hitting the gaps until;

Contentious moment number 2: 

Maybe not so clear cut but their leading batter charged to second after a nice outfield hit. He clearly had under estimated gideon’s throw who belted it to Chris who tagged him on the slide. Or so we thought as apparently he was safe according to the blue, much to Chris’ annoyance. Fortunately we were once again able to shake it off with some nice plays in the infield especially a tag from Sharon on the home plate but another 3 runs scored by the Heat. Once again it was time for a Pirate rally and with Dave (run), Gideon (run) and Chris (run) we had managed to reduce their lead to just one run though Nadine and Bola were out on fly balls and an injured Alice struck out.

5th Innings: Pirates 9, Heat 10

Top of the 6th and it was time for Neil to take to the pitcher’s mound and Chris, Josie and Dave on the bench. As the saying goes it was “squeaky bum time” but the Heat were having none of it and kept slamming balls into the outfield whilst riding their unlike. Somehow the outs eluded us as the ball bobbled out of the Alice’s glove, whilst Sharon was equally unlucky not to get the out on a sliding home run play. Clearly things were not going our way until we regained our composure and managed to get them out courtesy of some aggressive infield play and a great Weyman catch but they had got 5 all important runs. Worse for us as we suffered a ‘3 up 3 down’ with Baldeep, Phil and Josie all out whilst charging in to first.

6th Innings: Pirates 9, Heat 16

7 runs down and top of the 7th. No doubt it was going to be tough to hold them let alone come back. But hold them we did with a runner out on first and two catches in a row in the outfield from Dave and suddenly they were all out and we were back in with a chance. Once again Sohan made the base and through Meirin and Neil hits but that’s when it came;

Contentious moment number 3:

With Neil displaying some itchy feet and some aggressive (or some might say suicidal) base running he flew from 1st to 2nd after the ball bounced loose. Sensing a tag he dived under incoming tag and looked as if he touched the base before he was tagged (if he even was tagged). Now these calls are not easy at the best of times but you could rely on the hawk eye blue to give the out, which of course he did. Let’s just say Neil was not amused and with Nadine out running to first it was game over. The only saving grace was that Sohan was able to sneak in to home for the run.

Final score: Pirates 10, Heat 16

MVP:

Split vote- Josie and Dave (aka Team Dasie)

runner up: Shaz

Bola award (presented by Chris):

Neil for his suicidal base dive and berating the blues

Defensive award:

Alice (for numerous double plays)

Runners up: Shaz (tag on home), Chris

Highs:

Great batting from Sohan and Josie, Shaz plays on home, Alice/Chris double plays

Lows:

3 up 3 down, 8 fly ball catches

Gideon Quote of the Day: “Batting and fielding are quite important in softball”

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