Notes for Game P1 (Playoffs Semi-Finals)|
By Andrew Wolan / WRCS
Game date: Aug 27, 2013
Tufts Health Plan Corp.
Coach’s Game Analysis:
Claffey's right arm hits a bat as he scores on a Tim Nolte 2-RBI single. (Wolan)
Weather and Field Conditions:
Mostly sunny, with clouds moving in toward the end of the game. High 86. Slight wind blowing into home plate. Infield was dusty, but unlike in Game 9 the soil was packed-in due to rain several days prior. Any dust clouds that were formed drifted towards home plate, which was interesting to watch. Outfield grass had been cut.
Sun made fielding a challenge, but was impossible to deal with in the 5th inning. Eventually, some clouds covered it up.
| - ||Tufts’ base running was far more aggressive in P1 than in Game 6. Perhaps a bit too aggressive.|
| - ||The female batters hit multiple balls into the middle of the outfield.|
| - ||Tufts had better coverage of shallow CF than they had in Game 6.|
Offense / Team (General):
| - ||Players were pumped-up for the game; perhaps too pumped for an amateur-level softball game. It ended-up exposing players to unnecessary stress.
| - ||The incident that occurred in the 1st inning, (refer to section below), sucked the energy out of the team, which caused them to not play with the same level of passion and mojo that they had at the start of the game. This observation is most reflected by the offense, which scored 3 runs in the 1st inning, but only 3 runs in the remaining 6 innings of play.
| - ||The egos for a few of our players were a distraction, and made game management a bit difficult. Should have done a better job keeping it in check.|
| - ||In game 6, we played with just 9 fielders for most of the game and won. In this game, we positioned the 10th fielder behind the pitcher. Typically, you want a fielder here to be able to go after short hits made by weak hitters. However, Tufts does have any weak hitters, so you are better off having the 10th fielder playing in shallow CF or behind 2B.|
“The Incident” occurred in the defensive half of the 1st inning. With Lucy the 2B and Jay the SS, and a base runner on 1B, the batter hits a ball thru the infield and into CF. Lucy goes out and acts as the cutoff man, while Jay covers 2B. As Lucy gets the ball, the base runner proceeds to 3B. Lucy then throws the ball to 3B, but it is not in time. Thinking the play is over, Lucy heads back to her spot on field. As she is doing this she walks between Jay and Kevin.
However, the play is not over as the batter-runner proceeds from 1B to 2B on Lucy’s throw. Thinking he might get the runner, Kevin, who was covering 3B, tosses the ball to Jay at 2B. Since Lucy is walking in front of Jay, she gets in the way of said throw and in struck in the right bicep.
With the ball deflected back towards 3B, the two Tufts base runners take advantage of the confusion and take an extra base on the play. Kevin, who was playing 3B, vacates 3B, grabs the ball and tries to get the runner out at home, but is too late. This allows the batter-runner on 2B to then take 3B.
(We would like to stress that after a player got hurt on the play, the base runners advanced a base. There’s playing aggressively, and then there’s playing inconsiderately.)
Jay told Lucy that she wasn’t paying attention and that she could have gotten seriously hurt on the play. In fact, the ball could have easily struck her in the face. Somehow that comment did not go down well, which resulted in some choice words being exchanged between the two players. We think that Lucy felt she did not do anything wrong on the play, and believes that Kevin should not have thrown the ball to 2B. Jay and Lucy argued for a few minutes before Russ Rick and A-WOL were able to calm things down. But not for long.
After the inning ended, the two players continued to argue. The words exchanged were becoming far too harsh and way out of line. In fact, many feel that Jay’s comments were grossly inappropriate, even though many feel his initial assessment was correct. Eventually, Lucy felt she had enough and left the game.
