Tigers vs. Crush
April 14, 1998

L 8-4

The Tiger's Den Hello and welcome to The Tiger's Den!
Today's guest columnist is
Shere Khan...

I am sure you remember me as the villain in the movie The Jungle Book. I am here to set things straight...I am not a bad guy who's out to hurt Mowgli. In fact, I'm his personal trainer, teaching him to run fast so he can be a star player on the jungle softball team! I am truly a misunderstood part of jungle life. Everyone knows that tigers are the fastest, strongest, and smartest animals around (YES!). In fact, I had the opportunity to watch a collection of fast, strong, and smart Tigers tonight, and I wanted to tell you all about it. First, a little history...

Last week, the Tigers played Bagheera's Panthers and did quite good (15-1 !). I had been bragging around the jungle how good the Tigers were. Another jungle-dweller, Kaa, told me that the rule of the jungle is that you cannot always win. Kaa said that sometimes you can get snakebit.....Hmmmm.....Anyway, let's get on with the game summary.

The Tigers played the Crush tonight. The Crush started hitting strong, "crushing" the ball you might say. After 4 straight hits, the Crush batter hit a sharp grounder to Rachel F. at third base. Rachel F. snagged it and fired it to Rachel D. at first base -- the batter just barely beat the throw. With 3 runs in and runners at first and second, the next Crush batter hit a sharp grounder to Carla at shortstop. Carla quickly picked it up and ran the runner back towards the second base bag. Carla made the tag on her -- and the runner from first base got confused and got off the base...Carla tagged her too!! Unassisted double play! WOW!! Other good defensive plays in the inning were Rachel F. making nice snags at third base and Serena stopping some hits in the outfield. A final strikeout from Kristen ended the threat. Tigers went to the bottom of the first trailing 3-0.

Sarah led off the Tigers first inning with a hit. Carla stepped up and lifted a high foul popup behind the plate. Of course it was going to drop for a foul ball -- they always do...all of a sudden, the catcher made a diving stab and caught the ball for an out! Ouch! I remembered Kaa's words (we got snakebit). No sweat, on to the next batter. Rachel D. hit her standard single to put runners at second and third. Caitlin came to the plate and totally smashed a line drive foul ball way down the third base line! Too bad that wasn't fair! Both teams were buzzing about Caitlin's swing when Caitlin lifted a fly ball to the infield. The Crush player snagged it for out number two. Alissa lifted a fly ball herself and the first baseman made a nice grab. Good strokes by the Tiger batters but three good plays by the Crush defense. Tigers got snakebit and didn't score any runs.

In the second inning, Kristen found a groove and struck out two batters. Another strikeout from the coach made it a quick inning. It was the Tigers turn! Melissa strode to the plate and cracked a mean line drive to center field. I could feel Kaa smiling from the opposing dugout as the Crush center fielder caught the ball -- this is a hit that could have easily been a triple or homerun!! Another case of snakebite!! Aaaargh! Lisa smacked a hit and so did Michelle. But a couple more Tiger strikeouts ended the inning. After two innings, it was still 3-0. The game was still close going into the third inning.

The Crush hit strong in the third inning. Alissa made a nice putout at first base, but the Crush were relentless. They scored five to make the score 8-0. Rats! In the bottom of the third, the Tigers were in a tough position. Coach Rodney wanted the Tigers to go out swinging! And this time, it looked like Kaa was coiled up in a corner (no snakebite this inning!). Rachel F. led us off with a sharp single to right field. A strikeout followed and then Carla came to the plate. She popped up to the pitcher -- this time they didn't catch it! See, no more snakebite! Rachel D. followed with a line drive to center field that got the crowd excited as Rachel F. scored the first run for the Tigers! Caitlin then smashed a similar line drive hit to center field. Alissa got another hit to drive in a run. Lisa stepped to the plate with two outs. She dropped down a magnificent bunt and Caitlin hustled home with our fourth run. Serena then smacked a grounder up the middle that the Crush made a good play on. They just nipped Serena at first as our fifth run (almost) scored.

Time ran out as the Tigers fell 8-4. Just one more inning!!! PLEASE!!! No more time -- game over. Rats!...I mean Snakes!! Definitely a serious case of snakebite tonight (yes, I had to say it one more time).

Coach Rodney picked two Tigers as tonight's players of the game. Rachel F. was named Top Tiger for her aggressive third base play, her great hit in the third inning (and she scored the first Tiger run), and her stylish fashion statement playing the first inning in retro platform shoes! Rachel D. was named Top Tiger for her two-for-two night at the plate, including an RBI smack-o-rama in the third inning! Congratulations to Rachel D. and Rachel F.!

-- Shere Khan  (click here to find out more about me)

Shere Khan