Newsweek joined the New York Media Softball League for the 2010 season, and the new kids on the block have struggled in the early going. But any new team needs time to gel and find their strengths, and Newsweek showed some early signs of coming together against the DC Bullets on Thursday afternoon. In the end, it wasn’t quite enough to overcome the Bullets, who bounced back from an early 6-0 hole with seventeen unanswered runs. Two home runs from Andrew Arnold and three extra-base hits from Pat Brosseau highlighted the offensive deluge. The 17-6 victory boosts the Bullets to 5-2 in NYMSL play, 11-3 overall.
For three innings, however, the outcome didn’t look as certain as the final score indicated. Neither team scored until the third, when Newsweek took advantage of a few defensive miscues, scorched a few line drives, and blooped a few flares just out of reach. It all added up to a six-run inning, giving Newsweek a 6-0 lead after three innings.
The Bullets, meanwhile, struggled to make solid contact against Newsweek’s quick-pitching ace. Often barely settled into the box and unaccustomed to the pitcher’s speed, the Bullets managed only three hits through the first three frames. Shortstop Adam Schlagman (3-4, 2 R) and left fielder Andrew Arnold grounded two-out singles through the infield in the first, and right fielder Vince Letterio (2-2, R, double) lined a hit to left in the third. Except for one ground out, the rest of the team treated the Newsweek fielders to a succession of “can of corn” pop-ups.
Showing the confidence and rah-rah attitude of a true leader, co-captain Adam Schlagman assured the Bullets in the bottom of the fourth that the team would bat around and make up the early deficit. He was proven correct.
Third baseman Mike Lorah and Schlagman started the inning with singles, and Andrew mashed a three-run bomb to dead center, cutting the Newsweek lead in half. Adam Staffaroni (3-4, 3 R, RBI), third baseman, singled and came around to score on right fielder Pat Brosseau’s opposite field triple. Pat finished 3-4, with 3 runs, 2 RBI, two doubles and a triple. SCF Lauren Fries’s RBI single scored Pat, and put the tying run on first base with nobody out.
After a fly out, first baseman Brian Cunningham (2-4, R) lined a base hit to left, and pitcher Larry Ganem (0-1) grounded into a fielder’s choice. With Lauren (2-3, R, 2 RBI) at third and two out, 2B Christine “CNap” Napolitano (1-2, R, RBI), the Bullet’s heart and soul, capitalized with a line drive into left, knotting the score at six.
Leading off an inning for the second time in a row, Mike Lorah (3-4, 3 R, RBI) beat out an infield roller in the fifth. Adam singled, and both runners moved up a base on Andrew’s deep fly ball. Staffaroni’s RBI single, Pat’s RBI double and Lauren’s sac fly added three more runs for the Bullets.
In the sixth inning, they put the icing on the cake, batting through the line-up for the second time in three innings. After Brian singled and Vince doubled to open the frame, three consecutive singles produced four runs. Catcher Jennie Gaeta (1-1, RBI) drove Brian home, and CF Neil Hiremath (1-4, R, RBI) scored Vince with a looper to shallow center. Mike Lorah lined to center to score Jennie, and Neil came around to score and Mike took second on an errant throw. After Adam lined out, Andrew (3-4, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR) cranked his second home run of the afternoon to deep left. Staffaroni singled, Pat doubled, and Lauren singled to score Staff. Co-captain and C/SCF Sal Cipriano’s (0-4, RBI) RBI fielder’s choice added an eighth run, capping the scoring.
The Bullets set Newsweek down in the top of the seventh, allowing only a two-out single before closing out the 17-6 triumph. 11-3 overall, the Bullets are also 5-2 in the NYMSL. Their next game is Tuesday at 7pm against Vanity Fair, North Meadow Field #10.
As per usual, the black hole that is Andrew Arnold in left field pulled in everything near his orbit. And don’t let Sal’s 0-4 line fool you – Newsweek’s left fielder made a terrific running catch on an absolute bomb that Sal crushed in the fourth inning.
The Bullets also got solid D from Lorah, Staffaroni and Cunningham (who dug out one low throw very nicely).