After their 8-2 finish in the New York Media Softball League, the DC Bullets went into last Sunday’s playoffs as the #2 seed and matched up against #3 Wall St. Journal in the first round. Despite taking the season series from WSJ (by 15-11 and 12-10 scores), the Bullets knew that Wall St. Journal, the defending 2009 champions, would be a big hurdle to overcome as several key members who’d missed the earlier games showed up for the playoff showdown.
The extra talent on the Journal’s bench proved too much for the comic book makers, who fell 21-5 and faced WNYC in the consolation game while WSJ went on to top High Times for their second consecutive league title. So congrats to Wall St. Journal on a well-earned championship.
The Journal put the game away early with three runs in the first and six more in the second. Despite holding the line defensively in the middle innings (before letting up another scoring deluge in the final two innings), DC failed to mount a serious offensive threat, tallying only one run through the first five innings. Mike Lorah singled (more due a miscommunication between the first and second basemen than good contact) in the first and later scored on Andrew Arnold’s two-out single into left. With only eight singles and a walk to show for themselves going into the sixth inning, the Bullets put up a minor rally, scoring twice in each of the final two frames.
Leadoff hitter Neil Hiremath slapped a single to center, and Mike followed with line-drive single off the tip of the leaping third baseman’s glove. After fielder’s choices by Adam Schlagman and Andrew erased Neil and Mike, Joel Press hammered a double to deep left to score Adam and Andrew. Lauren Fries worked a leadoff walk in the seventh, and two more fielder’s choices left the team down to their last out, but base hits by Brian Cunningham and Katie Kubert tacked on a couple runs. Brian Walters then walked, but Mike flew out to left to end the game.
Fortunately, there was still more softball to play. Game one’s box:
CF Neil Hiremath, 2-2 / RF Brian Walters, 0-1, BB
3B Mike Lorah, 3-4, R
SS Adam Schlagman, 0-3, R
LF Andrew Arnold, 1-3, R, RBI
2B Joel Press, 1-2, 2 RBI, BB
DH LP Vollano, 0-3
SCF Lauren Fries, 0-1, BB / 2B Christine Napolitano, 0-1
CF Vince Letterio, 1-2 / 1B Sal Cipriano, 0-1
RF Pat Brosseau, 0-2, R, RBI / 1B Nel Yomtov, 0-1
SCF Brian Cunningham, 2-2, RBI / P Larry Ganem, 1-1
C Katie Kubert, 2-2 / C Allison Dugas 0-1
In the consolation game, WNYC (a 10-5 loser against High Times in the first round) matched up against the Bullets. Again, DC took the season series, though every game against WNYC always seems to come down to the final inning, and this game was no exception as DC squeaked out a 6-5 victory on Brian Cunningham’s walk-off home run. In fact, DC scored all their runs via the long ball.
WNYC stormed to an early lead, scoring four times in the first and once in the second. The Bullets fought back, tallying two in the first on an Adam Schlagman two-run homer (following a Pat Brosseau single) and three in the third, on Andrew Arnold’s three-run tater (with Mike Lorah aboard via fielder’s choice and Schlagman via a base hit).
Scoreless turns in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings brought the tied game to the final frame. Righthander Joel Press and the Bullet defense turned WNYC away in the top half, and Brian Cunningham – as if mocking his teammates who were discussing if they should pinch-run for the balky-kneed outfielder – led off the last of the seventh by crushing a line drive deep over the left fielder. By the time the ball stopped rolling, Brian easily circled the bases for a game-winning score.
Bullet box score:
RF Pat Brosseau, 1-2, R / CF Neil Hiremath, 1-1
3B Mike Lorah, 1-3, R, triple
SS Adam Schlagman, 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, double, HR
LF Andrew Arnold, 3-3, R, 3 RBI, HR
P Joel Press, 0-3
LF Jay Kogan, 0-2 / DH LP Vollano, 1-1
SCF Lauren Fries, 1-1, BB / 2B Christine Napolitano, 0-1
CF Vince Letterio, 1-2 / 1B Nel Yomtov, 0-1
SCF Brian Cunningham, 1-2, R, RBI, HR / 2B Larry Ganem, 1-1
1B Sal Cipriano, 0-1 / RF Brian Walters, 0-1
C Allison Dugas, 0-1 / C Katie Kubert, 0-1
Including the playoffs, the Bullets finish 2010 17-6 overall, including 9-3 in the NYMSL.
Congratulations on a successful season. Here’s looking forward to an even better 2011.
P.S. A big thanks to Jen Redding for the photos: