June 02, 2007

Great Sport (baseball and softball)

As I watch the Tigers take a 9-5 lead into the ninth inning and I am not at all comfortable, I can't help but think about the great amateur baseball and softball I watched earlier today.

Earlier in the week, the softball team I coach lost in a pre-district game, so we were unable to play today. So, Lori and I met Ken up at the Mt. Pleasant complex and watched some great ball. Ken's brother, Denny, coaches the Alma Panthers. All the scoring in the Alma vs. Mt. Pleasant game happened in the first inning. Sloppy play and a missed call hurt the Panthers. Mt. Pleasant played the Shepherd Blue Jays in the district final after Shepherd beat the Chippewa Hills Warriors. Mt. Pleasant won that game, too, 7-6 in nine innings. The winning run scored on a walk. A win is a win, but that's not the way Mt. Pleasant wanted to win the game.

Alma's softball team won the semi-final game, 7-0, against Mt. Pleasant. They played Shepherd in the finals. Shepherd jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the Panters went ahead in with five-run fourth inning. The game became even more interesting in the fifth. The Lady Blue Jays had a runner on base and she was advanced to second base. Next, Alma intentionally walked a batter to set up a force. I questioned the move because it put the winning run on base. However, the next batter hit an easy grounder to short and the force was made at third base. Looked like a good move.

The next pitch, however, bounced out of the catcher's hand and the runners advanced to second and third. Next pitch, a Lady Blue Jay hit a grounder up the middle to score the go-ahead run. After a half-hour delay in the game due to a lightening sighting, the Blue Jays held on to gain a 6-5 win.

Next week, the Mt. Pleasant Oiler baseball team and Shepherd Lady Blue Jays softball teams will advance to the regional tournament in Belding. Congratulations. Also, the Vestaburg baseball and softball teams each won their district in Merrill and will advance to the regional tourney in Climax next Saturday. Good luck to each of these teams!

(P.S. Travis Hafter has just lead off the bottom of the ninth with a single. Should I just turn the TV off? )

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