Monday, June 16, 2008

KM2: Game 2 -- The best game ever!

Now, the day after, it can be told that there were people in Know Mercy 2 senior management who were not completely optimistic about the team's chances for Wednesday's game.

After all, we had only two women players, and four men.

Luckily, the injured Rob Mirque offered to gut it out so we'd have five guys. Super Sub Mary Kovac offered her services. Then, a shadowy, mysterious female known only as "Player X" slinked into the picture to give us just enough players to take on a decent St. Matthew's Monsters team.

So, with a patchwork roster and soggy field, the KM2 stepped up to the plate and quickly smacked out three runs. But the Monsters responded by finding the open spaces in the outfield and taking advantage of some mud-soaked infield hits over the next two innings, seemingly stacking up run after run.

Many teams would have thrown in the towel, accepted the inevitable mercy defeat and wallowed in self-pity. But visiting KM-1 coach Bo Schmitz put an end to that, shouting "You're only down 8-3. You can win this!"

A rallying cry was born. The defense shut down the Monsters, with the middle infield combo of Dave Fox and Mary Kovac scooping and tossing. Pitcher Jamie Norris showed great control and nabbed runners -- allowing the Monsters to tack on just one more run for the rest of the game.

Then the offense kicked in. Dave Fox and Jim Boles launched line drives, Venta Norris and Cindy Saum worked out key walks. Rob, despite a promise to just stand at the plate and hope for a walk to avoid further injury, hacked out a hit. "Player X" was doing all kinds of things that we shouldn't talk about, lest we draw attention to her. Look away.

Amy Fox, fresh from covering the Obama rally, arrived mid-game and promptly got on base. Mary Kovac forced a big error and even took a ball to the head, raising a welt that rivaled the pitchers mound.

With the game tied and bases loaded, up stepped coach Dave Murray. Know Mercy veterans know what happens when Dave is up in a clutch situation. People keeping score start writing "infield pop-up" in the book even before the pitch is thrown.

Maybe it was Bo's new bat. Maybe it was the cookies. Maybe it was the shame of the usually glass-half-full Chipper Skipper being unoptimistic before the game.

We might never find out why, but we do know that Dave launched a triple over the head of the centerfielder, clearing the bases. And then got thrown out at the plate. But we won't talk about that part.

Now up 12-9 in the last inning, the newly energized KM-2 went into shut-down mode, denying any further runs and chalking up the team's first win of the year. Yes!

Special thanks to Mary, who came out, played well, played hard and took a shot off the noggin.

Special thanks to Rob, playing through pain when he shouldn't have.

Special thanks to Bo for coaching, keeping score, bringing the bats and keeping us focused.

And special thanks to the mysterious "Player X," without whom there would not have been.

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