Monday, May 31, 2010

Know Mercy does not lose to St. Matthew's Monsters

The pessimist would say Know Mercy did not win Wednesday’s game against St. Matthew’s Monsters.

But the optimist — and we are nothing if not optimists — note that the team didn’t lose, either.

An impressive Know Mercy battled back from a 5-3 hole against a much-improved Monster squad to play to a rare, 8-8, eight-inning tie.

The team continues to show some impressive defense, with left fielders Mike Light and Steve Korb impressing time and again, sharing the Schnitz Ada Grill Game Ball.

Nick Rodammer stacked up a Schnitz and a Double Schnitz, while Niki Ferguson also had two Schnitzes with a run scored.

Casey Munger topped that with three Schnitzes!

Venta Norris reached base twice, and was injured by the Monster first-basemen, who poked her in the ribs, one of several suspect plays by this opponent. Sidekick Jamie Norris also reached twice and scored each time.

Jamie Linari and Rachel Zollman each reached first and came around to score.

Chipper Skipper strode to the plate with the bases loaded and scored two runs without swinging the bat — a Schnitz Gift Card, which is the new name for free passes, or bases on ball. Chipper actually walked again later in the game, which ticked off the cranky Monster pitcher, who refused to shake hands after the game.

While the St. Matthew’s pitcher couldn’t find the plate, Mike Gillis was again perfect, giving no Monster a free pass. That makes Mike the Know Mercy collector’s card of the day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

So close, so far: Know Mercy falls to GE

So close: That would be the 6-6 score after six innings of the big Schnitz Ada Grill Opening Day 2.0 against GE on Wednesday.

So far: That would be the distance of the three-run homer hit by the GE tall guy with the shaved head who we all feared, effectively killing Know Mercy’s chances for victory.

Alas, the Know Mercy heroes fell just short in their bid for the team’s first win of the season, falling 11-6 to a very good GE team.

The team roared out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Nick Rodammer lead off with a Schnitz, followed by Casey Munger-Dunham who hit a Schnitz in her first at-bat of the season.

That set the table for Aaron Dunham to drive home Nick with a Schnitz of his own, and Casey came home when Mike Light hit a deep fly for a sacrifice. Mike Gillis then drove home Aaron.
GE got even and then some, with two runs in the second, three runs in the third and another in the fourth.

Know Mercy battled back in the fourth, when Rachel Zollman raced from first base to third when Nick launched a Double Schnitz, and Rachel slid into third so hard that she ripped the base right out of the ground. That’s power! You think anyone is going to mess with her?

Both Rachel and Nick came around to score when Aaron smashed a Double Schnitz of his own.

The team added one more run in the fifth, when Mike Light poked a Double Schnitz and scored when Mike Gillis ripped his second Schnitz of the game to tie the score.

But GE came back with two runs in the sixth, and the TGWSH smacked his three-run blast to put the game out of reach.

But there were some great highlights for just about everyone.

Casey Munger-Dunham not only distributed what are obviously the best softball uniforms ever, but she also hit the team’s first Triple Schnitz of the season and was flawless in left-center.

What Casey didn’t catch in left-center, Steve Korb grabbed in right-center, hauling in some very tough bombs.

Mel Carrick made her debut and was robbed at least three times, absolutely ripping line drives up the line, each falling just foul. She also made a fantastic play at third, slapping a tag on a GE runner who thought he was going to get through. Not a chance.

Steve Carins had two Schnitzes, and nearly a Double Schnitz. Rachel would offer sliding lessons, but then we’d have to replace all the bases.

Andrew Murray, playing in his first-ever softball game, used his teen-aged wheels to swipe a Schnitz.

Steve Kutz made what I think was his first game at first base and performed well!

Melissa Ferens had a big Schnitz in the first inning and turned some nice plays at second base.

Amy Bonjour played with a heavy heart and did a great job behind the plate.

The Schnitz Ada Grill Game Ball: Awarded to Mike Light for his big hit, scoring the winning run and stellar defense that included two huge throws to nail runners.

The Schnitz Ada Grill Field of Dreams Moments of the Week:

“If you build it, he will come:” Wednesday was the 2010 debut for Aaron, Mike Light, Andrew, Casey and Mel.

“Ease his pain:” John Basher suffered a season-ending injury in the game against the vile Victory Club, breaking his pinkie and enduring some tendon damage, too. Ouch! John promises to be back to pinch run, coach the bases and keep Chip from getting ejected.

“Go the distance:” Jason Stevenson is missing for this game and the next as he prepares for a marathon. There’s a part of me that hopes he reverts to hockey mode mid-race and starts fighting with another runner.

“Hey Dad, wanna have a catch?” Andrew Murray’s appearance marked what is believed to be the first father-son combo in Know Mercy history.

