Tigers vs. Impact
March 7, 1998

W 7-3

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

Greetings, I am Hu. Who is Hu? I am the famous Chinese tiger that inspired the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese calendar. Everyone knows that this is the Year of the Tiger, right? Well, I am also a very famous ballplayer (you're bound to remember the baseball story "Hu's on First?").

Well, the Year of the Tiger is starting out great in Sugar Land, Texas. The Tigers are showing their dominance by winning their second straight game. I had the privilege of watching today's game, as the Tigers beat the Impact 7-3 in an exciting game under threatening skies.

The Tigers started the game at the plate. In Rachel F.'s new tradition, she got plunked by a pitch and took first base Craig Biggio-style. After a strikeout, Carla came to the plate and blistered a grounder up the middle. It should have gone to center field, but the Impact shortstop snagged it and got Rachel out at second base. Another strikeout and the Tigers hit the field for defense.

This was Carla's first game as pitcher this year. And she started hot, striking out the first batter. But Impact came right back with a single to center field. Their next batter lashed a grounder to shortstop, but Lisa fielded it cleanly preventing further damage. With two runners on and one out, the Impact batter hit a dribbler to the third base side of the mound. Carla swiftly pounced on the ball, wheeled around quickly, and fired it to Alissa at first for the out. Then, with two runners in scoring position, Carla struck out the final Impact batter. It was 0-0 after a tough first inning.

In the second inning, I understood why this is the Year of the Tiger. Alissa smacked a double to right field to lead off the inning. After a strikeout, Michelle got hit by a pitch and Kristen got an infield hit to load the bases. Melissa stepped to the plate and cracked a single, bringing in our first run of the game! Then Serena came to the plate. With a two-strike count, Coach Rodney let loose with one of the ugliest pitches you will ever see. Serena knew she had to try and hit it. She swung at the high, outside (totally ugly) pitch, and smashed a two-run single!! WOW! The crowd was still buzzing over that good hit when Rachel F. came to the plate and ripped a double down the third base line off the Impact pitcher. That cleared the bases, and the Tigers had scored 5 runs! In the bottom of the second inning, Impact scored one run and Carla had two more strikeouts. So it was the Tigers leading 5-1 after two innings.

In the top of the third inning, the Tigers continued their hot hitting. Sarah started us off with a hit and advanced to third on Carla's double to left field. Caitlin came to the plate and eventually struck out, but had one of the hardest hits this year -- too bad it was foul ! Alissa then smacked a double to plate two runs. Another strikeout and Michelle came to the plate. With two outs, Michelle got a nice hit to the right-hand side of the infield. But the Impact pitcher made a good play and threw out the hustling Michelle. Tigers went into the bottom of the 3rd inning with a 7-1 lead. In the bottom of the third, Melissa made her first appearance as pitcher. She pitched good too! The highlights of the inning were Carla's catch in left field and Caitlin's hustling forceout at third base. Then Caitlin and Carla combined on a funny play where the ball rolled right between both their legs (keep your gloves and bottoms down!). No harm though, as the Tigers held the Impact to only two runs, with the final out coming on a strikeout by Melissa.

Tigers win 7-3 !! There were certainly some excellent candidates for player of the game honors. Coach Rodney chose Serena as the Top Tiger because of her clutch 2-RBI hit on the ugly pitch when the bases were loaded! Congratulations Serena!

I am happy to report the Year of the Tiger is off to a super start!

-- Hu  (click here to find out more about me)