FINALS - CONTINUE, MAYBE
In my position as league commissioner, I took the time to set up a schedule for the finals that would have had both series playing on the same nights during the week. Regardless of the series length, both would have been over in five dates. Avoiding Labor Day, both were set to begin on Tuesday, September 2nd and continue through Thursday of that same week and then if necessary, complete the series the following Monday and Tuesday.
Following that schedule, the Feeney division finals between STATS and The Playwright kept with the script and will complete their series by Tuesday. On the other hand, the Lucas division finals haven't even started yet as conflicting schedules, players, coaches, and even the league schedule maker can take some of the blame.
Although having two finals play out on each evening would have been great for the league and its fans, players on both teams (Shenannigans and Southside) organized their summer softball schedule around the idea that the Lucas division games play on Monday's and Thursday's only. They had a valid point so the league went to work on rescheduling the games. However, when trying to so both coaches made it nearly impossible with each stating that a given night didn't' work for their club. After going back and forth through text messages and some "heated" phone calls, a five game schedule was finally agreed upon. Let's just hope the long lay off doesn't take away the intensity and pressure that these games should be played under.
Feeney Final preview - STATS vs. The Playwright
Game 1: STATS 12 - The Playwright 3
Mark Preziosi and Bill Davis supplied the power as STATS jolted Playwright, 12-3, to take a 1-0 series lead in the first ever Bucky Feeney ("B") division championship in the M Street Softball League.
Pitcher Jack Atton (7 hits, 3 earned runs, in his 7 innings of work) got all the run support he would need for the night in the first inning. Mike Blanchard was aboard on a leadoff single when second batter, player/coach Bill Davis, stepped into one and sent it deep to right center. Both men scored, giving STATS a 2-0 lead. Preziosi followed with a double, and when Pat Donovan flied to right, he tagged up and went to third. The throw eluded the third baseman and Preziosi went home, 3-0. Matt Clifford then singled to left, the ball got by, and he ended up on third, scoring on Eric MacDonald's grounder, to give STATS the four runs they needed to win the game.
Playwright came back in the bottom of the inning, scoring twice. With two outs, Scott Tarentino and Mike Comtois drew walks then Mike Broderick doubled them home. That was all they'd put on the board until the sixth inning, when Jack Rogers (3 for 3) scored on a Joe Broderick single. Between Playwright's scores, it was time for the popular "Mark Preziosi show".
With two more runs already in, Preziosi stepped to the plate in the second inning with a man on and proceeded to belt one high into the trees in left center, making it 8-2. Then, in his next at-bat in the fourth inning, once again with one on, he put one where no trees would impede the ball's flight, cranking it over the fence in straightaway left. That made it 10-2 and pretty much salted the game away. STATS added two more runs in the 5th and Atton allowed only two hits over the final three innings to close it.
Game 2: The Playwright 11 - STATS 6
Playwright evened up their championship series with STATS at one apiece with a convincing 11-6 victory. Despite the six runs scored by STATS, Peter Drummey earned the win with a five-hit effort.
Sean Morgan supplied the early lead for Playwright with a two-run double in the first. It was one of two two-baggers for the third baseman who also supplied some leather later in the game, diving to snag a liner in the fourth and following that with a sharp 5-3 putout.
Drummey took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the third, having yet to give up a hit (the first run had scored on a walk and a long error in right field.) At this point, STATS came alive. Four hits, a walk, and a sac fly resulted in four runs, giving the orange men a 5-4 lead. Another run came when Mark Preziosi, on third base, made a daring dash to the plate after being held by Morgan on a ground ball. As Morgan fired to first for the putout, Preziosi took off and just slid under a throw slightly off the mark. STATS now held a 6-4 lead, but it would be their last scoring of the night.
Playwright tied the game at six in the fourth inning and then went ahead in the fifth, 7-6, as Mike Comtois singled; Morgan hit his second double of the game, moving him to third, from where he scored on a Mike Broderick grounder to Eric MacDonald at first base. MacDonald made the out at first, but his throw home took catcher Dave Nutter off the plate and Comtois scored what would prove to be the winning run.
Meanwhile, the hot STATS bats were going ice cold. Drummey faced the minimum number of batters over the final four innings, erasing the only base runner via a 1-4-3 double play he started. It was still a 7-6 game, though, and not out of reach for STATS until the top of the seventh. At that point, a wearying Jack Atton left the game after loading the bases with nobody out. The unenviable task of holding the game at one run in that situation was given to Big Jay Atton, who retired the first batter on a fly to left (a nice play by Blanchard, who did not allow the runner on third to tag and score.) Big Jay had some trouble locating the plate after that, though, walking two runs in. Another scored on a sac fly, and then two more walks produced the last run of the inning, making it 11-6. The younger Atton had not allowed a hit, but patience paid off with four runs for the Playwright batters.
Game 3: Playwright 11 - STATS 7
Playwright scored a bunch early, held serve late, and took a 2-1 lead in the best of five series.
In the bottom of the first, after the first two runners reached base, Mike Comtois drove them home and then scored on Sean Morgan's sacrifice fly. Shane Knowles doubled then came one of those plays that you never expect. Scott Tarentino popped up for what should have been the third out, but pitcher Jay Atton, shortstop Mark Preziosi and third baseman Pat Donovan couldn't decide who would take it and it fell cleanly for a hit. With two outs in the inning, an alert Knowles had been running hard around the bases and scored on the play making it 4-0 Playwright.
After STATS got one of those runs back in the top of the second, Playwright plated three more in the bottom of the inning. A bases loaded walk to Knowles scored the first one, a grounder to first scored number two, and then Tarentino singled to drive in another, 7-1 Playwright.
Mark Preziosi continued his power show, stroking one into the trees in deep center in the fourth. It was his third home run of this series, but only reduced the Playwright lead to 7-2 at that point. They got as close as 10-4 in the sixth, and then 11-6 in the seventh but it wasn't be as The Playwright is just a win away from capturing the championship.
Lucas Finals - Shenannigans vs. Southside Tavern
Game 1 - Monday, September 08 @ 845
Game 2 - Tuesday, September 09 @ 645
Game 3 - Thursday, September 11 @ 845
Game 4 - Tuesday, September 16 @ 630
Game 5 - Tuesday, September 16 @ 830
As always, supporting fans can get more league news through our website (www.sbsports.com), on Facebook (M Street Softball), right here in the South Boston Today, or experience the league up front and personal by taking in a game or two. Have a great week everyone!