OITC: 2009 Softball Season Underway

We had our first softball game of the season yesterday.  It didn’t go too bad, I think we’ll have a good season for that team.  It’s a Sunday night league that lasts through August I think.  So it’s a pretty long season, but should be fun if we win some games.  We lost like 12-11 after giving up 6 runs in the top of the first.  Once we got the hang of it, we played real well.  Both of our pitchers did well and we played pretty solid defense.  Both the guys and the girls can hit well, so it’ll be fun to see how things go.  The team is made of of co-workers of a friend of mine.  I’m also looking forward to getting a chance to get to know them better too.

The other team could be a different story.  We’re playing on Thursday nights and it’s a combination of our work teams from last year.  We’ve heard the Thursday night league is pretty competitive and to be honest, I’m not sure how good we’ll be.  We have some athletes, I just know we struggled a little last year, but that was before we combined teams, so we’ll see.

My bat died at the end of last year, so I picked up a $40 replacement from Dick’s the other day.  It was actually cheaper at Target online or Walmart, but I had a gift card.  Anyways, the point of this was to say, if your semi-serious about softball, never buy a $40 bat and think that the bat doesn’t matter.  I honestly think it took about 50 ft off of one of my hits yesterday, granted it would’ve gone right to the outfielder, but still.  So I’m looking for another bat now, I’d like to get a Demarini, but we’ll see.

Amy played well, she’s really getting the hang of softball.  She’s still a little nervous going into games, but plays well.  She just needs to be a little more confident.  It’s fun playing sports and being competitive with her, it gives me someone to ramble to about how I messed up and left runners on when I flied out to the pitcher.  Darn, that run would’ve been nice in the final score, anyways, we’re looking forward to a fun year.

Post Season Softball

We had huge turn out for the pregame party. Berto, Michelle, and I had a couple drinks and I think ate about 4 hot dogs. I’m not sure if it helped since I don’t remember the outcome and Berto stole the score book. I believe we won the next game on 10/9, then just barely lost the finally by the mercy rule. It’s too bad we had to make up the rain game as the last game, just when we thought we were going to win 2 in a row that team showed us how slow pitch softball is supposed to be played.

To sum the season up, I would say that our team had a lot of fun. That’s kinda like when you talk about a blind date as being nice. It’s also like the experience that the fat chick has while playing dodge ball… it was fun. There were a few highlights. Double plays, diving catches in the outfield, a home run that bounced off the top of the fence and went over, an entertaining catcher for our team that we didn’t even know, camping under fly balls in the outfield that would hit the ground untouched, catching a one hop throw to the plate and celebrating while the runner comes home, pulled hammies (yes plural), new players every week, a few of which asked why we were wearing gloves and which hand they go on, coaching batters how to just hold the bat on their shoulder, having to take beer out of our dugout multiple times, playing music too loud when we weren’t playing, an umpire that loved to punch people out even if they weren’t out, sliding into home with no throw with a ripped up knee, having at least 5 people play 1st base in 7 games, a player that got put on waivers, breaking phones while tackling girls at 3rd base, out gestures by a pitcher, a great catch by our catcher, and many others that aren’t coming to my mind right now.

In closing, It was a blast and we’re going to have to get a team together for next year. Now that we have our freshman season under our belts, the sophomore should be better. It was also nice to get a chance to know a few more people outside of the office and I was glad to see so many different people give it a try, but I think I’d have to agree with Michelle when she said, “it’s a good thing we didn’t have our company name on the jersey’s”.

10-2 vs Partners 4 Biz

This week break out your Red Bull and coffee mugs as we look to extend our winning streak to 2 against the Partners 4 Biz at 9:30/Kelley Field #7. Let me know if you can make it and we will start the planning.

Also if anyone is interested I’m thinking I’ll open my doors for pre-game. It’s a short drive to the field. We’ll grill up some burgers and get mentally prepared. Anyone can come, we’ll be there from after work (5:45ish) till 9, let me know if you’re interested and need directions. There will be plenty of food & drinks, just bring your game face. -Nolan

Blood Stains

Some call it “huss”, some call it dedication, others just refer to it as stupidity.  Who slides in beer league softball?  Well, Berto does, and the picture above proves it.  He tells me this is a picture of his knee, I’ll just take his word for it.  This is the result of him sliding not once, but twice.  To his credit, they weren’t bad slides.  And with the final result of the game, nobody else is complaining either.  We were able pull of the victory with clutch hitting, and some nice defense.

To start off the game, the umpire searched our dugout without a warrant, I think Berto & Dan were strip searched, then Mike was interogated and for what you ask…  Beer in the dugout.  Last week we couldn’t play music during the game and this week they wouldn’t let us have a cooler of beer in the dugout.  I guess impairing your judgement and slowing your reactions is not a good thing for beer league softball.

