It’s been a long-standing tradition of the DC Bullets softball team to fail both offensively and defensively early in games, setting the stage for inspiring, late-inning rallies that often come up a few runs short. During last Thursday’s game against The Nation, the Bullets broke type with a fast start, but would they still need a late run to pull out a victory?
The Bullets struck quickly in the first, with center fielder Andrew Arnold (2-3, 2 triples, 2 runs, RBI) hammering a one-out triple, and Doug Harrison (3-3, HR, 3 runs, 3 RBI) – just activated from the DL and patrolling short center – launched a mammoth two-run homer in his first AB of 2009. Third baseman Mike Lorah (3-3, triple, 3 runs) tripled and scored on a foul pop by outfielder Vince Letterio (2-2, Sac Fly, HR, 2 runs, 4 RBI). Four consecutive two-out singles produced one more run, and the Bullets were out to a quick 4-0 lead.
After Lorah (pitching the first when both of the scheduled pitchers were late to the field) and Dan Didio (1-3) retired The Nation 1-2-3 in the first two innings, the opposition strung together three hits in the third, trimming the Bullet’s lead to 4-1 after three full innings.
Larry Ganem (2-2, Sac Fly, run, 2 RBI) took the mound from the tiring Didio and shut down The Nation in the fourth, setting the stage for the Bullets to add to their lead. Harrison, Lorah and Letterio led off the bottom of the fourth with singles, and Adam Staffaroni (3-3, 3 runs, 2 RBI) cashed in two runs with a base knock of his own. Ganem’s sac fly and back-to-back singles by OF Joel Press (3-3, triple, run, 2 RBI) and C Sal Cipriano (2-3, RBI) tacked on a fourth run.
Leading 8-1, the Bullets surrendered another run to The Nation in the fifth; however, true to form, a late offensive run by the DC bats put the game out of reach. Too many offensive stars in the bottom of the fifth to name them all: RF Brian Cunningham (2-2, HR, run, RBI) whaled a solo homer, Arnold added a second triple, Letterio blasted a three-run roundtripper, and Press punctuated the onslaught with a two-run triple. The fourteen-run explosion marked the Bullets’ best inning of the young season. After quickly turning away The Nation in turn in the top of the sixth (and with time expiring on the field permit), the Bullets headed to the bar with a stunning 22-2 rout of The Nation.
The Bullets record stands at 2-1 (0-0 in league play)
An impressive 18 Bullets made it to Thursday’s game, including Harrison, Rickey Purdin (1-2, run), Cunningham and Laura Demoreuille (1-2, run, RBI) who made their 2009 in-game debuts. Demoreuille’s sterling defense at first base was welcome.
The Bullets are above the .500 mark for the first time in the tenure of manager Adam Schlagman. Have the Bullets finally responded to Schlagman’s “leadership,” or has Schlagman simply learned to front-load the schedule with winnable games?
And finally, a reporter and photographer from The New York Times covered the Bullets’ game against the Paris Review several weeks back. Though there’s little mention of the team in the article, there were pictures of the team in The Times (see above for the most self-promoting image).
Area fans are encouraged to come out to Central Park’s North Meadow Field #2 to watch the Bullets take on the undefeated Scholastic Red Dogs this Thursday evening at 5:30pm.