Article #5: A-WOL’s Softball Log Playing with the 356er’s
Posted: Oct 10, 2010

Before the start of Verdasys Softball’s 2010 season, Coach Wolan was put on assignment in Wilmington, DE. The purpose of the assignment was to prepare Wolan for the upcoming softball season. He was assigned to the 356er’s, a successful co-ed softball franchise and winners of 12 league championship titles.

Of the 25 games the 356er’s played that season, A-WOL participated in 18. The following is a written log of his contributions to the team, along with some personal accounts of the 356er’s games. The following accounts are real, but may have some inaccuracies since they were written some time after each game was played.

Game 01 Game 05 Game 09 Game 13 Playoff Game P1
Game 02 Game 06 Game 10 Game 14 Playoff Game P2
Game 03 Game 07 Game 11 Game 15 Playoff Game P3
Game 04 Game 08 Game 12   Playoff Results

Game #01
Date: 5/03/10 (Game 1 / 2)
Opponent: Unknown
Score: (Win)

Fielding Notes
Started at 2B. Two touches.
- Fielded a grounder for the force out at first for opening out of the game.
- Managed to block a hard liner to 2B, but could not make a play. (Was told “welcome to the 356er’s” after the play.) Did not get to do much after that.

Batting Notes
Batting performance unknown.

Game #02
Date: 5/03/10 (Game 2 / 2)
Opponent: Unknown
Score: (Win)

Fielding Notes
Did not field.

Batting Notes
Did not bat, but I pitch ran twice. (Scored once.)

Game #03
Date: 5/26/10 (Game 1 / 2)
Opponent: Brewmasters
Score: 18-8 (Loss)

Fielding Notes
Relieved an infielder during the 7th. One touch.
- Made fly out.

Batting Notes
1 for 2 (K), run scored.
- Infield-Single (scored)
- Foul out

Game #04
Date: 5/26/10 (Game 2 / 2)
Opponent: Brewmasters
Score: ?-? (Loss)

Fielding Notes
Started in LF. Caught 3 or 4 fly outs. One liner passed LC fielder. I was able to retrieve ball to limit batter to a 3B.

Batting Notes
1 for 2 (BB, K), run scored.
- Walk (scored)
- Foul out
- Single

Game #05
Date: ? (Game 1 / 2)
Opponent: Unknown
Score: 6-2 (Win)

Fielding Notes
Started at 2B.
- Made 2 or 3 force outs at second. (Almost made double play.) Female batter made three hits by dibbling hits to 1B area. Could have made one of them if I had called off fielders. (The pitcher and first basewoman.)

Batting Notes
1 for 2 (FC), RBI
- FC (outran double play)
- Infield single, RBI (throw to was 1B bad. I hit the dirt trying to avoid basewoman attempting to salvage play. Marlin scored on a throw attempt to the plate.)

Game #06
Date: ? (Game 2 / 2)
Opponent: Unknown
Score: (Loss by mercy rule)

Fielding Notes
Defensive sub for 2B. Made no plays. Inning ended due to mercy rule. Could have made play of ball hit behind 2B. (But ball was on 3B side.)

Batting Notes
Did not bat.

Game Notes
It was discovered after the game that the opposing team was using fast-pitch balls instead of slow-pitch balls. The game was not contested, however.

Game #07
Date: 6/15/10 (Game x / 2)
Opponent: Unknown
Score: 19 – 7 (Win by mercy rule after 5)

Fielding Notes
Played RC last two innings. One touch.
- Held runner to a single on ball hit to RF.

Batting Notes
1 for 2 (BB), RBI and 2 runs scored.
- RBI single through IF. Scored from 2nd.
- Walked. Scored from 2nd.
- Pop-up w/ bases loaded. (Had commanding lead at that point, so it was ok.)

Game #08
Date: 6/15/10 (Game x / 2)
Opponent: Unknown
Score: 18 – 10 (Win)

Fielding Notes
Played RC for first 4 innings.
- 1st touch: limited runner to a single?
- 2nd touch: made bad throw to cutoff, which allowed batter to advance to 2B (threw a curve ball.)