A-WOL then commented, “I spent over $100 on video camera equipment just to capture this?”
| - ||The Tufts team website became password protected the day after the final game of the season had been played. Why this was done is unclear, but it is believed it was done to hide a comment that referred to A-WOL as “coach of the unfortunate Verdasys Softball Team”. Jon amongst other players used this quote as “bulletin board material” to get inspired and psyched for the playoff game.|
| - ||The Tufts player who was hit in the head by a thrown ball in Game 6 participated in today’s game. In addition, the player was observed batting without a helmet. Reports are that the player did NOT receive a concussion from the bad throw, which may explain why the player did not wear any protective gear.|
| - ||In the 6th inning, Melissa hit a short grounder between 1B and 2B. The second basewoman fielded the ball and tossed it to 1B. However, the throw was into the dirt and to the right of 1B. To try and salvage the throw, the first baseman ended up in the baseline and in front of 1B, resulting in unintentional obstruction of the bag. Since the fielder was blocking the bag and because this is a non-contact league, Melissa had to let-up while running the 1B. Had she not let-up, she would have been safe because she would have crossed 1B as the fielder tried to scoop the ball up from the dirt. Though she was declared out on the field, she was awarded a hit after the game.|
| - ||While trying to score from 2B on a Tim Nolte double, Claffey slid into a bat while sliding into home plate.|
| - ||Late in the game with a win all but guaranteed, a male batter on Tufts hit an infield ITP HR. Not so memorable as it was more a douche-bag thing to do. (Double check video)|
|Jon:||2 for 3 (2-run ITP HR, 3B) with 2 runs and 2 RBIs.|
|Raschi:||3 for 3 with a run and 1 RBI.|
|McCauley:||2 for 2 with an RBI.|
|Tim Nolte:||1 for 2 with 2 RBIs and a base taken.|
|Tufts:||1-2-3 inning. (3rd)|
|A-WOL:||diving catch in RF. (3rd)|
|Verdasys:||A-WOL to Raschi to McCauley (9-6-5) outfield assist to nab a runner at 3B trying to take 2 bases on an outfield single. (3rd)|
|Kelley:||leaping catch of a high line-drive at 1B. (6th)|
|Verdasys:||6-3 double play (Raschi to Kelley). (6th)|
| - ||Team played its first-ever game in the championship bracket of the playoffs.|
| - ||McCauley ends the season going 24 for 25. (Near-perfect batting avg.) A franchise best.|
| - ||McCauley’s 24 base-hits ties the club seasonal record. (Mike O'Connor collected 24 hits in 2008 season.)|
| - ||Jon Anderson ends the season with 18 runs scored, which is a new club record.|
| - ||Stephanie Mulligan ends the season with 10 hits and 9 run scored. Both are new franchise records for a female player.|
| - ||For the season, Raschi collected 27 RBIs, hit 8 doubles, and hit 8 HRs on the season, which are all new club records.|
| - ||Claffey hit 6 triples on the season, which is a new club record.|
Lucy received a bruise on her right bicep after being struck by a ball thrown by Kevin.
1 for 2 (2B). Used Russ' purple bat.
| - ||Flair into shallow RF for a hit. Took 2B for a double.|
| - ||Pop-up to CF.|
Played RF in 1st, 3rd and 5th innings. 4 touches: 1 putout, 1 OF assist. Collected 2nd OF assist in 2 games.
| - ||Diving catch of a ball hit to my left in RF.|
| - ||Retrieved ball that went over Bill’s head at 1B and into RF.|
| - ||9-6-3 outfield assist to nab a runner advancing to 3B.|
| - ||Had one ball go between Tom and myself in RF. Ball bounced to the fence. I retrieved ball and tossed it to Tom, who threw it in.|
| - ||Softball is a game of frustration. You can't expect to make routine plays regularly, never mind difficult plays, unless you work at it daily.|
| - ||A player on the team appeared to have trouble distinguishing a-holes from people who genuinely want to help. Also, the player had trouble admitting they were wrong. Could be due to past personal experiences … perhaps traumatic.|
| - ||“Rage against the machine” - Tufts is a team that has been in the league for over 25 years. They have had generations of people cycle through their system. They have a large talent pool to tap into, participate in other leagues, and thanks to past successes are used to high-pressure situations. It is very difficult for a new or rebooted team to go up against such established teams and expect success without time to “gel” together first. Talented players can compensate, but can only go so far.|
| - ||When playing softball or any sport at a high level, you should to expect to take some hits and dings, both physically and mentally. |
| - ||One thing this season has given me is a deep appreciation to how well I ran the team in seasons past. I wasn’t the best coach, but I did run a “tight ship” and kept things in order on all fronts, despite all the challenges that I faced.|
| - ||If players are relaxed and not stressed-out, they will tend to make plays. If they are stressed-out, they will focus too much on not making a mistake and will be prone to making bad plays.|
Andy Wolan is a reporter and photographer for Verdasys Softball. This story was not subject to the approval of the league or its clubs.