Friday, August 31, 2012

And It's a Wrap: WSJ Pummel Bullets in 2012 Finale

The DC Bullets' 2012 softball season came to a close last night with a one-sided, 18-6 loss at the hands of Wall St. Journal.

WSJ scored four times in the first, once in the third and five times in the fifth before DC got on the board. After the comic book makers tallied four runs in the last of the fifth, highlighted by Kevin Schwoer's long home run to centerfield, inspiring thoughts of a comeback, WSJ put the game away with a seven-run sixth inning. DC tacked on two runs in the last of the seventh for the final score.

After falling behind early, highlighed by a two-run opposite field home run from WSJ, the Bullets misfired in the first. After Pat Braahhseauo's lead-off single, Vince Letterio, Mike Lorah and Andrew Arnold grounded into consecutive fielder's choices. In the second, Joel doubled into the left field corner with one out. Christine Napolitano's line single to left moved Joel to third, but Larry Ganem and Sal Cipriano both lined out to shortstop, leaving two runners stranded.

The third and fourth innings went similarly quietly for DC. Blake Kobashigawa flew out to center, Neil Hiremath popped up to short, and Brie Cortese, making her Bullets debut, grounded to short in the third. Jeff Boison and Pat flew out in the fourth, and after a resounding double from Vince, Mike lined out to right.

The Bullets broke through in the fifth. After Andrew started things with a single, Kevin crushed a line drive well over the centerfielder's head for an easy home run. Singles by CNap, Joel and Larry loaded the bases with nobody out. Sal drove home a third run, grounding in an unassisted fielder's choice at third base. Blake followed with a groundball that forced Sal at second, leaving runners on the corners with two outs. Neil punched a single to left, scoring Larry easily and sending Blake around to third base, but Neil was thrown out at second when the throw to third was cut off.

Sixth inning: Brie grounded to shortstop again, Jeff popped up to second, and Pat bounced back to the mound.

After Vince flew out to left to start the seventh, DC mounted a brief and too-short rally. Mike grounded a single through the middle, and Andrew lined a base hit to left. Both runners moved up two bases, with Mike scoring, when a throw from shallow left, attempting to catch Andrew rounding too far off first, went out of play. Andrew trotted home easily from third on Kevin's sacrifice fly to centerfield. After Joel's two-out single, CNap grounded into a 5-4 fielder's choice to close out the game and the season.

DC finishes the year 15-10 (2-8 NYMSL).

Bullet Box:
RF/P Pat Brosseau 1-3
LF Vince Letterio - 1-3, double
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3, R
LF/SS Andrew Arnold - 2-3, 2 R
CF/1B Kevin Schwoer - 1-2, R, 3 RBI, sac fly, home run
2B Joel Press - 3-3, R, double
SCF Christine Napolitano - 2-3
P Larry Ganem - 1-2, R
1B Sal Cipriano - 0-2, R
SS Blake Kobashigawa - 0-2
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-2, RBI
RF/C Brie Cortese - 0-2
RF/C Jeff Boison - 0-2

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eliminated - Forbes Knocks Bullets Out of NYMSL Playoffs

With only two games remaining in their season, the DC Bullets faced two must-win contests. Carrying a 2-6 record in the New York Media Softball League, DC absolutely had to knock off Forbes, the league's fourth and final playoff seed, to move within a half game of Forbes. The Bullets were not up to the challenge, as Forbes handed them a decisive 10-3 defeat, ending DC's slim playoff hopes.

Forbes jumped ahead quickly, scoring twice in the first against Joel Press and the DC defense. While two runs was hardly insurmountable, the first inning established the tone for Forbes' persistent offensive assault. They'd score at least one run in every inning except the second.

Meanwhile, DC struggled to mount any pressure on Forbes' defense. Facing an early deficit, the comic book makers couldn't muster a single hit in the first inning - Vince Letterio drew a two-out walk, but cleanup hitter Mike Lorah's line drive to left carried directly to the shortfielder. After Forbes' scoreless second, DC halved the lead: Pat Braseau lined a double into the gap. Christine Napolitano followed with an infield single, putting runners on first and second. A single by John Choi loaded the bases and Joel Press's RBI fielder's choice put DC on the board. Alas, a pop-out from Sal Cipriano and Nel Yomtov's hard line drive to the third baseman ended the threat.

