Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Swingers Softball Recap 6/6/05

Monday night was an oppurtunity for the Swingers. Newly bolstered by the return of all star Erik "K" Gutierrez, and facing a weak Mikey Duffy's team, the Red Devils were in a perfect position to grab a win and perhaps gain some momentum. Instead, they squandered it away. The Swingers got acceptable pitching and played solid defense, but for the second straight game failed to get the offense into gear, losing 12-2.
The story of the evening was the return of "K" Gutierrez from a knee injury suffered in the off season. When asked before the game what "K's" return meant to the Swingers, manager Christine Aylward said this, "'K' is great on both sides of the ball, defensively and offensively. I think his return is the spark this team needs." Unfortunately for the Swingers, it was not to be. While "K" played his usual solid defense in left center field, he managed only an 0-3 at the plate, flying out to the warning track in all three at bats. "They made me get off the juice for my rehab," said "K," "Now that I'm healthy again I can start bulking back up with a little help from my trainer and his products." When asked to comment on his teammate's apparent lack of power, Eric "C" Ridenhour commented, "He just got back on the drugs, give them some time to work." Manager Aylward would not comment when asked about her players and steroid use.
The Red Devils were forced to go with emergency pitcher Jamaal Granger to start the contest, due to the late arrival of scheduled starter "C" Ridenhour, and the departure of Jason Brunick to attend to personal matters. Granger had some pitching experience from last year, and did an admirable job filling in for the Swingers. He allowed 8 runs in his 3 innings of work, while striking out 1 and walking 4. "I didn't feel quite comfortable on the mound," Granger said afterwards, "I was just trying to keep us in the game, and make my pitches when I had to." The Red Devils stepped up defensively to help Granger, with "K" Gutierrez making several nice plays in left center field, and Obi Orjih laying out to make a diving stop on a line drive in the 3rd inning. Although the umpire called an out on the catch, Orjih made the throw to first base just to be sure. It was Orjih's first good throw to first all year. "I wasn't thinking about it, I just reacted," commented the shortstop. The same could not be said of short shortstop Dan Higa, who replaced Orjih in the 4th inning. Higa's throwing error in the 5th kept the inning alive long enough to allow Duffy's to score their final 3 runs.
Offensively the Swingers had few bright spots, but among them was Jarrod "J-Rod" Ross's second home run of the season, a blast that traveled 458 feet to the power alley in left center field. "I was just looking for a pitch to drive," commented "J-Rod," "He threw me a fastball up, and I hammered it." When asked for comment "K" Gutierrez said, "Obviously he's still on the juice." Christine "Awkward" Aylward also showed some signs of life, collecting her second hit in as many games. "Awkward" had been in an 0 - 6 slump before her recent hitting streak. "I'm starting to see the ball better," commented Aylward. Also encouraging were Amber Moodie-Dyer's two walks, improving her on base percentage to .500, despite flailing at an ugly pitch in the 3rd. However, Moodie-Dyer is still one of 4 Swingers who are hitless on the season.
Looking for any way to spark her team, manager Aylward has introduced 6 awards to be handed out at the end of the season. Male and Female awards will be handed out for Gold Glove, Silver Slugger (best hitter) and MVP, along with other miscellaneous awards to be announced in the future. Upon hearing this announcement, competition in the clubhouse quickly erupted. "Nobody on this team hits better than I do," stated "J-Rod," "At least the rest of us can spell our names," responded Bobbi "The General" Closser. Award winners will be chosen by team voting.
The Swingers will look to get back on track next Monday night against Office Average, the only team they've defeated this year. First pitch is at 8:30pm, and good seats still remain! Call the Swinger's ticket office today.

- Dan Higa

Swingers season statistics.

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