Tigers vs. Mischief
April 2, 1998

L 6-5

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

This is Garfield reporting live from the fabulous Sugar Land Girls Softball Association complex. I am here to report on the popular Tigers team, a true team of excellent softball athletes led by Coach Rodney, a man known for his strange body movements (someone called them "signals") during softball games. Some may question my credentials as a guest Tiger. I have heard the rumors -- that I'm just a striped tabby cat who eats too much lasagna. To those that think I'm not a true Tiger at heart, I say "big fat hairy deal...". Actually, I was chosen to be tonight's guest Tiger because I am an expert on mischief, and that's who the Tigers played tonight!

For the third straight game, the Tigers were the home team. Mischief hit first. They smacked the ball around and scored 3 runs. Defensive highlights included Carla's pop-fly catch at shortstop and Kristen's two strikeouts to end the inning. Serena also knocked down a couple balls destined for the outfield. In the Tiger's first inning, Caitlin ripped a ground ball single to start us off. Sarah followed with a fielder's choice to move Caitlin up to second base. With one out, Carla came to the plate. Coach Rodney came in to pitch to her and she absolutely tagged a line drive up the middle. It was hilarious to watch Coach Rodney almost get hit -- the Tigger on his brand new shirt almost jumped off! The line drive went to center field and kept going! Carla legged out a 2-run home run to the utter delight of all the spectators, coaches, and teammates. After a caught pop-up, Alissa beat out an infield hit at first base (good hustle!). A final strikeout and the Tigers went to the second inning trailing 3-2.

In the second inning, the Tigers shut Mischief down. Kristen had a couple strikeouts. But the highlight of the inning was Caitlin's putout -- she fielded a ball at third base and fired to first base for the out! Carla made a nice stretch to complete the play. In the bottom of the second inning, the Tigers couldn't mount an attack. Serena got a hit off the pitcher but it went right back to the pitcher for an out. Then a couple strikeouts ended the inning. It was still 3-2 after two innings.

In the third inning, Tiger defense was awesome! Kristen opened with a strikeout. Then Rachel D. fielded a grounder at first and made the easy putout for out number 2. Then the Mischief batter screamed a grounder to third base. Rachel F. fielded it... it rolled up her glove into her chest... she hung tough and picked it clean -- then fired a long throw to the outstretched Rachel D. at first for the putout!! A Rachel-to-Rachel combination on a highlight reel play! Unfortunately, the Tigers couldn't maintain the momentum. Two swinging strikeouts by Melissa and Rachel F. (nice cuts -- just couldn't make contact against the new pitcher), plus a groundout kept the score still close at 3-2.

In the fourth inning, the Tigers struggled to keep the game close. The Mischief cleanup hitter, Lauren, opened with a blast way over the head of the center fielder. Michelle and Sarah gave chase but the hit was too long and the runner too quick -- a huge solo homerun to start the Mischief inning. Next, Kristen made a nice defensive stop and threw out a runner at first. Caitlin made a fabulous play at second base, diving (yes diving) for a grounder in the hole. Somehow she came up with it (great hustle!), but the runner was barely safe. A few more hits, a few more runs, and the Tigers left the field trailing 6-2. It was rally time for the Tigers!! Carla started us off with a ground ball hit up the middle. Rachel D. followed with a triple to center field to score Carla. Then Alissa drove in Rachel D. with a nice hit down the third base line. Lisa moved Alissa to third base with a fielder's choice hit. With one out, Serena came to the plate. She got an infield hit to score Alissa to bring the score to 6-5! With one out and the tying run on base, the miraculous rally fell short as the final two Tigers, Kristen and Michelle, fell on tough strikeouts. The final score was 6-5 in a game that approached 2 hours in length!

A tough loss for sure...I know the Tigers sure felt they could have won that game with a few more hits scattered throughout. Oh well...all the Tigers can do is bear down and keep trying hard next game. Tonight, Coach Rodney saw some great defensive plays (especially by Caitlin and Rachel F.). But it was clear that tonight belonged to Carla. Two hits, including a no-doubt-about-it homer, plus great defense at shortstop and first base, earned Carla the honors of Top Tiger ! Super all-around game Carla!

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