Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Swingers Softball Recap (7/25/05)

The Swingers are showing signs of life and extended their winning streak to 2 games after a 22-2 drubbing of Office Average on Monday night. The Red Devils were victorious despite the loss of Manager Christine Aylward and first baseman Ron Sturm, both out due to suspension. Commisioner Bud Selig issued a one game rebuke for both Aylward and Sturm after the pair tag-teamed a camera man during practice earlier in the week. Sturm headlocked the assailed media employee while Aylward repeatedly kicked the man in and around the groin. The incident, captured on film, will cost both players a one game suspension and a $5,000 fine. Neither Aylward nor Sturm had any comment.
Short Shortstop Dan Higa took over managerial duties in Aylward's absence and fielded a slightly different looking lineup. Recent AAA call up Adam Tsacoumangos batted in J-Rod Ross's usual number 3 spot, and Jamaal Granger played first base for the first time this year. The moves paid off for Higa, as Tsacoumangos drove in 3 runs, and Ross 2. Granger also contributed with his first home run of the season, a solo blast that just cleared the wall in right field. It was the first of 3 RBIs for Granger on the evening. "I was inspired," said Granger, who was recently engaged to girlfriend and teammate Melanie Ureta. "My heart was on fire, and it showed on the field today." Several male teammates groaned in the locker room listening to Granger's mush. Ureta also contributed a solid performance, going 2-5, scoring a run, and driving in a pair with a 2 out second inning single. "Melanie is a cornerstone for us," commented interim manager Higa, "The moon will rise tonight, the sun will rise tomorrow, and Melanie will play second base." It was also a career night for the short shortstop, who reached base in all 5 at bats, scored 3 runs, and drove in 5.
On the mound, starter Eric Ridenhour pitched two solid innings, giving up just two runs and walking only 1 batter. It was enough to earn Ridenhour his second straight victory. Coming on in relief Jason Brunick tossed 3 scoreless frames and extended his scoreless streak to 6 consecutive innings. Brunick lowered his team leading ERA to a microscopic 7.00, while striking out 2 and walking 1. "He had excellent stuff tonight," said catcher Bobbi "The General" Closser, "His fastball was on the black of the plate, his curve had good break, and he mixed his speeds well all night." Defensively, the Swingers provided excellent defense for the pitching staff, highlighted by a sterling outfield assist at third base. Tsacoumangos handled a shallow fly ball that dropped just in front of him, and threw a strike to rookie call-up Lynsey Winkler at third base. Winkler applied the tag to give the Swingers a key second out in the 4th. Winkler was called up from the AA Badgers of Mobile, AL to boost the club during Aylward's suspension. It was a solid debut for the rookie, who reached base 3 times and scored twice. Winkler, also a soccer standout, is rumored to be in negotiations with A.C. Milan of the Italian Serie A. If the deal goes through it could be a blow to the Swinger's farm system, already depleted after midseason call ups to Tsacoumangos, Katie Stemmler, and Lindsay Mendro. Winkler had this to say about the deal: "I was a bit dissappointed with Milan's latest offer of just $46 million. We're still in negotiations, so I can't really comment any further. Please forward your questions to my agent." The only miscue for the Swingers occured when "The General" Closser failed to make a play on a foul pop up at home plate. "My dog barked and it distracted me," said Closser, who's new pet Buck Nasty was in attendance.
In a subplot to the evening, Erik "K" Gutierrez returned from substance abuse suspension to play in just his second game of the year. "K" Gutierrez was clearly not himself without the juice, posting another goose egg for the evening. He did, however, reach base on an error and score. "I'm like a dog with no teeth if I can't use my steroids," said Gutierrez, "It's no fair when I can't cheat!" Luckily for the Swingers, several other players helped pick up the slack. Kristen Babb picked up the first RBI of her career, and reached base in all 4 plate appearances, while Kim Brunick walked twice and scored before being lifted in the 3rd for "The General" Closser.
After the game the Swingers front office announced that they had made a trade deadline deal with Minnesotta to send outfielder Emily Hodapp and first baseman Brian McChesney to the Twins in return for cash considerations and a player to be named later. Hodapp, a clearly talented lefty, scored 3 runs in limited action for the Swingers. McChesney, also a left hander, batted .333 and drove in 5 while splitting time with Sturm at first. "We're sad to see half of our left handers leave the team, but financially, the deal made sense. Coed Softball is a business, and we have to operate under the financial constraints upper management puts on us," commented manager Aylward.
The Swingers are 3-5 with 2 scheduled contests left and an oppurtunity to reach .500 for the season. It is unclear if any rained out games will be rescheduled. Next Monday's game is a 6:30pm start against the Mayco Sharks, and good seats still remain. Call the Swinger's ticket office today!

- Dan Higa

Swingers season statistics.

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