Monday, September 27, 2010

Zog: Hounds Make it Two in a Row

It was a cloudy early fall afternoon with the faint hint of summer still lingering in the air. A light sprinkle fell from the sky as the Hounds took the field on Roosevelt Island. Although short handed(9 players), they were full of confidence and ready to get interim manager Wink his first victory. The opponent, CYANide (who were also short handed), scored 2 runs in the first inning after a couple of bloop hits and some miscues. Then the Hounds came up to bat and quickly erased the deficit with 5 runs of their own. They continued to bring in runs in multiple innings always keeping the pressure on CYANide who had to play catch up the whole game. The Hounds defense settled in and although we gave up 10 runs we also made timely defensive plays that halted CYANide’s momentum and were huge rally killers. Highlights in the field were Camille(unassisted double play), Buddah(throwing out a runner at home), Amy(doubling up a runner tagging too early), Jason T.( an outfield assist to 2nd), and Amanda(catching 2 foul balls hit straight back behind the plate). The offensive standouts were Kyle (4 for 4, 3 RBI, 2 RS), Buddah (3 for 4, 2 RBI, 1RS), Wink (2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI, RS) and Amy (2 for 3, BB). In the end, the Hounds were the more focused team and knew what it took to win. Final Score: Hounds 14 , CYANide 10.

Kudos to Wink and everybody else for getting the job done. It doesn't matter how you do it, the 'W' in the standings is all that matters. This is a critical win that puts us in control of our own destiny as we march towards the playoffs. Nice work, team.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Zog: Hounds Bounce Back Big-Time

Having lost a nailbiter on opening day, it was time for the Hounds to get back on the field and return to our winning ways. It was another trip to DeWitt Clinton, and it was a perfect evening for softball. In the opposing dugout were the City Slickers, a team we knew nothing about, other than that they had won on opening day. With only 6 games in the regular season, it was imperative that we get the win in this game. We took the field focused and determined.

As the away team, we came up to bat first, and we got off to a flying start. MikePa got us going again, leading off the game with a double, and scoring from 2nd on a simple 6-3 by Juiena. Wink then came up and stroked a solo homer, and the next 7 hitters proceeded to hit safely. Let's be honest, City Slickers definitely butchered a lot of balls, but we made the most of their mistakes. After the top of the first was over they were down 9-0 and there could be little doubt we would prevail.

Juiena got the ball as starting pitcher and she was in a nice groove from the start. Her high arc pitch was confounding City Slickers, and the defense behind her was outstanding. Most of the action for us on the defensive side occurred in the infield. Iain and the Cap were a strong left side of the infield combo, and new Hound Kyle played a solid first base. Meanwhile, our offense continued to roll along. The production was spread around, but the standouts were Mike(3-3, 2 RS, RBI), Wink(3-4, 2 HR, 4 RS, 3 RBI), Iain(5-5, 2 HR, 5 RS, 4 RBI), Push(4-5, 2 RS, 3 RBI), Buddah(4-4, HR, 3 RS, 3 RBI), and Kyle(4-4, 2 HR, 3 RS, 5 RBI). WIth the score at 17-0, Amy was brought in to get some relief work. She pitched well for the first couple of innings but got into some trouble in the bottom of the 5th. George then came in to get the final 7 outs of the game and he closed out City Slickers with relative ease. Let's give them credit for taking the beating in stride and let's give credit to the ump(Swayze) for letting us get the whole game in despite going over the time limit by a lot. Final Score: Hounds 27, City Slickers 7.

Even though we came through with a solid performance tonight, I must caution that our opponents were pretty awful and we shouldn't read too much into this blowout win. There are better teams ahead of us, although we also have the team that lost to City Slickers ahead on our schedule. That should be interesting. For next week, several key players will be away. Who is going to step up and carry us to victory?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Zog: Hounds Lose a Tough One

After basking in the glory of our all-conquering summer, it was time to return to action in the Zog Fall League. It was a brisk September evening in New York, and a steady sheet of rain blanketed the city. We showed up to the field a bit surprised that the game hadn't been called, but nevertheless ready to get down to Hounds business. The location was DeWitt Clinton Field in Hell's Kitchen, and our opponents were a team called Never Been to Third. They had also won their division in the previous season, so a close, well played game was to be expected. Just how close nobody could have anticipated.

Juiena got the ball as the now undisputed ace of the pitching staff. She pitched masterfully all night, giving us a chance to win the game. The first couple of innings went by with neither team being able to score. NBT also had a very good pitcher on the mound, and he stifled us with his very high-arc spinner. Finally, in the top of the third, NBT put up a run on the board, through a couple of clean hits and a miscue. Juiena escaped the inning without any further damage, and she battled her way out of trouble on several occasions. We then responded with a run of our own in the bottom of the third. MikePa stroked a single, then hustled his way to 2nd on a grounder from Jessie. He then scored from 2nd on a fielder's choice, getting new Hound Kyle his first ever RBI. It was all hustle, and our dugout was now fired up.

From there, the game was played on a razor's edge. Our defense did make a couple of mistakes, but there were also some fine plays made by Push, Mike, and Juiena, among others. The 1-1 scoreline held until the bottom of the 6th, when MikePa again hustled his way home after a single, fielder's choice, and a throwing error. Jessie picked up the RBI on that occasion. We were now up 2-1 going into NBT's last licks.  We felt good about our chances of locking up the win, but fate would not be on our side. A swinging bunt got the rally going for them, a dropped fly ball in the outfield assisted, and a clean base hit to right drove in the go-ahead run. In the bottom of the 7th, we went out 1-2-3, and we couldn't help but feel we let one slip away. Final Score: Hounds 2, NBT 3.

As unfortunate as it is to lose our first game(first Hounds loss in an opening game– ever), I don't think it's time to panic. We wanted to move up a division and we were always expecting a greater challenge. Now we know what we need to do in order to succeed at this level. We need to make some improvements, and I am confident we will. Our next game now takes on added importance as starting the season 0-2 could put a serious damper on our playoff chances. We can accept nothing less than victory next Sunday.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gotham City: Team MVPs Announced

The voting is closed and the MVPs for the Gotham City Sports League have been selected. The winners are very deserving of the honor. So without further ado, here are the winners:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Zog: Hounds Switch Uniforms

Since our team's founding in 2008, we have always worn Navy blue jerseys in the Zog league. We forged countless memorable moments in those Navy and Orange t-shirts. But time goes on and progress is inevitable. Starting in the Fall 2010 campaign, The Hounds are switching to the Gray jerseys that served us so well in the Gotham City league. The Grays are just a much better quality garment and are a look more befitting a team of our caliber. 

Who knows, perhaps if there is another jersey order in our future we'll have a chance to update the Navy Blues. But for now, we're going Gray.

Home and Away style guides available on the home page