Next week: Schnitz Ada Grill Opening Day 3.0

OK, we have battled two of the top teams in the league for three games. Now it’s time for the soft white underbelly of the schedule with a game against St. Matthews.

But it’s another nasty 6 p.m. game on Ada 1, so plan accordingly.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ouch! Know Mercy pounded by ringer-laden Victory Club

It was, I'm certain, the most lop-sided defeat in Know Mercy history. Victory Club dropped a 21-1 mercy defeat on the team Wednesday, but we really weren't as bad as the score would indicate.

We made some errors, but not really all that many. We walked a couple batters, but only a couple. But when a team of ringers hits line drive base hit after line drive base hit, there's really not a lot we can do.

Offensively, we didn't show much. But batting only once in three innings, we didn't get too many opportunities to shake off the rust, either. We also were missing our most potent offensive weapons.

But a Victory Club player announced they dispatched the first-game opponent in just 39 minutes, so it appears they're going to take joy in mercying their way through the league. Have fun, guys.

Which is not to say there were no highlights:

Hannah Ulerich made her Know Mercy debut! Hannah's a player, and I know she's going to shine in the coming weeks.

Venta Norris made a nifty stop of a hard-hit ball to right.

Steve Korb and Melissa Ferens are a potent combo up the middle.

OK, now shake it off!

I'm declaring next week Schnitz Ada Grille Opening Day 2.0 We're playing the team we played in the first game, I'll have the bunting out again and, best of all, Casey informs that we will have our sweet new uniforms! Far as I'm concerned, these first two games were practice and the season starts on Wednesday!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Know Mercy knows rust on Opening Day

Rust: noun (ruhst) 1) The red or orange coating that forms on the surface of iron when exposed to air and moisture. 2) The stuff on the Know Mercy bats and gloves during the first game of the season.

Know Mercy fell to GE on the Schnitz Ada Grill Opening Day, but the 8-2 final score makes the results seem worse than they actually were.

The rivals scored five of their runs in the second inning — proving that the One Bad Inning Syndrome carries over from year to year — and tacked on three more in the sixth.

Meanwhile, Know Mercy bats were still a little dusty, managing a run in the first and another in the fifth.

But there was plenty to build on, now that everyone has that rough first game of the year out of the way.

Which is not to say there were not some fantastic moments:

Melissa Ferens was a machine, reaching base three times, scoring a run and showing some nice defense at second base.

Steve Korb reached base both times he came to the plate, and scored our other run. But his defense at shortstop was spectacular. When the GE slugger launched one to deep left-center, Steve ran out to take the throw from Rachel Zollman, turned an fired an absolute bullet, right on target, to the plate, where Mike Gillis waited a slapped a tag on a dazed GE runner.

Steve Carins also reached both times he was up, and made a great running grab of a sky-pop off the bat of GE’s best player.

Jamie Linari was plugged into third base with little notice and handled a lot of action in addition to getting on base. She earned the Schnitz Ada Grill Game Ball for her performance. Sidekick Jason Stevenson also launched a hit and covered lots of ground in left.

Nick Rodammer also was two-for-two and was flawless at shortstop.

John Basher’s Know Mercy debut also was stellar with a pair of hits — and expert knowledge about firing up a grill.

Mike Gillis was working his magic on the mound, as we’ve come to expect, issuing no walks and striking out multiple GE batters.

Ouch! Catching can be a dangerous spot, but both of our backstops were banged up while running after hitting the ball. Wish Amy Bonjour and Charmayne Mulligan speedy recoveries!

But Opening Day is reason to celebrate no matter the final score, and we enjoyed some post-game fellowship with cookies and hot dogs.

Lost and found: Left in the picnic area were a green water bottle — at least it appears to be water. Some of you people are pretty wild — and a young fan’s gray sweat shirt with a polo logo. I’ll bring both to the next game.

Next week: We’re playing at 7:30 on the same field. Yea! But it’s against the Victory Club goon squad. Boo! But Casey thinks we’ll have our uniforms by then, so we’ll look really cool. And I think we’ll have some of the players we were missing this week! Yea!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Unified Know Mercy to celebrate Opening Day

Know Mercy softball starts the 2010 season with a new look and some new friends.

After two seasons as two teams, the powerful Know Mercy franchise is once again one. Some powerful bats are returning, and we've drafted some fence-busting newcomers to the Orange and Black.

And, we have collectibles!

Here are is the first card in the limited edition Know Mercy set:

Mike Light returns to Know Mercy after a spectacular rookie season on KM2, where he flashed some amazing leather in leftfield and shortstop, and was a commanding presence atop of the batting order.

Mike also coaches his children's teams when not educating the youth of America at Grand Rapids Community College.