All hail the mighty Cougars, champs of the C division of the Sudbury Men's Modified Fast-Pitch Softball League!
Things looked bleak early, as they scored five in the first and five in the second while our cleanup hitter grounded into a 5-3 double play (one of two on the evening and three in the series) to kill a rally. We scratched out a run in the 2nd beginning with a 10 foot swinging bunt by yours truly. There were some defensive miscues and missed plays that allowed them to get that big lead, and I thought it was more likely that we were going to be victims of the mercy rule than to come back. But our D got better and they stopped whacking the ball so hard (a big lefty on their team hit it pretty well over the fence the first time but had two deep but harmless flies to me after that), and we limited them to one run over the next four innings.
Meanwhile, down 10-2, I came up with a runner on first in the fourth. The other team is a "sample size of one stats-based defensive approach" team which looks at what the guy did the last time and assumes that's what he does all the time. So, they yell out "Watch for the bunt!" "Hey," I said, "how about 'watch for the home run?'" I had taken two borderline strikes the time before, so after a first pitch ball, the pitcher was probably expecting me to take it and threw a down the middle low pitch, and wham, I lined it over the fence with plenty of room to spare. This seemed to bring some life back to the team, and we added two more that inning, and five the next to tie it up.
After a scoreless sixth, they pushed across two in the final inning, and had a runner nailed trying to advance to kill the rally. This may be a surprise to my frisbee teammates, but I had a full layout bid on a flyball (banged up my knee and elbow a little) in that inning. I thought I caught it, but when I opened my eyes up, the ball was not in my mitt. Rats, definitely would have made the front page of the Town Crier with that one. Down two in our final cuts, the first two batters got on, then a wild pitch put them at 2nd and 3rd. I was really thinking "walk off home run", and when I saw a pitch I thought was similar to the previous one, I took my cut, but it was only when the ball was nestling in the second baseman's mitt after a routine popup did I realize that the ball was outside, also, and I should have used the "outside pitch bad" rule instead of the "low pitch good" one. Fortunately for us, though, our next hitter got a single to tie the game (advancing to second on the throw home), and the following one got another well-placed bloop to bring the title home.
I think the team is still in the parking lot as I type this. I had to get home to relieve the babysitter (not a euphemism).
Final stat line of .439/.455/.756, with an OPS 100 points higher than it was last game. Whew.