It was a summer Friday at the DC Comics offices, meaning everyone had the day off and most of the team scattered for extended weekend plans. But due to a scheduling quirk, the softball team was also scheduled to play Archie Comics that day. Only ten players said they’d be able to make the game, and three of those cancelled earlier in the day – and one Bullet just plain stood the team up. With only six players in attendance, Adam Schlagman brought a friend to the field, and Archie lent two of their own to the DC squad.
Short-handed, without a fourth outfielder and with three of their nine players inexperienced softball players, the Bullets put forth their best effort, but came up on the short end of a 10-7 loss to Archie Comics.
The crucial inning may have been the first; the top portion of the Bullet line-up carried the weight of the offensive efforts, but outside of third baseman Mike Lorah’s (4-4, 3 R, RBI, 2 triples) trickling infield single, the team couldn’t put a runner on base. Ironically, the only poorly struck ball of the inning wound up being the only hit, as centerfielder Neil Hiremath, shortstop Adam Schlagman and leftfielder Andrew Arnold all hit the ball on the screws, but each time directly at an Archie fielder.
Archie scored three times in the bottom of the first, highlighted by an RBI triple off the leftfield fence and an opposite field two-run double to right.
The Bullets fought back, with first baseman Sal Cipriano’s (1-4, R, double) double down the left field line, and pitcher Christine “CNap” Napolitano’s line RBI single in the second. The bottom third then went down in order, but DC’s defense held the line in the bottom half.
The top of the order kicked it into gear in the third. After Neil’s pop-up, Mike slashed a single to left and came all the way around on Adam’s (2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 triples) line triple into the left center gap. Andrew added an RBI single, tying the game, before Sal’s fielder’s choice and CNap’s fly to left ended the frame. The Bullets again held the line, keeping Archie off the board in the bottom half.
Fourth inning: The Bullet’s final three retired in order; Archie posted two runs to retake the lead.
Neil (1-4, R) started the fifth with a single through the middle, and Mike followed with a blast to the deepest part of centerfield for a triple. Adam retied the game with another triple, a flare into shallow center that kicked away from the outfield, and Andrew put DC on top with a base hit. With nobody out, it looked like a big inning, but Sal popped up, and Andrew lost track of the outs and got doubled off first on CNap’s (1-3, RBI) line-out to third.
DC’s one run lead proved short lived, as Archie’s slugging third baseman launched a massive three-run home run over the twenty-foot left field fence (the field at 102nd and Amsterdam is no bandbox; this was a moonshot homer), spotting Archie a two-run edge. Another scoreless, retired-in-sequence sequence by DC’s guest players and two more sixth innings runs for Archie put the Bullets in a four-run hole going into the seventh.
After Neil’s flyout, Mike flipped a ball into the rightfield corner for a one-out triple. Mike went home on Adam’s ground out to third base. Andrew (3-4, 2 RBI) singled to keep the game alive, but Sal flew out to shallow right center to close out the Bullets’ last chance.
13-5-1, the Bullets are still having an impressive 2010 season. They’ll put their 6-2 record in the New York Media Softball League to the test next Thursday on North Meadow #2 against The Daily Beast.
The Bullets extend a huge thanks to Danny, Jon and Nina for helping out. Without their efforts, the game would’ve been a forfeit, and the Bullets were happy to have a chance to play.
And thanks to Archie for trekking down into Manhattan for the game. One of these years, we’ll get together a full squad to show you how the Bullets really play!