Played 2B for remainder of game.
- Made spectacular leap after a hanging liner over 2B... Did not make catch
- Made Force out at 2B to end inning... Then tried for double play... Was over thrown but didn't count.
- Made 5-4 out to end game. (Right)

Batting Notes
1 for 2 (BB), 2 runs scored.
- Single. Scored from 2B, even though I stopped at 3B.
- Pop-up out to SS.
- BB. Scored from 3B.

All runs were scored with Anthony at-bat.

Game Notes
- Was complimented on my base running speed. "No matter how good you are people look at your speed (first)".
- Also paid my team fee balance... unlike K.O.

Game #09
Date: 6/23/10 (Game 1 / 2)
Opponent: Unknown
Score: 18 - 2 (Win – Blow-out)

Fielding Notes
Did not field.

Batting Notes
0 for 3 (K, FC), RBI
- K (First pitch was flat but called strike. Second and third pitch hit foul past 3rd base bag.)
- Ground out to first with based loaded... Did not out run play... Missed by more than a step. (Did not have enough umph to get going so I could outrun play.)
- Fielder’s choice RBI (bases loaded, runner out at third)

Game #10
Date: 6/23/10 (Game 2 / 2)
Opponent: Unknown
Score: 16 – 13 (Win – almost lost at end but team held it together.)

Fielding Notes
Started in LC. Three touches.
- Played too deep against female batter, which allowed her to get a hit into shallow outfield. Was able to field ball quickly and throw to 1B to try and get force out. Did not get out but the ball did reach Steph at 1B. (Who then yelled at me for trying to throw out a girl at 1B.)
- Got beat on two hits into deep LC as the ball hit the fence each time. Was able to throw ball to cut-off guy from the fence and limit batter to a 3B both times.
- Ball was hit to me in LC. I fielded it oddly with an overly played backwards stab to my right. (I was trying not to get hit by the ball bouncing oddly off the ground.) Made throw to cut-off man, who then threw to home to try and get base runner out. Had he thrown the ball properly, the runner would be out, allowing me to collect an outfield assist.

Batting Notes
2 for 3 (BB), RBI and 2 runs scored.
- Bases loaded RBI single to left field. Hit grass. Made it to 3B. Kevin predicted I would "go boom" (falling slide) when advancing.
- Walk, scored
- Bloop hit into shallow center field. Later Scored.
- Pop-up (F2)

Game 9/10 Accomplishments:
I played awful, however:
- I did not get heat stroke
- Made two outs in one inning... Not fielding but batting
- Hit a ball that made it to grass
- Arm strength improving. (Throw from warning track to cut off was strong.)

Game #11
Date: 6/30/10 (Game 1 / 2)
Opponent: Pioneer
Score: 28 – 27 (Win)

Fielding Notes
Fielded LC for an inning (5th). No touches.

Batting Notes
1 for 1, 2 RBIs and run scored.
One at-bat only. Contributed in 5th inning rally with a 2 RBI line-drive hit into center field. Scored on Scott's ITP HR.

Game Notes
Team was down by 11 at one point. Needed one run to continue game in 4th, which the team made. In the 5th, the team rallied and scored 11 runs. In the 6th, the team scored 6. In the 7th, the team needed 6 to tie. Team scored 7 to take the win. Was the greatest comeback in team history.
Game time: 5:45 to 7:30

(Refer to this news article for more details.)

Game #12
Date: 6/30/10 (Game 2 / 2)
Opponent: Pioneer
Score: 17 – 14 (Win – called due to darkness)

Fielding Notes
Played RC towards end of game. Made no touches.

Batting Notes
0 for 0 (BB)
- Walked. Forced out at second. (Hard slide into 2nd might have disrupted double play.)

Game Notes
- Other team needed 11 to tie in last inning. Only scored 8. (Game was called due to darkness.)
- This was the final game ever played at Chestnut Run Park.