Once again we had a couple new faces.  The girls on our team decided we are too much of an embarassment for them to show up.  With Ashley being the only girl from our team, we had to borrow a few players from the team that beat us in the first week.  Yup, the gully members from AOK were gracious enough to play for us, actually we forced Tiffany, Renee, Jess, & Sarah to play.  Also Mike finally took a night off from traveling for work, to come out.  After he got away with leading off in the first inning and once he figured out some of the rules, he turned out to be a real asset.  Mr. Jung played well on the hot corner, making a couple tough plays.  Berto threw a runner out at the plate and we caught a few fly balls.  Dan and Ashley played solid in the middle, Brian & Jess were errorless in the outfield and Tiffany caught everything thrown her way at first.  Renee hit the ball well, but I think the umpires were holding her responsible for the beer or something, because they kept making bad calls against her.  If it weren’t for a few walks given up by the pitcher (not to mention names, but it was me), then we would have held them to a lot less runs.  They really only had 1 big inning, but we were able to get a couple runs almost every inning and had a big inning exactly when we needed it.  The score was tied and it was getting close to the time limit so we knew that the top of the sixth would be our last atbat and we needed a couple runs, then to defend our lead.  Brian and Sarah came up to bat and put a couple hits together to give us baserunners, then we just continued to hit the ball and doubled our run total (kinda).  We batted around that inning and scored 6 runs.  Giving us a pretty comfortable lead going into the bottom of the 6th.  We haven’t had the lead many times, but we’d been in this same situation a week ago.  We were ahead and had to defend it in the last inning, last time it didn’t go our way.

So here’s were the controversy comes in.  After both teams agreed that we were tied 7-7 before the inning, we batted around and scored 6 more runs, then as we take the field, their “score keeper”, I use that term loosly, claims that the score is 10-7.  He somehow missed 2 of the runs we had just scored and then took away a run from the 3rd inning.  So after debating with an older guy that napped the first half of the game, the umpire takes his side.  Now to be honest, noone on our team kept the score that inning, but it was me that hit a triple and scored on a basehit that they weren’t counting, so I’d think I’d know what was going on.  We cleaned up the score book the next inning and are sure that we were right.  But the umpire took their side since they won the coin toss and were home team (yes you heard that right, a coin toss determines how many runs you’re allowed to say you have).  So we took the field with a 7 6 run lead 12-6.  We held them to a couple runs and got them to fly out to close the game.  So we didn’t have many friends after the game, but we won and that was all that mattered.

UPDATE (09/29/08):  New picture that you can actually see.  Only bad thing is, this is after it has healed for 4 days now.  Ouch!  Should be fun to watch him run next week.

Flying Kangaroos & Koalas

The blog entries are taking a little longer to put up every week. I think we need a win to get the blogging community excited.  We were the closest we’ve been this week.  With only 3 outs left to seal the victory, we gave up about 6 or 8 runs in the last inning that we couldn’t answer to.  We put up a valiant effort and it was a good try.  2 of the things I don’t like to hear during sports games.  We were vastly improved though.

Nancy, Mike, Shannon, & Jacki filled some gaps in our lineup from missing people.  Some how everybody came up with kids to watch, a business trip to take, or something better to do, I can’t imagine that.  But our new faces, played very well.  Luckily Nancy never got hit to, and was able to focus on her at bats.  She crushed the ball a few times although 1 time she almost got passed while scoring from first base.  Mike even surprised himself with a couple of the plays he made at first.  We couldn’t get him to play anywhere else he liked it so much.  Shannon had an amazing catch behind the plate, on a foul ball.

Now we know what it takes to win and we’ll put a complete game together.  Once again thanks Keytstone for Always being smooth, even when we’re not, and unthank you to the Gully Keepers for showing up to our game to cheer us on.  You showed up just in time to make us lose.

Eager to get on the field again

After having a week off due to inclement weather, the team has put together a new game plan and is refocused.  I feel sorry for the Flying Marsupials for getting in our way, they don’t know it yet (and probably never will), but they are in for a treat when they walk on to the field tonight.

Pre-game festivities are taking place at the Ice House and we are expecting our biggest crowd of the season.  They may be cheering against us, but Keepin it Gully has decided to grace us with their presence at the game.  A few of us are also planning on hanging around to help distract them during their game.  We’re going to dust of the balls, gloves, & bat, so come out and be a part of the record attendance to cheer on the Grass Stains.  7:30 @ Kelly Fields #7.

