The final playoff rankings haven’t been determined yet, but the DC Bullets will be there following Thursday’s 12-7 win over WNYC’s shock jocks. The win completes DC’s 2010 New York Media Softball League schedule, as the Bullets earned an 8-2 record and currently stand a full game ahead of the second-place tie, Wall St. Journal and High Times. The Journal and High Times, both 6-2, have two games left to play (including the league’s season finale during which they go head-to-head), so the final playoff rankings won’t be determined for a few more weeks. We do know that the Bullets are guaranteed at least second place, making this their strongest NYMSL showing ever.
In Thursday’s game, WNYC pounced early for a quick lead, plating two runs in the top of the first with some sharp line drives and heads-up baserunning. DC, as they’ve done much of the summer, issued a strong response in the bottom half, as centerfielder Neil Hiremath led off with a base hit to center and moved to third on shortstop Adam Schlagman’s one-out all-hustle, hook-slide-around-the-tag double. Joel Press, toeing the pitching rubber, then lined a game-tying double down the leftfield line.
After a popup for the second out, third baseman Adam Staffaroni singled to score Joel, giving DC the lead. Leftfielder Lauren Fries singled, and three more Bullet hitters – RF Pat Brosseau, SCF Vince Letterio, DH LP Vollano – followed with RBI singles. Second baseman Christine “CNap” Napolitano capped the seven-run outburst with an RBI double.
DC tacked on four more runs in the second, with back-to-back singles by 3B Mike Lorah and Schlagman setting the table. After a fly out, Brian Cunningham, playing first base, followed with a two-run triple, and then came home of SCF Jay Kogan’s line drive to left. Jay took second on catcher Katie Kubert’s ground out and scored on RF Brian Walters’ two-out base hit to right.
WNYC, however, is a strong pitching-and-defense team, and they clamped down the Bullets offense after the second. With good pitch location, several excellent diving plays by their third baseman, and a shortcenterfielder who seemed to always be standing exactly where the ball was hit (and made a spectacular sliding backhand catch when he wasn’t in the right place), WNYC shut down DC in the third, fourth and fifth innings, allowing only three singles.
Meanwhile, the radio personalities’ bats chipped away at the deficit, scoring twice in the third inning, once in the fifth and twice again in the sixth. Going into the last of the sixth, DC held an 11-7 advantage, and felt the pressure to regain some momentum. They didn’t gain much, but the Bullets did seize some with three consecutive singles to produce an extra run. CNap and second baseman Sal Cipriano lined hits into left, and Mike followed with a drive into center to score Christine.
It was only one run, but it gave a lift to the Bullets and they quickly put the game away in the top of the seventh as Schlagman and Sal plucked scorching line drives for the first two outs, and Joel induced an easy comebacker to himself for the finale.
8-2 in New York Media Softball play and 15-5-1 overall, the Bullets 2010 regular season is in the books. NYMSL playoffs will take place on Sunday, September 12th at Hecksher fields in Central Park.
A big thank you to WNYC and to all the Bullets’ opponents this summer. It was a great season, not just winning-wise, but all around. From Larry Ganem’s near perfecto against Vanity Fair to the dehydrating walk-off loss against The Daily Show (though nothing will ever match the legend of the Saturday afternoon doubleheader against WSJ that had the entire team sun-poisoned a few years ago), 2010 will go down in the oral history of the Bullets as one of the great summers.
Also, a big tip o’ the hat to the co-captains, Adam Schlagman and Sal Cipriano, for coordinating the scheduling, setting the line-ups and defense, and their positive, upbeat leadership. Well done, gentlemen.
Bullet Box Score:
CF Neil Hiremath, 1-2, R / 2B Sal Cipriano, 1-2
3B Mike Lorah, 2-4, R, RBI
SS Adam Schlagman, 3-4, 2 R, double
P Joel Press, 2-4, R, 2 RBI, double
1B Brian Cunningham, 1-3, R, 2 RBI, triple
3B Adam Staffaroni, 1-2, R, RBI / SCF Jay Kogan, 1-1, RBI
LF Doc Lauren Fries, 1-2, R / C Katie Kubert, 0-1
RF Pat Brosseau, 1-2, R, RBI / RF Brian Walters, 1-1, RBI
SCF Vince Letterio, 2-2, RBI / DH Larry Ganem, 0-1
DH LP Vollano, 1-2, RBI / 1B Jerry Cerza, 0-1
2B Christine “CNap” Napolitano, 2-2, R, RBI / C Allison Dugas, 0-1