The 2011 season stood out as the most successful summer in recent history for the DC Bullets. Despite a first round playoff loss against the eventual New York Media Softball League champions, Wall St. Journal (congrats to them on back-to-back championships!), the Bullets’ 8-2 mark in league play tied for the league’s best overall record. And the Bullets’ overall 16-5-1 mark is easily their best tally in memory.
Along the way, many highlights:
* Larry Ganem’s six innings of perfect pitching against Vanity Fair
* Allison Dugas’ two-out, game-tying hit in an extra-inning victory over Wall St. Journal
* a spectacular, Willie-Maysesque, over-the-shoulder catch by Nel Yomtov during a showdown with High Times
* an Independence Day-weekend showdown against the Daily Show that will go down in Bullet lore for the number of pounds every player sweated out during the game
* and a comeback-player-of-the-year performance by Joel Press, after surgery hobbled his previous summer.
But probably the biggest accomplishment was simply the team’s steady defense and offense, consistently limiting the opposition’s rallies while relentlessly keeping pressure on their defenses.
So 2011 looks promising. But it’s going to be a different season. At least four prominent Bullet stars will not be on the field this coming summer, including three-time team MVP, starting shortstop and co-captain Adam Schlagman. Over six seasons, Adam’s led the team in nearly every offensive category, played a zealous shortstop (his uniform collects more dirt in the first inning than the rest of the team, combined, manages in a month), and stood out for his unmatched energy on and off the field. This past off-season, Adam was the first person inducted in the Bullets Hall of Fame. He’s now shining movie exec’s shoes and writing various GL-themed Flashpoint tie-ins in Burbank, Calif. with DC Entertainment.
Third baseman Adam Staffaroni also departs for sunnier climes. He’s running the Boomtown imprint at BOOM! and generally enjoying the sunshine. Andrew Arnold, clean-up hitter and left fielder of seemingly limitless range, shattered his right forearm in one of those Texas-sized accidents that only occur in the Lonestar State, and he’ll be rehabbing all summer. And Lauren Fries, outfielder, line-drive machine, finds herself with child this summer. Finally, catcher Katie Kubert’s moved up to editorial and won’t have the time to play regularly, though she may pop up in a box score from time to time. So a huge round of congrats to both Adams, Lauren (and her husband) and Katie on their exciting news – we’re going to miss your camaraderie and softball talents. And Andrew, be more careful next time, buddy.
So what’s this mean for the rest of the team? More playing time for those still here – both of the top two Bullets in plate appearances are gone!; a few opportunities for some rookies to impress; and a whole new set of challenges as the entire left side of the defense changes. Should be fun. I’ll keep you updated.
We’ll see how the Bullets respond when they kick off their season this Thursday, Apr. 21 vs. The Nation on their home field, North Meadow #2, in Central Park.
Highlights to look forward to on the current schedule: Archie Comics comes to town on Apr. 28; Wizard faces the Bullets May 5; and (tentatively) Marvel treks up to DC’s turf on July 14. The summer’s NYMSL schedule revs up on May 23 against WNYC. Defending champion WSJ meets the Bullets for the first time on June 11; and NYMSL newcomer Forbes has their first game with DC on July 21.
2010 team slash lines (AVG/OBP/SLG – ranked by plate appearances):
LF Andrew Arnold .655/.663/1.202
SS Adam Schlagman .759/.763/1.265
3B Mike Lorah .723/.716/1.169
CF Neil Hiremath .425/.469/.438
UT Sal Cipriano .530/.551/.758
RF Pat Brosseau .517/.508/.948
2B Christine Napolitano .360/.360/.380
RF Brian Walters .673/.686/.776
UT Brian Cunningham .532/.540/.787
UT Joel Press .702/.692/.979
DH LP Vollano .578/.604/.933
3B Adam Staffaroni .667/.660/.911
CF Vince Letterio .564/.564/1.026
LF Jay Kogan .622/.605/1.027
SCF Lauren Fries .600/.579/.629
C Allison Dugas .314/.368/.314
C Katie Kubert .324/.343/.353
P Larry Ganem .500/.486/.529
UT Nel Yomtov .516/.515/.677
1B Laura Demouriuelle .261/.280/.261
1B Jerry Cerza .526/.526/.579
Jeff Boison .667/.600/.889
John Rood .667/.667/1.000
Allison Klein .200/.200/.200
Jennie Gaeta .800/.833/1.000
Jim Lee .500/.500/.750
Amy Demoriuelle .500/.500/.500