Forbes plated a single run in the third, two in the fourth and one run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings, building a 7-1 lead before DC mounted another rally. In fact, DC sent only six hitters to the plate in the third and fourth innings - again, Vince was the only hitter to reach, smashing a long triple to left field. However, an ill-advised windmill from the third base coach led to Vince being thrown out at home by five feet.

DC loaded the bases in the fifth, but came away empty-handed. CNap and Joel singled, sandwiched around John's pop-out to shortstop. After Sal drilled a line drive to the waiting leftfielder, Nel lined a base hit through the middle to load the bases, but Danielle Yannetta fell behind 0-2 in the count and popped out to the pitcher, leaving all three runners stranded.

The top of the order finally came to life in the sixth, as Neil Hiremath singled and Blake Kobashigawa walked to put two runners aboard. Vince struck out swinging after a couple mighty foul balls, and Mike legged out an infield single to load the bases. Pat seized the opportunity, smoking a two-run double to the gap, but CNap's pop-up and John's routine fly ball to center field prevented DC from closing the gap any more. Down 7-3, we headed to the seventh.

And Forbes, to put emphasis on their supremacy (this day, anyway!), capped the afternoon with their highest run-scoring inning, driving home three insurance runs. Joel led off DC's last chance with a single. After Sal popped out to second, Nel worked a walk. Danielle grounded in a fielder's choice, forcing Joel at third, and the game wrapped up anticlimactically with Neil's pop-up to the pitcher.

So, yeah, we missed the playoffs. But with a 15-9 overall record, we've had a pretty good summer. We should improve on that 2-7 NYMSL mark next year though!

DC wraps up their 2012 season tomorrow on North Meadow #2 against the NYMSL's #2 seed, Wall St. Journal.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-4, R
IF Blake Kobashigawa - 0-2, R, BB
LF Vince Letterio - 1-2, BB, triple
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3
RF Pat Brosseau - 2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 doubles
SCF Christine Napolitano - 2-3
SS John Choi - 1-3
P Joel Press - 2-3
1B Sal Cipriano - 0-3
2B Nel Yomtov - 1-2, BB
C Danielle Yannetta - 0-3

Friday, August 17, 2012

DC vs. Marvel in Pictures

1B Laura Demoreuille warms up the infielders.
 3B Mike Lorah patrols the hot corner.
 We don't need no stinkin' Spiderman, we have Vince Letterio!
 Ace Larry Ganem whirls in a strike!
 SS Andrew Arnold stands ready.
 Speed Demon Neil Hiremath in the batter's box.
 3B Blake Kobashigawa getting set for his 3-3 day!
DC Letterer Carlos Mangual and friends.
 Go DC Supporters!
 Strike a Pose w/ Arnold, Kobashigawa, Jeff Boison, and Hiremath!
 Danielle Yannetta shows off her cape socks! Dan Bertoldi approves.
 Why is slugger Kevin Schwoer scared?!
Laura makes it to second!
 An Owl and friends enjoy a day at the park.
 DC Letterer Dezi Sienty and friend show their Bullets support.
 1B/Manager Sal Cipriano smacks an RBI single!
 Team Shot 2012!
 Team Shot #2!
 Hurray for the Bullets!
 CNAP says "Welcome to McGee's!" Andrew brushes his teeth with a cheese stick.
 Blake doesn't want to be in the middle of this family squabble.
 Bullets and coworkers and friends.
 Bullet Supporters Nick Napolitano, Andy Kubert and wife Theresa, and Roger Rivera!
 Prideful Bullets.
 Sal cheers you in the background.
 Waiting for drinks with Danielle and Pat Bressoooo.
 CNAP and our favorite bartender Michelle.
 PrePress coordinator David Pina (and owl) with happy Neil.
 Shock and Awe with Letterer Jared K. Fletcher and Sal.
 Cheers, Bullets!
 Cheers 2 now with extra Vince!
 Cheers 3, never enough!
Dan says, "Till next year, Marvel."

Bullets Beat Down on Chartbeat

In the final non-league game of the summer, the DC Bullets ran their record against teams outside the New York Media Softball League to a whopping 13-2. Their lackluster 2-6 record in the NYMSL isn't quite as inspiring, but with two games left, a small playoff window remains. For now, though, we'll celebrate Thursday night's 11-4 win over Chartbeat on North Meadow #2.

