Wednesday, July 20, 2011

YSA: Hounds Prevail in a Thriller

Coming into this 11th game of the regualr season, the Hounds were on a 10-game winning streak and showing no signs of slowing down in their pursuit of Yorkville glory. We showed up to Chelsea Park with the intention of keeping up the streak, even though with first place sewn up, we knew the game was essentially meaningless for us. The city was in the grips of a stifling heat wave, and the field was a pleasant surprise, the turf having been re-laid since last season to the more realistic field turf. In the opposing dugout were the the Bloomberg Bombers, and as the lineups were exchanged, their manager's exact quote to me was "We are going to kick your ass." I replied, "give it your best shot." There were some other testy words exchanged, as some of their players came to the field with a chip on their shoulder. Hey, that's fine. Whatever gets you motivated...

Our ace Juiena took the mound after a brief hiatus and she was masterful out there. Truth be told, Bloomberg would not have scored many runs off of her if not for a number of miscues, yours truly being at the forefront of that. Bloomberg scored 2 in the 1st, then 3 in the 2nd, and we were in a quick 5-0 hole. We were able to get on the board in the bottom of  the frame, Cap and Mano driving in the runs. Bloomberg would add another run in the top of the 3rd to take a 6-2 lead, but they would score no more. Juiena held them at bay, getting out of multiple jams with the finesse of Baryshnikov. JT made some tremendous catches in the outfield to rob Bloomberg of a few runs. Meanwhile, we chipped away at their lead little by little, with the bottom half of the order doing the yeoman's work. 

After the bottom of the 4th, the game was tied at 6 and the next couple of innings were played on a razor's edge. After holding Bloomberg scoreless in the top of the 7th, we came up to bat in the bottom of the frame with a chance to win it. The 1st two batters of the inning made outs however, and extra innings loomed large. Then, we proceeded to put together a clutch 2-out rally, Cindy leading the way with a clutch single up the middle. Bloomberg's pitcher issued an intentional walk to Mano which also walked Juice and set up bases loaded, 2 outs for Jessie. Jess had already gotten some key hits for us earlier in the season, but this was a big-time pressure situation. Calm as can be, she stroked a clean base hit, opposite field no less, and once it went over the first baseman's head, our dugout exploded in jubilation as Cindy scored the winning run. It was a hard fought win against probably the best team we have faced this season. The streak is intact and we head into the finale on the highest note possible. Final Score: Hounds 7, Bloomberg 6.

WOW. All I can say is Wow. What a tremendous win, team. Maybe the best Hounds win ever, strictly in terms of gameplay. We were down, but never for one second did we believe that we were out of it. Massive props to our pitcher who kept us in the game, and to our defense, which after a rough start, locked Bloomberg down. This was definitely a character-building win, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

New Feature: Scoresheet (after the jump)