Game 2

The first couple innings of the home opener, the Grass Stains looked like a new team. We had our mascot back and a few changes in the lineup. Our pitcher, Mike Borcher, lead the team to a couple shutout innings, 1 of which was 3 up 3 down including a double play capped off by a behind the back tag by Mary Beth at third. A diving stab in left field by Berto, a nice fielding play by the, “I’ll show up when I feel like it”, Ashley Blue at second, and a nice catch by our catcher Lori Young on a play at the plate were the defensive highlights. Our defensive player of the game award goes to the home plate umpire and the backstop for their assistance to our catcher. Leading the offense with the best on base percentage for the day was Brian Galloway, with a 2 for 2 effort. Andy Grier and Joe Friedrichsen also had a decent day at the plate. Other participants were Lindsay Felberg, Michelle Leas, Kristen Friedrichsen, Matt Borcher, & Mrs. Borcher, who played an errorless right field.

We didn’t end up on top, but we are getting better. I believe the final was 14-9. The team did a better job with hydration, and are getting the bats warmed up a little. Our next game is against a “Drinking Team with a Softball Problem” next Thursday, September 11, at 8:30 PM. We hope to have a better crowd. Speaking of which our attendance probably doubled, more attendance from Dan Bourne’s family and even Nancy Schwertley made an appearance. Lastly, we’d like to thank our sponsors Keystone, “Always Smooth, Even When You’re Not” and the Ice House.

UPDATE (9/9/08 @ 2:30PM):  Brian may have led the team with an OBP of 100%, but he wasn’t the only one, Michelle Leas also went 3-3, and maybe a couple other people that I didn’t remember, which is probably due to 1 of our sponsors.

Burlington Grass Stains Make Their Debut

Forget opening day at Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park. The real excitement came last Thursday when the Burlington Grass Stains softball team hit the field for their season opener against AOK, “Keepin’ it Gully.” Complete with matching t-shirts (thanks to Kelly Murkins and Ashley Blue!), the team looked simply adorable skipping out onto the field on a gorgeous summer evening!

The Grass Stains had their work cut out for them. AOK came to the field with a fire in their eyes. The Grass Stains came with beer.

– Andy Grier and Mike Borcher shared pitching duties for the team while Nolan’s fiancé, Amy, was the catcher. Amy was heard to say during one point in the game, “I wish we could find at least ONE good pitcher for the team.”
– Brain Galloway played in the outfield and, after missing a pop fly, said, “The music was too loud, the sun was in my eyes and I was too busy on my laptop fixing my ITunes account.”
– Michelle Leas and Tyler Hughes were in the outfield. Tyler was blushing because of Michelle’s “colorful” language.
– Mike Borcher’s son, Matt, played first base while Matt’s girlfriend, Mary Beth, played third. They were just adorable!
– Ashley Blue held court on second base. She kept the referee honest.
– Dan Bourne was the shortstop and inaugurated the season and the team’s name by earning a grass stain when he flew through the air and made a spectacular catch.
– “Coach” Nolan Carson rotated among the positions, but spent most of the time just yelling at people.
– Lindsay Felberg played right field and was the team’s designated power-hitter.

Even with all that talent, the Grass Stains were up against a mighty opponent. Led by Jessica “Red Velvet” Miller, the AOK team boasts several 2008 summer softball CHAMPIONS and some darn good players. According to Coach Carson, “We lost, but we’re not quite sure by how much. We think we scored 12 points, but they either had 17 or 19. I have a headache.”

When asked for a quote about the game, Andy Grier commented, “I don’t like to talk about losing. I guess it comes from being passed up at the orphanage so many times as a child.”

(compliments of the BCG Marketing Department, Posted on company intranet site)

AOK (Keep It Gully) get’s Grass Stained (BCG Grass Stains Softball Game 1)

Our coach/mascot, Berto, had so much faith in us that he threw us into the “gully” (“definition: Something from the streets, gutter, and/or gangsta”) without even showing up for our opener. We started out very well, by winning the coin toss then things took a turn. There were a few highlights though. An outstanding circus catch by Brian Galloway in right center, the flashy glove work by Dan Bourne & Ashley Blue in the middle infield and lockdown pitching by Mike Borcher & Andy Grier for the combined 13 hitter paved the way for the offense of Tyler Hughes, Michelle Leas & clean-up hitter, Lindsay Felberg to take over. That’s offense as in hitting and scoring runs, not being offensive, which Michelle’s mouth was also doing in left center field when the going got rough. A couple good notes: No golden sombrero’s were handed out for having 3 strike outs in 1 game. I’m waiting to see who’ll be the first to do that and no one got hurt, except for our cheering section of 3 people. Our opponents came to play. I think their key to success was that they scored more runs. As our assistant/wannabe coach, I would say the 1 major thing we lacked was proper hydration, there was a lot of effort shown and it was a good start to our season. It’d be nice to get a chance at them again in the playoffs when we’ve had a few games under our belt. Too bad we don’t have playoffs… or wear belts.