Short-handed, Chartbeat borrowed a few DC fielders defensively, but stuck to a seven to eight-person line-up (one person arrived late), which meant that their good bats got to the plate more often. They struck quickly in the first for a run, and they (aided by Larry Ganem's pitching, as the Bullets' ace took the mound for both teams!) turned DC away in the bottom half - with only Vince Letterio reaching base on a one-out single.

However, DC stepped up defensively in the middle innings, holding Chartbeat scoreless in the second through fifth innings, with Pat Braseau taking over on the mound in the fifth for DC. Meantime, in the bottom of the second, DC took the lead. Christine Napolitano and Nel Yomtov led off with singles, and after Blake Kobashigawa grounded into a fielder's choice, Sal Cipriano launched a two-run triple over the centerfielder's head. The Bullets' couldn't get Sal home, however, as Allison Klein lined to shortstop and Danielle Yannetta grounded to second base.

Larry Ganen singled with out away in the third, moved to third on Andrew Arnold's double to left field and scored when Dan Bertoldi lifted a sacrifice fly to shallow left, adding one insurance run. Kevin Schwoer made his 2012 pitching debut during this half inning for Chartbeat.

In the fourth, Neil Hiremath beat out a two-out infield single (Larry perhaps was a little too lacksadasical coming off the mound to field that one!). Mike Lorah lined a bullet to center, and then CNap and Nel each added an RBI single to cap a nice two-out, nobody-on rally. The Bullets went quietly in the fifth, however, as Sal popped out to short, Allie grounded to second and Danielle lined to short.

Chartbeat finally broke through against Pat in the sixth - tallying three runs and cutting DC's lead to 5-4. However, with Larry due up in the bottom half, professional meatball hurler Mike took over on the mound for Chartbeat and the Bullets erupted for six insurance runs. After John Choi flew out to center, Larry sliced a triple down the left field line and scored when the throw to third went wild. (Note: Larry really wants credit for a home run, so congratulate him on hitting one when you see him.) Andrew and Dan singled. After Pat lined to right for the second out, Kevin banged an RBI double into the left center gap and Vince followed suit with a two-run triple. Neil's infield base hit added a fifth run, and Neil moved up to second on the shortstop's overthrow, setting up Mike's (now batting against Larry) inning-topping RBI single.

After a scoreless top seven, with time remaining on the permit, both teams opted for another inning - Blake picked up a single in the seventh for DC, but was left stranded. Chartbeat again went scoreless in top eight, and then asked DC if we'd bat bottom eight so they could have some extra fielding chances. They made the most of those oppotunities - after Danielle and John singled, Larry lined into a double play and Andrew fouled out to end the game.

15-8 (2-6 NYMSL), the Bullets battle Forbes (4-5 NYMSL) next Thursday on North Meadow #2.

Bullet Box:
LF/1B Kevin Schwoer - 1-3, R, RBI, double
LF/C Vince Letterio - 2-3, R, 2 RBI, triple
CF Neil Hiremath - 2-3, 2 R, RBI
3B/LF Mike Lorah - 2-3, R, RBI
SCF Christine Napolitano - 2-3, R, RBI
SS/2B Nel Yomtov - 2-3, RBI
3B/2B Blake Kobashigawa - 1-3, R
1B Sal Cipriano - 1-3, 2 RBI, triple
2B Allison Klein - 0-3
C Danielle Yannetta - 1-3
SS John Choi - 1-3
P Larry Ganem - 2-3, 2 R, triple
LF/SS Andrew Arnold - 1-3, R
RF/C Dan Bertoldi - 1-1, R, RBI, sac fly
RF/P Pat Brosseau - 0-2

Game Notes: Thursday's game featured the first-ever names-drawn-from-a-hat Bullets line-up, and it worked just fine. Some of the defensive positions in the box may be off - lots of players were shuffling late in this game. Also, some props to Danielle for coming back into the game after being literally run over by a Chartbeat baserunner in the third inning.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fantastic! Amazing! Incredible! Bullets Double Down in Win over Marvel

But clearly, Danielle's Batman cape-socks were the real winner.

The annual DC Comics vs. Marvel Comics softball showdown went down Thursday evening on North Meadow #2. Like the Bullets, Marvel's team has suffered some West Coast attrition in the last year or two. DC was short our vaunted and valued supersoldier Nel Yomtov Thursday night, while Marvel lost a key bat for the 2012 season to a torn ACL. Both teams brought vocal cheering sections (no costumed heroes this year, though quite a few Court of Owls' masks haunted the DC crowd), which only made the game more exciting and more hilarious for both sides. And in the end, DC rode a seven-run outburst in the third and fourth innings to an 8-4 victory.

