Wednesday, July 9, 2008

KM2 playoffs round 1: Family reunion rewarded with 10-3 victory

Good things happen when the Know Mercy 2 family gets together.

The team kicked off the 2008 playoff run with a tight 10-3 beating of a friendly Forest Hills Foods, showing off some timely hitting, great pitching and solid defense.

After several weeks of rain, an unmentionable occurrence, and outside obligations, nearly the entire team was together by the end of the game. We should have taken a group photo!

KM2 burst out of the box with seven of the first nine batters scoring, with big hits by Jim Boles, Jamie Norris and Anne Marie Bessette.

Forest Hills scored its first run in the third, and added two more in the next frame through a rare walk and error before KM2 took a collective deep breath and shut the door.

Insurance came in the bottom of the sixth when the suddenly very Chipper Skipper punched a double, moved to third on an Amy Fox dribbler and scored when Steve Kutz made his only at-bat count.

Then Steve and Stacie Rylance came home when Dan Eby, Angie Bond-Patton and Casey Munger came through with clutch hits.

After a quick top of the seventh, FHF moved to the consolation round and KM2 advanced to face the dreaded and undefeated O’Brien’s Market goon squad.

How about some highlights?

Angie was able to play softball after her soccer game was canceled and went three-for-three with a run scored. There is no proof that the Skipper had a hand in getting that game canceled.

Jamie took home the game ball by climbing back on the hill and performing to near perfection. Jamie also was two-for-two with a run scored.

It’s gotta be the stirrup socks and the Giants cap! Fashion plate Jim “Say Hey” Boles recalled Willie Mays with a sweet basket catch in the second.

And how nice was it to see Casey’s beautiful smile again? Casey reached first three times and scored. And her defense at third and behind the plate was flawless. Plus, she and Aaron Dunham brought their new puppies, which did not eat any kids. This week, anyway.

Dan made it all the way from Traverse City by game time, and was two-for-three and played a solid shortstop, even nicely recovering from a bobble to nail a fleet FHF batter.

Sidekick Stacie also was on the road, speeding up from Kalamazoo – don’t ask how or where she changed – and went right to the batter’s box. Stacie had a hit, a run and a fine grab in centerfield.
The Foxes – Amy and David – were solid on defense, with D-Fox showing his versatility and A-Fox making some big plays at second base.

Mound magician Mike Gillis fooled FHF batters with his array of pitches and worked out a key walk in the first.

Mike’s wife, Gayle, played for the first time in four years, and you don’t know how much that warmed the Chipper’s heart. Gayle hasn’t played since an outfield collision with the aforementioned Skipper when they played for a Grand Rapids Press coed team, where she suffered a knee injury that required surgery and long rehabilitation. She came ready to play in case we were short players again, and boldly took some hacks.

Rob Mirque was perfect at first base and at the plate, and his better half, Cindy Suam is our very dependable catcher.

Anne Marie continues to swing a hot bat, reaching base twice and scoring a run.

Special thanks to KM1 members Bo and Tina Schmitz and Steve Korb, who came to cheer us on when their team had a bye week. It's nice to know the KM1 has our back!

I'm so proud of this team. A lot of people traveled great distances and overcame obstacles including a call to the locksmith to get to yet another early start. It's apppreciated.

It was a big win, a convincing win and sets us up perfectly for the epic battle with O’Brien’s next week!

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