Saturday, May 31, 2008

Not so Bitchin' Pitchin'

We may occasionally have problems with our pitching (especially in high winds) but at least we are never this bad:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Learning how not to throw like a girl

A small number of Wolves met in Regents Park for another M&M training session last night and once again we concentrated on throwing and betting techniques.

I've always felt that I throw like a girl and as a result have never felt very confident in the outfield - I was pretty sure that if I made the catch or stop that I wouldn't be able to get it back in - however after a bit of coaching I was sending it over the head of Olivia (sorry about that!).

What I need to do is:
Keep my arm high.
Flick my wrist (I haven't quite got this bit yet).
Keep my leading knee straight.

Et volia! I just have to remember all that now...

After throwing the ball for about a hour, we moved onto a bit a ground ball fielding and batting. Everyone made some good hits and benefitted from some one on one advice. I lean forward too much and must keep my weight on the back foot!!

Left with a sore throwing arm and a head full of tips.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yesterday we were invited by the Raiders to play in their " round-robin" invitation only friendly mini-tournament. To let newer players and umpires get some practice in away from league game pressure, mainly.
Over at Wandsworth Common, so not too far from where I live. I took the folding bicycle to get to the pitch from the station.
We were up against the Raiders first, and I was put in at Centre Field. Only one ball came to me, which I stopped (though didn't catch). We were keeping careful track of the scores this time, and after the game was called for time and scores rolled back, we came out 10-5 ahead.
Next were Comer's Homers, who robbed us of a berth in Div 5. I'm not sure if this inspired us, or we were just sharper than them on the day in general, but we won this one too. 12-2. My batting was less wonky in this than the first game, and I played at Catcher. Kevin was pitching, and it was good practice for him.
As our two games were done, we were able to stand around and watch the final match between Raiders and Homers with beers in our hands and the Test match on the radio. Shame it wasn't very warm, though - a bit more sun would have made it a very pleasant end to the afternoon. Homers won, and Kate and Alison got some useful umpiring experience.
And as well as making us victors on the day, today's results put us on a four-game winning streak.
I bicycled off home early, as I felt I needed an early night and knew I wouldn't get one if I stayed in the pub.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Moments at Wolves v Raiders

Each league match we will contribute suggestions and money towards the Moment of the Match, below is the short-list and winner for the game on Wed 13th May

* Catch of the day went to Gareth's diving catch behind 2nd
* Kate's two outs at home plate
* Julian unforced at second getting to thirds and slipping in a sly foot to touch third, giving Mo kittens
* Kevin's winning home run, sliding in at 2nd and on his bum to home plate - bleeding for the team
* Vic and Lucy both narrowly missing catches
* Blasey hussling through the bases to get a lead-off home run
* Lucy running to 1st without hitting the ball, twice
* Alison vaulting over 1st base
* Matt's quote to Frodo "Softball is Hobbit forming"
* Blasey and Kate's collison leading to an out
* Various subs for Joel when he reached 1st base
* Kevin stealing Lucy's catch
* Alex, Andy and Matt trying to sort out the scoring with an opposition who couldn't count
* Shutting out the opposition for 3 innings

Moment of the Match:
1st - Kevin's winning home run, sliding in at 2nd and on his bum to home plate - bleeding for the team
2nd - Julian unforced at second getting to thirds and slipping in a sly foot to touch third, giving Mo kittens
3rd - Catch of the day went to Gareth's diving catch behind 2nd

Friday, May 16, 2008

I've got to post this report from the Chevy Chasers defeat by the Fat Cats last night coming after their 19-0 loss last week:

Thursday 15th May 19:00
Fat Cats 18 @ Chevy Chasers 1
Posted by Nat Coombs (Chevy Chasers)
A depleted Chevy Chasers squad gave the Fat Cats the game of their lives at a rainswept Hampstead Heath. In a nailbiting battle of wits, the Chasers took an early lead - one which they maintained for over 4 minutes. A significant amount of good luck - including powerful hitting, excellent fielding and expert leadership - enabled the Cats to claw their way back into it as they eked into a 9-1 lead after one innings. The Chasers, who've been battling disciplinary problems all season, maintained a typically low amount of professionalism - a fact borne out by top hitter Charlie Pearson failing a mandatory "beer test" shortly after the 3rd Innings collapse. Despite this, they kept in the game, and it was only after the Fat Cats declared an innings to enable the Chasers to post back to back outs for 4 innings in a row, that this game was decided. The Chasers, who hope to have starting pitcher Perkins back for their next match (subject to bail conditions), will need to pick themselves up, after losing in such cruel circumstances.

I kinda like this team. Looking forward to playing them on 4th June.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Raiders Green @ Loan Wolves

Low Point - missing what would have been a fantastic catch and letting quite a few balls go past me.

High Point - Winning!!!

That was the best I've seen the Wolves play in a long time and most importantly of all, we held it together and didn't collapse under the pressure, in fact I would say that our performance actually got stronger. We knew that we were near victory and were determined not to lose it. After a shaky warm up first couple of innings, our fielding was amazing and we held the Raiders well. Our batting and running performances were also good and we proved what a difference a bit of hustling can do to our score line.

Some of the highlights (as recorded on the back of an envelope):
  • Kevin making his home runs and spilling blood for the team.
  • Julian's cool pitching and death defying base running.
  • Kate's outs at home plate.
  • Gareth's diving catch.
  • Lucy almost making the fly ball catch and missing but recovering so quickly that she got the ball to 3rd and made the out anyway.
  • Matthew's "COME ON WOLVES" from the sidelines.
  • Moe nearly choking on a cigarette with the excitement.

What other ones have I missed? There were so many!

MVP went to Kevin who was duly presented with a celebratory packet of ready salted.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Summer Training

When I arrived in Regents Park last night for a spot of training I was slightly alarmed by the rather large Royal Navy helicopter, police cars and ambulances that were parked in the middle of the softball pitches, but they soon moved on and we managed to have a rather successful training session.

We were a little short of space but somehow found room to work on our throwing and batting actions in between the games going on around us. I was surprised at how much difference learning the proper technique had on my throwing arm. I was practising with Kate and although at first we weren't quite sure that we doing it right, once we got a little one-on-one instruction, the ball was soon flying through the air and connecting with the glove with a satisfying 'thump'.

With aching shoulders we moved on to batting. It turns out that I have been standing all wrong and holding the bat in the wrong place all along. Doh! All the girls had a chance to practice their swing using the 1-2-3 method (hips-arms-follow through). I feel more confident now and as long as I remember to 'squish the bug', I should be able to do an alright swing. The proof in the pudding will be when we actually get to hit the ball - that must be step 4. Bring on the pitchers!!

... I just hope I remember everything that I learnt - practice makes perfect I suppose.