Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Swingers Softball Recap 5/16/05

If Monday night had been a charity walk event, it would have been a resounding success. Instead, it was a messy softball game that the Swingers fumbled away in the final frame.
The Swingers came out of the gate strong and scored 12 runs in the top of the first inning, taking advantage of 8 free passes issued by the home team's pitcher. Dan Higa and Melanie Ureta both walked to lead off the frame, and the bases were loaded on Jamaal Granger's single to shallow right center field. Bobbi "The General" Closser then delivered the first blow with a bases clearing single up the middle for her first 3 RBI's of the year. It was a breakout game for "The General", who went 2-3 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored, pushing her average up to .286. "The tablet a couple of weeks ago said, 'Thou shalt keep thy front shoulder in at the plate,' and it worked out for me," commented Closser. "Now if she could only catch the ball at third," added teammate Obi Orjih. There was clear tension between the two players, especially during the bottom of the 4th inning, when Orjih was heard yelling at Closser from the dugout, "I'm gonna tear your head off!" After Closser's single, Jarrod Ross broke a streak in which had had reached base in every at bat this season. Ross grounded out to short stop. "I didn't get my puffy fix, and it showed today," said Ross. Whether this is a reference to steroids or something else remains unclear. Kristen Babb followed with a walk, and came around to score on manager Christine Aylward's RBI walk. It was Babb's first run scored of her career. "We think Kristen is coming around. She knocked a base hit last game, this game she scores a run. We're looking for her to continue to improve," commented Aylward. "Of course she'll improve," stated Ron Sturm, "it doesn't get any worse." When asked to comment on her team's loss Babb said, "Yeah, but we won at pool later on, so it's all good."
By the end of the top of the first the swingers had sent 16 men to the plate, and scored 12 runs on 8 walks and 4 hits. Pitcher Eric Ridenhour, however, did not have his best stuff. The usually accurate hurler walked 11 batters and surrendered 4 home runs in his worst outting of the season. "I wasn't locating my fastball, and when you can't establish the fastball, then the breaking pitches don't help you any," said Ridenhour. "He couldn't have hit the broad side of a barn from 3 feet away," remarked short shortstop Dan Higa when asked about Ridenhour's wildness. The few pitches Ridenhour threw for strikes routinely landed over outfielder's heads, in what was a tough game defensively for Jamaal Granger and Jarrod Ross. "The Juice only helps you hit, it does nothing for your defense," said Ross. Ridenhour gave up 21 earned runs and ballooned his ERA to 18.20, while dropping his record to 1-2.
The Red Devils appeared to be in control of the contest until the final two frames, when pitching woes and defensive miscues doomed them to failure. The Swingers commited 8 errors in the final two innings, costing them 9 unearned runs. Those 9 runs became the difference in a 30-23 loss. It was a particularly rough night for Jerico Collins, who commited a costly 3 run error in right center field, and struck out in his only plate appearance. "He looks like Homer Simpson at the plate," commented catcher Amber Moodie-Dyer, "He's fat, dumb, and balding. It's really too bad he doesn't hit like Homer." For her part, Moodie-Dyer reached base twice with a pair of walks, and scored both times.
When asked to comment about the game manager Christine Aylward had this to say, "We're encouraged by the way the offense has sparked the last two games, but whenever you score 23 runs, you should win the ballgame. Erik had a rough day, but it happens. I'm more concerned with the way our defense fell apart in the last few innings." The Swingers take on the Mayco Sharks next Monday night at 7:30, and good seats still remain. Call the Swinger ticket office today!

- Dan Higa

Swingers season statistics.

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