Tigers vs. Firebirds
March 28, 1998

L 8-5

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

Hi, I'm Hobbes and I am ready to jump right into reporting on today's game! For those of you that don't know me, I'm the cool tiger in the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. My best buddy is Calvin, a real zany kid. I'm the smart one!

Today was my first day to watch a real softball game. I play something like it called Calvinball. It's fun but it's not like playing with a real team. The Tigers sure played like a team today, with everyone contributing in some way! Here is the game summary.

The Tigers were the home team and Carla was on the mound. She fired two strikeouts and scattered a few hits. The Firebirds only scored one run as the Tigers came to bat. Rachel F. led us off against the heat-throwing Marissa of the Firebirds. Rachel smacked a hard grounder up the middle. It was headed for the outfield, but the Firebird second baseman made a great play and threw Rachel out at first. Carla was up next. She too hit off the pitcher, but again the second baseman made a good play and snagged the popup. The Firebirds pitcher fired a strikeout and the Tigers hit the field for the second inning down 1-0.

In the second inning, the Firebirds scored fast and furiously. Hard hits by their batters put five runs on the board. The Tigers came to the plate down 6-0. Rachel D. hit a high fly ball down the third base line -- would you believe the Firebirds made another great defensive play? Sarah came to the plate and prepared to lay down a bunt. Unfortunately, she got plunked on the arm and took first base. Serena came to the plate and worked the count to 3-2. Then she fell on strikes to the hard-throwing pitcher. Another strikeout and the Tigers were in a deep hole, down 6-0 after two innings! Were the Tigers done? No way!

In the third inning, Melissa came in to pitch. She threw two excellent strikeouts and gave up only one run -- a long home run by a good hitter. In the bottom of the third inning, the Tigers responded. After an opening strikeout, Kristen smacked a single to get things going. Lisa hit a flare to the left side of the infield which dropped in for a hit. Rachel F. got hit by a pitch to load the bases. After another strikeout, Caitlin came to the plate with bases loaded and two outs. Caitlin cracked a double to left field to bring in the Tigers' first two runs! Another strikeout and the inning was over. The game was a little closer, with the Firebirds leading 7-2.

In the top of the fourth inning, Kristen took the mound. Kristen fired two strikeouts and then gave up a couple hits. One of those was a tough grounder down the third base line. Lisa made a great play and almost gunned down the runner at first base. Kristen fired a final strikeout in the inning. The Tigers headed to the bottom of the fourth down 8-2. Gulp!

Sarah led off our last inning. Unfortunately, she got hit by the pitch again. At least she got to go to first base. A tough strikeout followed. Then Alissa got a nice hit to put two runners on. With a possibly rally at hand, Melissa smacked a line drive RBI single to left field. Another strikeout and the Tigers were down to an out. Lisa came to the plate and lifted a beautiful RBI hit to right field. Rachel F. then screamed a line drive down the third base line, driving in Melissa. The Tigers tried to be agressive on the bases and Lisa got tagged out at third base. Rats! Oh well, the Tigers rally fell a little short. The final score was 8-5. The Tigers could take a little comfort in the fact they outscored the Firebirds 5-2 over the last two innings.

It was truly a team game. Three different pitchers. Lots of clutch hitting. Coach Rodney decided to pick Melissa as the Top Tiger! She pitched an excellent inning and she had a clutch RBI hit in the last inning -- congratulations Melissa!

-- Hobbes  (click here to find out more about me; click here to see me play Calvinball !)