Thursday, July 23, 2009

Loan Wolves 6 - 17 Finsbury Dazzlers

You've come a long way, baby...
Our first ever league match, in May 2006, was against the Dazzlers. We lost 25-1 in four innings, and had a player taken to A&E afterwards. This time, though that final scoreline doesn' reflect it, things were very different. We were 4-2 down after one inning, but took the lead and were 6-5 up at the top of the fifth. Sadly, their strong batting brought them enough runs to regain the lead and put the game out of our reach at the end.
so we lost. But looking at us as a team, you can see the difference those four seasons have made. Our offense still isn't what it could be, but everyone's batting's so much stronger than when we started, our judgment of what to swing at and how to time our hitting has come on so much. Birthday girl Kate was pitching excellently, and we were fielding well to make the outs we needed. We didn't make every play, but we weren't making silly mistakes and our tactical sense was fantastic. we were putting one of the strongest sides in the division under real pressure, and for a time it looked as if the game was going to go our way.
The Dazzlers beat us again, but this time they weren't playing novices, tharn like rabbits trapped in headlights. They'd had a fight against a pack of WOLVES! And they knew it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fat Cats 21 - 15 Loan Wolves

I'm still in the team. The softball team at least, if not the library team...
Was glad to have something to do this evening. A match with the Fat Cats, who were promoted as Div 6 champions last year, with us on their coat tails. A warm evening with plenty of sun, in the really rather splendid setting of Finsbury Park softball fields. Don't know if I've ever mentioned how nice it is in Summer. A quiet green oasis in North London, with tall trees swaying in the breeze. We had spectators, for once - Val who used to play for us turned up to watch a last game before she moves out of London, and some friends from other teams showed up to cheer us on.
The game started well enough, with runs on the board in our first inning and two quick outs to us at the start of theirs, but the Cats rallied on the second and took a significant lead. The chase was on. We started to make some progress, never quite shutting them down as they had some good batting that kept the runs coming, but steadily narrowing that lead until by the bottom of the sixth we were only three behind. We restricted them to two from their inning, and set out to bat ourselves into contention. Perhaps we were too aggressive, too eager to take the fight to them, perhaps just unlucky, but the outs came before the runs we needed to make them bat again. Still, it was a good game with some great moments in the field and with the bat, and we were always in it. I was happy to be out in the fresh air, hitting things with sticks.
Afterwards we went to the Finsbury to drown our various sorrows.

Fat Cats vs Loan Wolves - Highs/Lows/Lessons Learned

Lows: not all my throws from SS made their target, certainly one hit I should have dived for - it ultimately went between Matt and Claudia and for a home run.

Highs: home run first time round, bit fortuitous (think I scored another....), an ultimately pointless dive into 2nd behind the SS back, but it looked nice and hurt for a while. Took the force off too but unfortunately Claudia was just out at 1st next play.

Lessons Learned: base running was better but still moments where runners were not pushed on when they could have been. Base coaches be alert! If a throw goes home and you have someone safe on first, they have to go! When there's two on base, always shimmy and look to move. Make them think. Make them work. If we can sneak a few bases per innings, it's easy runs overall.

PS. We batted a lot better than we've done for a long'll be enough to beat most teams at our level if we field well.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It's International Loan Wolves Day tomorrow!

Don't forget to wear your colours in celebration of the anniversary of our first ever league win!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Intellect 12 - 8 Loan Wolves

Umpire of the Senseless

We were up on the hated high, sloped, exposed Pitch Five on Primrose Hill. Visibility was actually a little better than in the last game we were there, but it was sunny and pretty scorching for most of the evening.
With Gabs still injured from the weekend, we didn't have any spare women players.
I led off, but failed to convert a walk into a run. Our opposition did better than us in the first few innings, and we just couldn't get back into the game with the bat. The umpiring calls were really not helping us. Still not sure about that strike zone. I struck out looking, on three balls, when two flat pitches went past me and I confidently left them. Both were called strikes. Among other incidents, there was a rather confused play where the umpire changed his call repeatedly then made the point be replayed. Didn't do our cause any favours, it's true, but ultimately we still didn't manage to bat ourselves back into contention, even though we rallied somewhat as the sun went behind the clouds and made it easier to pick out the ball in flight.
Second quarter of the season hasn't gone as well as the first, but there's a long way to go yet.