Game #13
Date: 7/22/10 (Game x / 2)
Opponent: B-52 Bombers
Score: (Won by 4 runs)

Fielding Notes
Started in RF. Team had one lefty to deal with. He never hit it into right field.

2 touches:
- Ball squirted through infield in RF. Runner tried to stretch hit into double. I threw ball on target to 2B, but runner beat tag. Throw was accurate and letter high to fielder (Scott), however my throw was not hard enough to beat runner... Throw focused on accuracy rather than speed.
- Other touch: ball got through infield. Could not field ball in time, because the very tall grass around the infield prevented me from fielding ball quickly. (Was about 7 inches tall but not thick... Dense enough to throw you off.)

Batting Notes
0 for 2 (BB)
- Pop-up
- Walked. Advanced to third on a single.
- Pop-up. Did a Jonny Damon stance to try hit ball down the line. Ended up popping it up. According to ump, the ball was WAY inside, causing me to hit the ball with the handle of the bat. Which is true.

Having trouble getting over my fear of hitting the catcher in the head when I swing.

Game Notes
- Team drew many walks early, but we rallied in 3rd and 5th (tying score in 5th).
- Fun play: Stephanie, our first basewoman, hit into a double play. She was not happy with this because she was hitting badly all day. Team later converted a double play, erasing two guys. Thus, she got her revenge!

Game #14
Date: 7/22/10 (Game 2 / 2)
Opponent: B-52 Bombers
Score: (Won by 10 runs)

Fielding Notes
Played relief in RC and then RF.
- One touch, and that was fielding a blooper in the last inning that went over Bob's head in shallow center. I fell on the field chasing after the ball. Made throw to 2B on the ground.

Batting Notes
1 for 2 (2B)
- Double. Next batter grounded out.
- Pop-up. First swing was at a good pitch, but I completely missed it. Ump took photo with me after the pitch. (Right)

Game Notes
- We were scoreless last 2 innings. However, opponent scored only one run in the last three innings. (Top of 7th)
- A-WOL's new all-female fan club may be going to his head. Between innings, he was caught chatting with his fan club, when he was supposed to be on the field. Once he realized his mistake, A-WOL sprinted into his field position just in time for the start of play. The 356er's coach Howard commented, "That boy is crazy...but he sure do run fast."
- Fun play: After batter hits single into outfield, the runner on 3B tries to score. He is out at the plate. Stephanie (first basewoman) threw male runner out. (Revenge play) "I threw your skinny legs out")
- After game, I managed to lock keys in car. Coach Howard & co. stuck around until AAA came.

Game #15
Date: 7/27/10 (Game 1 / 1)
Opponent: DuET (Tie breaker)
Score: 18 – 3 (Win via mercy rule in 4th)

Fielding Notes
Did not field.

Batting Notes
2 for 2, with 2 RBIs.
- RBI single into shallow center field. Was later forced out at second. (During at-bat, made a big swing and a miss.)
- RBI single from a hard grounder hit through 3rd and SS. Even ump was impressed. Was later forced out at second. (First pitch was inside.)

Game Notes
I made no outs while at bat!

0 2 0 1
8 8 1 1

Game #P1
Date: 8/03/10
Opponent: Scared Hitless
Score: 15 – 0 (Win via mercy rule in 4th)

Fielding Notes
I didn't field.

Batting Notes
I went up to plate to bat. After taking the first pitch for a ball, the coach from the other team came over and told Howard that the game was over per the mercy rule. We interpreted it as "Whoa, Andy is at the plate. We don't stand a chance now, so we might as well quit."

Game Notes
- First shut-out I've ever seen.
- In the third we had a 1B, 2B, 3B, and Howard hit into a double play. On one play (I have photos) our player was caught in a pickle between 2nd and 3rd. We had a baserunner who paused at third. The other team was so distracted with the lead runner that the guy was able to waffle back and forth to allow the runner to score. The trailing base runner ended up taking 3B safely.
- WebGem – On an outfield hit, Dave was directed home to score. The other team threw the ball in and tossed it to the catcher, a good step/step and a half before Dave crossed the plate.

