The moral of the story, as one Unicorn put it on Monday night, is to never take the lead in the first.
In three out of four games played thus far, the Unicorns have taken the lead in said inning, only to lose it later on. On this particular Monday night, Coach Greg Weaver sent Rianna “Real Time” Hoffman out to the mound to pitch her first game since mid-July, where she had a relatively mediocre outing against a tough team, ZDUB Softball. He thought the mental rest over the break and the Unicorns’ first two games would be sufficient time to get Hoffman back closer to her mid-spring form despite Hoffman not being able to warm up for very long between her arrival and the bottom of the first. “She was only able to throw a few pitches to me before she went out there. They looked good and I was confident she’d settle in, but it just wasn't working tonight,” he said in a post-game interview.
Real Time wound up walking eight, allowing eleven hits, and bringing in nineteen runs, giving her an ERA of 95.00. Weaver pulled her out for Bobby Weaver before the second, but the damage was already done. Fans on the internet sharply criticized Greaver for not putting B-Weave in earlier, and also were upset at the fact that he knows Hoffman has lesser results when pitching to anyone other than Lanah Stafford.
“I don’t know what they’d have me do,” he exasperatingly responded later to the criticisms. “[Mel] D-Dom[enico] has no prior experience at second base where Lanah has. Plus, lest they forget, Real Time is named Real Time for a reason. She usually has a rough first inning and then pitches great most of the rest of the game. Among other things.”
Greaver is also adamant about keeping a pitching rotation going this season instead of having one pitcher play every game, which is another reason he was hesitant to put in B-Weave. Players like Hoffman and B-Weave play excellent in other defensive positions; limiting them to the mound just makes them tired from week to week (especially after a rough outing) and does not tap into their other potential. An example of the former came in the top of the fourth in second game, when B-Weave started giving up walk after walk after having pitched enough innings to make an excellent complete game.
Larry Strait, making his first appearance as a Unicorn, came in to relieve B-Weave without having any prior pitching experience. He threw as if he were in a fast-pitch league, but his location smoothed out well enough over time to finish the last innings. Strait is confirmed to be a possible choice in the rotation in the future.
Not everything was disastrous on Monday. The fall Unicorns produced nine runs over two games, proving that their bats are remaining consistent thus far. Some bats are even heating up; Greaver hit a three-run blast in the second game, which was followed up by a solo shot by B-Weave, and Elisabeth Edge returned to form as she went 2 for 3 with two walks in the series. Rookie Leslie Paxton also hit 2 for 4 after going hitless in her first game the week prior.
In fact, the males on the team are batting an impressive .550/.584/.755 in the first four games. B-Weave and Nicholas Wasilewski are keeping their numbers intact while Greaver is at a better point this year and the newest Unicorns are starting strongly. Most impressive is Romeo Villanueva, who is going 5 for 9 with an average of .566 AVG.
All in all, if the pitching finds itself, if the veterans keep getting hits, and if the rookies fall into place as the coach imagines they will, the Unicorns will be a formidable adversary in the coming weeks.
In other news, birthed from the abyss that was created by their 26-5 and 25-4 losses was a beast of inexplicable power. He rose from the ashes of the Unicorns’ defeat some 147 miles away in Mineral, VA, and proceeded to smash and shake the earth with an anger so ferocious… a rage so radically resplendent… that he caused an earthquake that was felt from New York to Georgia, knocking over lawn chairs and shaking books from their shelves. A reporter managed to take a photo and send it over the internet before imploding.
|"INCREDIBLE HULKICORN! SMASHER OF DOVES AND SPAM!"|
- RF Leslie Paxton
HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE AN ANGERED APOCALYPTIC UNICORN, REWIRE (a “non-denominational church full of good people I used to work with at the movie theater” – Villanueva). CONSIDER YOURSELVES WARNED.
AVG/OBP/SLG: Nick Wasilewski (.667/.700/.778) once again infiltrates the leaders and climbs to the top. B-Weave continues to lead in SLG after his homer in the last game (.600/.636/1.100).
RBI: Greaver and Kevin Carpenter are still tied, moving from two each last week to five each this.
AVG/OBP/SLG: As mentioned earlier, Edge (.333/.455/.333) found her stride and once again leads in all categories. “Real Time” Hoffman ties her OBP and Lanah Stafford for SLG (still sporting the only female extra-base hit). If Leslie Paxton (.286 across the board) keeps hitting like she’s been, Edge and Real Time will have to step it up to retain their titles.
BB: Real Time likes to take cuts and get on base through her batting abilities, but she has taken three walks this year already.