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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another JCC Softball Season in the Books

This year's softball final report will be mercifully less introspective and more photocentric than last year's. This Happy Hour season didn't require as much internal processing. We just played hard and supported each other and had a good time. Also unlike last year, injuries to my body were fairly limited. I did suffer a lingering jammed left thumb early on, but I have only one injury photograph this year. It's of a gnarly little bruise on my right shin (where I attempted to catch a line drive hit back up the middle.)

Luckily the ball hit my shin so squarely that it didn't ricochet away. It landed right in front of me and we got the runner at first. Undaunted, I stayed in the game and kept on pitching.

There were dozens of great moments down the stretch that led up to Happy Hour winning the JCC C League Championship this year. We finished the season strong (sweeping a double header and jumping from the 5th seed to the 2nd seed.) But early in the playoffs we dropped a game and were sent down to the loser's bracket. There, we valiantly won three straight must-win games to push our way back into a championship showdown with the undefeated Temple De Hirsch Sinai. We were short players, and we knew we had to beat them twice in a row to win the title. So the outlook was a bit bleak, but prevail we did.

We had tremendous contributions from two new players to the team: Tiger and Phil. They both have fantastic heart and added crucial pieces of leadership, Tiger with his flamboyant enthusiasm and Phil with his unselfish dedication.

Tiger came through huge in game one, going 5 for 5 with 6 RBI

Phil batted so well down the stretch we moved him to the 5 hole

There were also wonderful contributions from Leslie, who didn't play much during the regular season, but came through for us as left-handed slugging catcher in the playoffs. And, of course, we had the steady performances of Joel "Manhattan" Neier, Mike Spring (who went on a fantastic hitting spree the last few games) and Steve Braverman (who rediscovered his stroke and brought us Pittsburg Pirate Power.) And Linsday Walker not only peppered the left field line with basehit after basehit, she put on a defensive clinic at second base in the championship games. She must have thrown out this loser at least three times last Sunday. ;-)

Plus she brought her grandparents out, who were fantastic supporters! We also had great fan support from Tiger's wife Shannon and my own sweets, Olaiya.

Playing in front of the Grandparents brought out the best in Lindsay!

And big props go out to this man: Sam Fleishman, who played through a lot of emotional turmoil this year. His defense in the outfield kept the pressure on Temple De Hirsch all day. They typically try to punish right field by hitting the opposite way but Sam made them pay for that strategy (and he was feeling the Pittsburgh love as well.)

Rachel also came through big for us. She had to miss one of the playoff games, but returned on Sunday so that we wouldn't be short a female player and have to play with an automatic out. Her speed on the basepaths and fearless job at first base are always a pleasure to watch.

We were steady in the field at every position

I was so proud of our team. We faced a lot of adversity but gelled when it counted most. Throughout the championship doubleheader, I heard our team cheering each other on, strategizing and even playfully arguing about whose turn it was to be basecoach. Everyone had their head and their heart in the game. And that's why, for now anyway, WE'RE THE CHAMPIONS.

Two championship team photos in one year!



At 8/23/2006 02:22:00 PM, Blogger Diane said...

Congratulations! That photo of you pitching, what with the arm/hand/finger position and tongue action, looks like you are giving an Italian curse!

At 8/24/2006 04:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



At 8/26/2006 04:17:00 PM, Blogger Ned said...

You are so a danger to yourself on the sports field.


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