Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Softball Department (brought to you by guest sportscaster, Matt Biewener)

Grub Street Wordslingers 9 – Consultants of D. E. F. 10
ALLSTON--Armed with an off-season’s banquet of come-backs, one-liners, melodic-taunts, and go-get-em-cheers, the Wordslingers descended on the valley known as “Ringer’s Field” to take on the Consultants of D.E.F. Grub Street softball, in all its glory and tragedy, had returned – but the unfamiliar Allston terrain proved to be just as unknowable as the significance of their adversaries’ name. 

Despite clouds circling ominously overhead, threatening to rain or at least make things more dramatic, baseballs were all that fell out of the sky. Jeff Stern stopped one potential homerun with his back to the fence but three more happened to land beyond his reach, beyond the concrete, and, actually, pretty far back in the woods. The Wordslingers, however, were unfazed. A sudden crack of the bat sent a rocket directly toward Ethan Gilsdorf who, pausing for a moment to consider the temptation to catch the ball with the side of his face, defused the threat easily – owing, in large part, to his perfect positioning, freshly oiled leather webbing, and fanatical nihilism. 

But the moment that put a gasp in everyone’s throats was the moment when Wayne Feldman courageously (and perhaps unintentionally) collided with his teammate, his catcher, and his captain to save a run by tagging a runner coming home.  Playing all three of these positions (and, at that point, still lying on the ground unconscious due to the aforementioned collision) was Becky Tuch, who returned the following inning to make two even more amazing plays: first, a Vari-fantas-tek shoe-string grab and, second, preventing the front leg of yet another runner coming home from touching the plate by stabbing it with the ball.

Down six runs to five in the bottom of the fourth, Betsy Lawson made her bat-boy (and future Wordslinger) son proud by sprinting her way down to first with a promising leadoff single.  Unfortunately, the shift in momentum was only momentary as her dazzling display of determination was unreciprocated by her teammates who contributed three consecutive fly-outs to end the inning.

In the fifth, a Clarence Lai trademark hard grounder up the middle set the tone for the inning. A series of domino base hits even George Kennan couldn’t have predicted catapulted the Wordslingers into the lead by two runs.  But that lead was short-lived.  The valley’s violent vortex of wind robbed Amber DeFrancis yet again as it pushed her late sixth inning potential homerun back into the infield as a pop-fly.

Going into the seventh, the Wordslingers were down by only one run.  Following two clutch singles, Jen Lavin produced one of her own, sending the base-runners gunning.  But while Matt Frederick rounded third, the crowd’s cheers, the coach’s directions, and the well-audible shrieking from the bench’s least productive player (Matt Biewener) conflicted with the base-runner’s inner warrior instinct and he was tagged out on his way to home.

In the end, their strong showing in the middle innings, the glove of all-over-the outfield Tom Meek, and the conspicuous lack of any memory of last year’s season proved to be not enough as the Wordslingers lost by one run – 10 to 9.

2 comments:

The Review Review said...

One run! So close! Too bad I was knocked unconscious for half the game! And I was knocked so unconscious that I didn't even KNOW I was unconscious, so kept playing anyway. What a game! -Team captain, Becky T

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