Softball Report, June 11 » Eastside Hill Nightcrawlers: 14, Scheel’s Sports: 3
Nightcrawlers Swallow Scheel’s Sports, 14-3
by Joe Thielen, manager
Fresh off a demoralizing defeat last week, the Eastside Hill Nightcrawlers stormed back on Tuesday night with an evening of unstoppable defense and a stinging offensive attack.
Defensively, the night was filled with solid execution, making even the most difficult plays seem routine. Phil Garvey and Doug Loechner-Wright put in a strong effort at third and short, respectively, and Kasey Schmidt made several plays at second base, including two very-near double plays. Kelly Frasier took on firstbasewoman duties again, and rounded out what is quickly becoming a formidable Nightcrawler infield. With Ken Symanski on the mound, the Nightcrawlers held Scheels’ Sports to just three runs over six innings.
The team scored first in the 2nd inning, as the Nightcrawlers roared to a 5-1 lead, all on singles. RBIs by Ken Symanski, Kelly Frasier, Doug Loechner, and Phil Garvey would put the Eastside Hill team in the lead for the night. Skipper Joe Thielen’s booming command of “let’s get ‘em back” was followed nicely in the 4th inning, after the Scheels team had moved two across in the top half of the frame. Thielen himself would get an unlikely RBI on a bloop single, driving in Mark Scheuller. This was followed by three more runs blasted in on ground balls and pure hustle as Kris Lyberg, Ken Symanski, and Tori Hugo would also cross the plate.
The sixth inning brought a scare to the Eastside Hill team, as firstbasewoman Frasier sustained a painful and terrifying injury. What would have been a dazzling double play ended in a frightening series of events. The play happened quickly, as secondbasewoman Kasey Schmidt snagged a line drive, and deftly winged the ball over to Kelly to catch the runner before he could make it back to first base. Unfortunately, the angle of the throw had Frasier staring directly into the sun. Kelly suffered a severe laceration from the impact of the ball on her sunglasses, and, after several moments on the ground in pain, was walked off the field to cheers from the crowd. Kelly was taken for treatment at a local hospital, and the Nightcrawlers finished the game with 8 players. Kelly’s injuries were fortunately limited to stitches and a bruised cheek, which will probably look pretty cool by next week.
The Nightcrawlers would bounce back, however, and go on to put up five runs in the bottom of the 6th. This occasion marked the first time the Nightcrawlers have won by the official “ten run rule” since 2007. The Scheels team was very gracious in defeat, concerned mostly for the welfare of Kelly Frasier as they left the park. When asked if she would return for the June 29th game, Kelly mustered an emphatic, “Hell yeah!” to local reporters in her post-game interview.
More crippling news would trickle in over the next 24 hours, as star utility man Josh Zeug was lost to a broken thumb, injured in a diving attempt at a fly ball in left field. Zeug’s opposite field power will surely be missed in the lineup, as he is out 4-6 weeks.
“We’re dropping like flies out there,” said Thielen on Wednesday morning. “Nightcrawler softball is about putting your heart on the line, as well as your fingers, ribs, and sometimes, even your face. It’s really tough to see players get hurt. These guys are like my kids out there. I know, I know, people who don’t have kids shouldn’t say that, I mean, some people refer to their dogs as their kids, so if that came off weird I didn’t mean any disrespect to parents out there.
I just hope we can stay healthy down the stretch so we can slam into this postseason with all the force we can muster.”
With that, Thielen took one last sip of coffee and forwarded the latest softball report to his editor.
Joe Thielen has read several books about Quantum Physics lately, and still doesn’t really get it, but acts like he does when speaking about the subject.