Both teams showcased their defenses in the first inning - each team put two baserunners on, but neither could cash them in. Neil Hiremath and Blake Kobashigawa opened up DC's bottom of the first with line drive singles to center, but Mike Lorah popped up to the pitcher and Vince Letterio and Christine Napolitano followed with consecutive unassisted fielder's choices to third base.

In the second, Marvel strung together a few hits and pushed a run across for the early lead, but the Bullets rose to the occasion in the bottom half. Dan Bertoldi singled to left and Pat Brahsew singled to right to put runners on first and second. Andrew Arnold popped up to shortstop, but Joel Press picked up a hit, loading the bases with one out. Laura Demoreuille grounded to third base - Dan came home with the tying run, Pat was forced at third, and both Joel and Laura moved into scoring position when Marvel's third baseman's attempt for a 5-3 double play went wide of first base. Larry Ganem, helping his own cause, punched a two-run single to center, giving DC a lead they would not relinquish. Andrew Marino and Kevin Schwoer singled to reload the bases. Sal Cipriano lined a base hit to left, scoring Larry, but Andrew ran through the stop sign and was thrown out by five feet at home plate to end the inning.

DC added to the lead in the third. After Jeff Boison popped out, Danielle Yannetta - wearing her Batman cape socks - "doubled" (one of only two extra-base hits on the day for DC) with a little assistance from some Marvel infielders who had a hard time keeping a straight face when confronted with her fashion statement. Neil flew out to center, but Blake scored Danielle with a two-out single. Mike then capped the inning with a two-run bomb to right center before Vince popped up to third.

Larry, meanwhile,  kept mowing Marvel's bats down like Deathstroke the Terminator, keeping DC's lead unchallenged in the third and fifth innings, while Pat handled a scoreless fourth. Marvel's biggest threat came in the third, when they put runners on first and second with nobody out. The next hitter lifted a flare into shallow right field and it seemed nobody would be able to reach it - however, Joel Press, moving like the Flash himself (or at least Quicksilver), sprinting out from second base, made an amazing Willie Maysesque over-the-shoulder grab. The following hitter scorched a bullet to third, where Mike made the pick and forced the lead runner, and then Dan ran down a can of corn in right field to preserve DC's 7-1 lead.

The Bullet offense sputtered in the fourth and fifth innings thanks in part to some good Marvel D. CNap lined to third in the fourth, but Dan, Pat and Andrew followed with singles, loading the bases. Joel then ripped a laser beam back up the middle that Marvel's pitcher somehow speared, and Andrew was doubled off first. Laura and Larry singled leading off the fifth, but back-to-back popups by Andrew 2 and Kevin, followed by Sal's hard-hit fielder's choice to third, closed out another missed opportunity.

After the top of their order came away empty in the fifth, highlighted by Mike making a running back-to-the-infield catch in shallow left to deny their leadoff hitter, the middle part of Marvel's batting line-up regrouped and came on the attack in the sixth. Aggressive baserunning led to a first run and then one of Marvel's surprise sluggers crushed a long two-run double to center field to cut DC's lead to 7-4.

DC tacked on one insurance run in the sixth, however. Jeff flew out to left, but Danielle outran another infield single and took second on an overthrow. Neil lifted a fly ball to center for the second out, but Blake singled to left and Mike drilled an RBI single to center to push the lead to four runs. Vince also singled in the sixth, loading the bases for CNap, who grounded to the third baseman for an unassisted fielder's choice.

Larry went back to the mound in the seventh, inducing two routine plays - a grounder to Andrew at short and a fly to Kevin in left - before Marvel's #2 hitter lifted a flare to shallow left, but Kevin proved up to the challenge, making a running shoe-string, sno-cone grab to close out the game.