Coach’s Note:
There's not a lot to be learned from a game in which the other team only gets two hits. We were the better team, and we beat a team that we were supposed to beat. We didn't have any errors, and Marlin made a couple of very good catches on balls that I thought should have been caught by Anthony (if the proper technique was used). You can't judge the defense because, while they hit several balls hard, many of them were right at us. At the plate, everyone got on base at least once, except the coach, who stunk up the place by grounding out and hitting into a double play. We had a lot of hits, but several of those hits would have been routine fly balls if we were playing against better competition. While it was a good solid win, we will still have to hit more line drives and step it up against Pioneer next week.

Game #P2
Date: 8/10/10
Opponent: Pioneer
Score: 19? – 4? (Loss via mercy rule)

Fielding & Batting Notes
Was dressed to participate but did not play - bench warmer. Had played a game in Waltham, MA the night before.

Game #P3
Date: 8/17/10
Opponent: Brewmasters
Score: 8 - 7 (Loss)

Fielding & Batting Notes
Was dressed to participate but did not play - bench warmer.

Game Notes
The 356er’s got to an early lead and managed to hang on to some good fielding, including a great heads-up play to get a base runner who was trying to advance to third on a potential play at the plate.

Down 6-2 in the fifth, the Brewmasters would take advantage of some miscues by the 356er’s fielders and rally for 6 runs to take a 8-6 lead. The score remained that way in the seventh as the Brewmasters blew a potential scoring opportunity. After Anthony (CF) caught a fly ball, the baserunner tagged-up and tried to advance to third, but Anthony would connect with Scott to tag the runner out at third.

Scott would kick-off the bottom half of the inning with a lead-off triple. He would then score on a sac fly to make it 8-7. But that would be all the scoring that the team would get, as K.O. ended the game with an infield flyball.

This wasn’t the only one-run game of the day. Three other playoff games played that afternoon were settled by just one run.

“I can't remember a playoffs in this league where nearly all the games have been competitive like this year,” commented league commissioner Howard Jones.

Batting Stats

So who won the playoffs?

While Tuesday had some exciting games, last night's games were rather boring. There were a lot of mistakes and bad decisions by all three teams.

There were at least 5 runners thrown out at the plate (3 on Incognito) in the two games. The first game was tied 5-5, but Ashley of Incognito hit a ball over the left-fielder's head for a two-run double with two outs, after the Brewmasters had walked in a run with the bases loaded. In the 7th inning, the Brewmasters had a shot, but one of their batters looked at a called third strike (I actually thought he should have been called out on the pitch before that!) They were down three with the bases loaded and two out, when their #2 hitter popped up, with Richard, Netta, and Ray Brown coming up next.

In the second game, Incognito just looked out of sync. They kept getting runners on base, but either had bad baserunning, or couldn't get a key hit. Incognito hit two HRs in the first game, and it seemed like they kept trying in the second one. They hit several balls that were caught right in front of the fence. And while Pioneer played good defense, their offense was aided by several Incognito mistakes. Incognito decided to pitch to Ben with runners on second and third with one out (first base was open!). He hit a 3-run HR, of course, but it probably could have been caught had the left-centerfielder timed his jump better.

Three batters later, a guy hit another 3-run homer, and there was no question about its distance. Pioneer won, and deserved to win, but it still left me wondering how we could have played so badly in the playoffs after watching the unspectacular play of all the other teams.

SCORES from the Final Night of the Playoffs:

Semi-final game

Incognito 8, Brewmasters 5

Championship Game

Pioneer 10, Incognito 0

Congratulations on a great season for the new Dupont Intramural League Champions!

***In addition to the trophy and all the recognition, Pioneer will receive a 3-year supply of Monsanto seed, and a lifetime subscription to the Farmer's Almanac!!!