Enquiro Ligers Come Up Short in Division Finals
| Monday, June 22, 2009
||Well the Enquiro Ligers Spring Softball Season wrapped up over the weekend with a playoffs tournament. The Ligers were seeded third in their division resulting in a bye to Saturday afternoon's quarter final game where the Ligers won by default over the "Batty Nurses" as the nurses did not have a enough players to field a complete team. A situation that would come back to somewhat haunt the Ligers later in the tournament.
The Ligers were jokingly referring to themselves as a "playoff team" throughout the season as they struggled at times. This proved to be correct as the Ligers saved their best efforts for the playoffs. In the semi final famed vs. Fortis BC, the Ligers played tight defensively as they destroyed Fortis 16-3. The 12 run mercy rule came into effect as Ligers pitcher, Chris Pinkerton smashed a towering shot driving in enough runs for the mercy rule to come into play after five innings. Ligers shortstop Ian Everdell had a whale of a game with a number of amazing plays in the field and some timely hits. Definitely the Ligers strongest performance of the season prompting Ligers left fielder Jody Nimetz to reiterate, "... see I told you we were a playoff team..."
The Ligers were in the division finals surprising many including some of the Ligers themselves. As game time approached the Ligers opponents The Connectors were a couple of players short. According to League rules, any team that fields a player not on their roster shall be removed from the game with the win going to the other team. It is a common practice by many teams to stack their rosters with additional players prior to playoffs. The Connectors managed to "pick up" Ligers' pitcher Chris Pinkerton's nephew (who by the the way is a mere 6'7" and young, athletic machine). Liger's manager Tracy Nimetz called The Connectors on it prompting one of The Connectors female players to "complain" to the umpire re: a rule that they said they knew nothing about. For the record, each team received a copy of the rules prior to the tournament start. The umpire's response was a bit shocking in that he said you guys decide and I will abide by your decision. The Connectors made some comments such as "this isn't the big leagues, for you to win on a technicality.." Well not sure if not having a proper roster set is a "technicality". Did I mention that the umpire happened to be "hanging out" with The Connectors before the game? As it stood, the Enquiro Ligers were division champs. However never one to back down to a challenge, the Ligers decided to play out the game... even as the Connectors fielded a makeshift lineup. While the Ligers had an additional player for the tournament, at the start of the season, the Ligers set their roster to include additonal players who may not have played many games throughout the year. The difference is that they were legitimate players listed on the roster, not added prior to the championship game. The Ligers did submit a finalized roster prior to playoffs.
Over recent years we have seen a number of players "enahnce their performance" in the big leagues by using performance enhancing drugs or equipment. Now even in fun beer leagues we see the same injustice as team fail to comply with league rules. No matter, the Ligers were determined to win the championship even if they had to climb a mountain to do it.
As the game started, the Ligers being to top seeded team fielded the following lineup:
Kate Gardam - Catcher
Chris Pinkerton - Pitcher
Doug Moore - First Base
Julie Stork - Second Base
Amanda Lock - Third Base
Ian Everdell - Shortstop
Chris Davies - Right Field
Dave Stork - Center Field
Joelle (Robyn) Potenteau - Rover
Jody Nimetz - Left Field
Steve Herrington - Shortstop
Jason Lane - Right Field
Tracy Nimetz - Manager/Scorekeeper
The game started out as a defensive battle with the Ligers leading 1-0 after one inning. The Ligers were very sharp defensively as they held The Connectors to limited hits. However the Connectors were also tight defensively as the Ligers were unable to get anything happening with the bats and as they have so many times in the season were stranding a number of runners on the bases. Mid-way through the contest The Connectors began connecting. The game was tied 3-3 and The Connectors were coming on strong. With runners on the bags, the Connectors shortstop came up to bat and cranked a deep shot between center and left field. Leaving it all on the field, Ligers left fielder Jody Nimetz ran hard and made an astounding catch, diving as he robbed The Connectors of two possibly three runs. The catch prompted Connectors shortstop to mention to Nimetz, ".. you know I've been playing ball for 25+ years and you might see one of those catches every 10 or 15 years. Great catch!..." Nimetz just gave him a wink and a smile and said, "I can sigh the ball for you if you like..."
The Ligers were still having trouble generating runs, but did go up 4-3 in the fourth inning. Ligers pitcher Chris Pinkerton was in a slight slump going 0-3 with his his first three at bats. Ironically he hit some nice fly balls to left field where they were caught by, yup you guessed it, Brandon, Chris' nephew that The Connectors had picked up for this game. The Ligers bats then started to come to life as Dougie Moore, Kate Gardam, Jason Lane and Julie Stork had some great base hits to generate some runners and a couple of extra runs.
Going into the final inning the Ligers were up by three runs. All was looking well. The Ligers had last bat and simply needed to hold The Connectors. The tough part was that The Connectors were coming up to the strong part of the batting order. The first couple of batters had a couple of hits that should have been routine outs, yet the Ligers infield had a couple of overthrows and missed opportunities. Then a couple of hits were made to the outfield where Ligers rover Joelle Potenteau, who is normally steady handed, bobbled a couple causing the base runners to reach extra bases. Like a few times before in the regular season, the Ligers quickly began to implode. When all was said in done the Ligers gave up 7 runs in the top of the seventh as they now trailed The Connectors by four runs. What made this worse was the playoff rules state that there is a 5 run inning max with the exception of the seventh inning which is an open or unlimited inning. The Connectors used this to their advantage as they got seven runs on the Ligers
With last bats you could see the Ligers, who had tried so hard, just did not have enough left in the tank and were unable to generate any additional runs losing in the division finals. While the Ligers saved their best ball of the season for the playoffs, the came up just short on winning their first division title. This could be great momentum for the Ligers summer season which begins July 6th. You could argue that the Ligers are Division Champs, but regardless the Enquiro Ligers performed admirably and can hold their heads up high.
Great job by the Ligers.
Labels: Enquiro Ligers
|posted by Jody @ Monday, June 22, 2009