14-8 (2-6 NYMSL), the Bullets do battle against Chartbeat next Thursday on North Meadow #2.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-3
2B/3B/SS Blake Kobashigawa - 3-3, R, RBI
3B Mike Lorah - 2-3, R, 3 RBI, home run
LF/CF Vince Letterio - 1-3
SCF Christine Napolitano - 0-3
RF Dan Bertoldi - 2-2, R
P Pat Brosseau - 2-2
SS Andrew Arnold - 1-2
2B Joel Press - 1-2, R
1B Laura Demoreuille - 1-2, R, RBI
P Larry Ganem - 2-2, R, 2 RBI
C Andrew Marino - 1-2
LF Kevin Schwoer - 1-2
1B Sal Cipriano - 1-2, RBI
RF Jeff Boison - 0-2
C Danielle Yannetta - 2-2, 2 R, double

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bullets Savor Upside Down Cake Win Over Hachette Books

The Catchers in the Rye, the softball team from publisher Hachette Books, visited North Meadow #2 Thursday evening for a first-ever game against the DC Bullets, and Bullet Captain Sal Cipriano decided it was a good time to shake up the defense and the line-up, giving some Bullets regulars a few extra top-of-the-order at-bats - of course, everybody in the line-up got exactly three at-bats, but the intention was good. And the new batting sequence didn't matter much in an easy 13-2 win for DC.

The Hachette team struggled to muster a consistent offensive attack - they managed just two runs, both in the top of the sixth, and each scored with pitcher Pat Brahso threw away back-to-back trickling infield rollers (each with a moderate degree of difficulty). Pat got out of trouble, however, with a successful assist on a third consecutive comebacker. It was that sort of offensive showing from the opposition.

Although they didn't hit much, the Catchers played solid D and displayed a good sense of humor, and they're welcome back on DC's turf anytime. For the Bullets' part, the offense went like so:

With one out in the first, Blake Kobashigawa reached on a flare that dropped just beyond the second baseman. After Dan Bertoldi's fielder's choice, Neil Hiremath lined a double to left centerfield to put two runners in scoring position. Andrew Marino, however, grounded to shortstop to leave both runners stranded - no worries though, Andrew made up for it later.

After Laura Demoreuille and Nel Yomtov grounded out to start the second, it seemed Hachette's defense might be equal to the task of containing DC's bats. However, Sal lined a single to left and came all the way around to score when Pat burned the left fielder with a long double. John Choi added another RBI double before Vince Letterio bounced out to short.

Kevin Schwoer started the third with a half-mile high fly to center. Mike Lorah reached out and grounded a single to right and moved to second on Danielle's groundout. Then the two-out good times started up: Singles by Blake and Dan plated one run, and Neil added another RBI single. Andrew smacked a two-run double into the left center gap and scored when Laura drilled a line drive single almost through Hachette's third baseman. Nel added a single before Sal lined a rope directly to the shortstop to end the five-run inning.

John's one-out single was DC's only offense in the fourth, but they added three more runs in the fifth. Mike led off with another ground single to right, moved up on Danielle's groundout again, and scored easily on Blake's mulligan double to center (the Bullets forgot to put a base coach on first base and Blake was granted a do-over when nobody wanted to make the call on his bang-bang grounder to short - also, Blake's super-proud dad was watching the game, so we had to give him a chance to look good). Dan singled over shortstop and, after Neil flew out, Andrew tore the cover off a two-run triple to deep left field.

Three more runs plated in the sixth, with Nel doubling to right and Pat, following Sal's hard grounder to shortstop, slicing a triple down the right field line. John added an RBI single and went to third on Vince's line single to left. Kevin lifted a sacrifice fly to left before Mike popped up to right center to wrap the Bullets' offensive afternoon.

On the defensive side, Blake and John stepped in on the left side of the infield with a flawless afternoon, and Neil and Andrew did a spectacular job stealing hits from the Bullets by helping out in Hachette's short-handed outfield when they weren't up to bat. (Mike and Nel also stood in the Catchers' outfield, but neither saw much action.)

13-8 (2-6 NYMSL), DC's biggest game of the summer is next Thursday on North Meadow #2 - Marvel's coming to town!

Bullet Box:
C Danielle Yannetta - 0-3
3B Blake Kobashigawa - 3-3, 2 R, RBI, double
RF Dan Bertoldi - 2-3, 2 R, RBI
CF Neil Hiremath - 2-3, R, RBI, double
RF Andrew Marino - 2-3, R, 4 RBI, double, triple
1B Laura Demoreuille - 1-3, RBI
2B Nel Yomtov - 2-3, R, double
DH Sal Cipriano - 1-3, R
P Pat Brosseau - 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI
SS John Choi - 3-3, R, 2 RBI, double
OF Vince Letterio - 1-3
LF Kevin Schwoer - 0-2, RBI, sac fly
SCF Mike Lorah - 2-3, 2 R