April 28, 1998
|Hello and welcome to The
Today's guest columnist is Tiger Woods...
Thanks to Coach Rodney for inviting me to watch the Tigers play softball tonight. I was going to play in the Shell Houston Open golf tournament this weekend, but I thought watching the Tigers would be much more fun than playing golf!! I knew that tonight was going to be tough. As a golfer, you're supposed to respect the power of lightning -- and I knew that Lightning would be a serious opponent tonight.
The Tigers came to bat first. Sarah started us of with a scorching single to right field. Sarah's quick hustle made her safe, even though the right fielder made a great play. After two strikeouts, Rachel D. hit a shot back up the middle -- it hit second base and skidded into left field. Rachel D. legged out a triple! Melissa came to the plate and delivered a textbook bunt -- absolutely beautiful right in front of the plate. Rachel D. hung tight at third base. Unfortunately, a final strikeout ended any more scoring.
In the bottom of the first, Melissa took the mound. The first batter got a hit and then Melissa bore down. Two straight strikeouts! A couple more hits and a final strikeout ended the Lightning's inning. It was 1-1 after one inning.
In the second inning, Lisa led off with an infield hit down the third base line. Unfortunately, that's all that happened as three straight Tigers (Rachel F., Kristen, and Michelle) went down on strikes. In the bottom of the second inning, Kristen came in as the relief pitcher. And Kristen displayed some awesome pitching as she smoked 3 strikeouts! At the end of two innings, the Tigers and Lightning were still knotted at 1 apiece.
The third inning was a lot like the final round of a golf tournament -- great play and plenty of tension. Serena started the Tigers charge by getting whacked by a pitch. Sarah followed with another right-side hit. Serena showed her speed and aggressiveness by running all the way to third. Then Carla came to the plate and crushed a homerun to left center field!! WOW!! A 3-run dinger to break open the game! After a couple strikeouts, Rachel D., Alissa, and Lisa all got hit by the pitch to load the bases. With two outs, Rachel F. stepped to the plate. Showing no fear, Rachel F. cranked a 3-0 pitch to the left side of the infield to score a run. A final strikeout ended the rally, but the Tigers had scored 4 runs. All the Tigers had to do was hold the Lightning one more time. The Tigers held a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, Lightning struck with great ferocity. Two triples and a hit by pitch opened the inning. After a strikeout, two tough fly balls fell in and 3 runs had scored. GULP!! The tying run was at second base and the winning run was on first base. Coach Rodney was chugging Mylanta in the dugout. The next Lightning batter lifted a fly ball towards third base -- Caitlin camped underneath it and squeezed it for the second out!! Way to go Caitlin! The tying and winning runs were still on base. Kristen bore down and chunked five pitches to the batter. Three balls and two strikes. The classic situation...Game in the balance, two outs, full count...Coach Rodney was breaking out the Rolaids. I have had close golf matches before, but this was more pressure than I've ever experienced! Heeeeeere's the pitch............................STRIKE !!! Game over !!!! Yippeeeeee!!! Tigers win a nail-biter 5-4 !
Coach Rodney looked to the Tigers third inning for his players of the game. Carla was named Top Tiger for her huge 3-run homerun which untied the game!! And Caitlin was named Top Tiger for her clutch defensive grab in the bottom of third inning when the game was extremely tight. Congratulations to Carla and Caitlin!
This was the final regular season game for the Tigers. They head into the playoffs this weekend. Good luck Tigers!! I'll be rooting for you!
-- Tiger Woods (click here to find out more about me)