Tigers vs. Wild Things
May 4, 1998

L 4-1

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

Hi, it's Rajah again. I have the pleasure of reporting the highlights of tonight's playoff game between the Tigers and the heavily-favored Wild Things. In their last meeting, the Wild Things pitcher hurled a perfect game no-hitter, so the Tigers were set to change things this time. Coach Rodney was pumped in preparation for this big playoff game. Without further ado, I'll relate this tale of high drama.

The Tigers were the visiting team and wasted no time putting the pressure on. Leadoff hitter Sarah got hit by the pitch. Then Coach Rodney called for the bunt. Melissa made several valiant attempts. Coach Rodney went for the bunt with two strikes and Melissa tipped it foul -- that's a strikeout. Another strikeout brought Carla to the plate with two outs. Carla cranked a hard double down the left field line!! That put runners at second and third! Unfortunately, the Wild Things pitcher bore down and got Lisa out on strikes. OK, hit the field for defense!! In the bottom of the first, the first batter hit a popup to Sarah at second base, who squeezed it for the out. Kristen struck out the next batter and the next batter hit a double. With the cleanup hitter at the plate, Coach Rodney moved the outfielders back. And it paid off big time! The hitter crushed a huge fly ball to center field. Carla confidently drifted to the ball and made a huge grab! OUT!! It would have easily been a triple or homer had she not caught it. Coach Rodney was so jazzed he almost wet his pants! The first inning ended in a 0-0 tie.

In the second inning, Rachel D. strode to the plate and lifted a huge triple to dead center field! Once again, the Tiger threat was foiled by three straight strikeouts. In the bottom of the second inning, the first two Wild Things batters got hits. Kristen gunned out the next batter with a toss to Alissa, but a run scored. With the runner at third base, the next batter cracked a sharp grounder to Caitlin at third base. A quick glove by Caitlin and her rapid turn for the tag play scared off the runner. Caitlin had prevented a run! That put runners on second and third. The next batter hit a ground ball to Carla -- she came up throwing, firing a bullet to Rachel D. at the plate. The runner's bearing down ... Rachel D. stood firm and applied the tag. OUT !!! Kristen closed it out with a strikeout. An excellent defensive stand by the Tigers!! After two innings, the Tigers trailed 1-0.

In the top of the third, the Tigers struck paydirt. A great effort by Serena (but she fell on strikes) brought Rachel F. to the plate. She lifted a fly ball to the third baseman, who squeezed it for the second out. With two outs, Sarah came up and lashed a ground ball down the first base line -- it's a fair ball! Sarah started screaming around the bases. With wild abandon, Sarah rounded second base and headed to third. The ball barely got away from the third baseman, so Sarah broke for the plate. SAFE!! Tigers score a run to knot the game at 1 !! A final strikeout ended the inning.

In the bottom of the third, Carla caught the opening soft liner at shortstop. Then three straight Wild Things hits netted a run. With runners at second and third and one out, the cleanup hitter came to the plate. Carla had robbed her last time and was more than ready to step up again. The batter hit a fly ball to Carla at shortstop. Carla caught it and then noticed the runner from second hadn't tagged up. Carla ran her back towards second base and applied the tag for the third out!! Double play!! Carla made all three outs!! WOW!! After three innings, the game was a real classic, with the Wild Things leading 2-1.

In the fourth inning, the Tigers went down swinging on three striekouts. Carla did have a huge foul ball and Lisa had a couple bunt fouls, but to no avail. The Tigers headed to the bottom of the fourth just barely trailing 2-1. The first three Wild Things batters got hits and two runs scored. Then another defensive gem by the Tigers! Kirsten fielded a come-backer and threw on to Alissa at first base for the out. Alissa got the out and then fired home to Rachel D. for a tag play. Once again, Rachel D. made the grab and applied the tag. OUT!! DOUBLE PLAY!!! Yippppppeeeeee! Awesome, awesome, awesome! Kristen gave the Tigers one more chance by striking out the last batter.

The Tigers headed to the fifth inning trailing 4-1. It was rally cap time! And the Tigers sure tried! Kristen and Alissa took their cuts and struck out. The Tigers were down to an out. Michelle headed to the plate. With two strikes on her, she fouled one off and then hit a smash up the middle. The pitcher made a nice play and threw on to first base for the out. Game over. The final score was 4-1, with the strong Wild Things team coming out on top.

There were lots of spectators watching this game. Many watched to see if the Tigers could pull off the upset. The Tigers did not disappoint anyone, because they played absolutely awesome!! Coach Rodney heard people saying the Tigers were the best defensive team in the league!! You betcha!!

In a great game like this, Coach Rodney couldn't go with just one player of the game. Not even two players of the game. This was a Triple Top Tiger game!! Sarah was named Top Tiger for her in-the-park homer (our only run!). Sarah showed amazing speed as she scooted around the bases. Rachel D. was named Top Tiger for her second inning leadoff triple to dead center field and two (count 'em, two!) putouts at the plate!! And Carla was named Top Tiger for her super double in the first inning and her very clutch defense. Carla made great catches and (more importantly) excellent decisions on her throws. Congratulations Sarah, Rachel D. and Carla !!!

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


(we turned two double plays? we made two putouts at the plate? WOW!)