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    Game 7: Umpless in Dalton
    Teams participating in Wednesday’s action took matters into their own hands after the ump became a no-show.
    June 30, 2006

    Score Box
      1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R H HR
    Champlain Masonary
    4 1 0 6 1 6 1   19 X 3
    The Vets
    0 0 2 3 2 3 4   14 18 3

    The doors to the shack are ripped open by the 6:30 game in an attempt to retrieve the bases and the balls. (Wolan)

    The rainy weather system continued to soak the capital region, causing heavy flooding throughout New York state and Pennsylvania. But as luck would have it, the storm’s fury stay just far enough to the west, sparing New England. All the storm brought was some heavy morning showers that quickly sped-off into Vermont. (See radar loop.)

    Game 7 was to feature an 8pm match-up between the Vets and Champlain Masonary. (C.M.) However, the umpire scheduled to call this and the prior 6:30 game was a no show. Refusing to call it a night, the teams scheduled to play at 6:30 broke into the storage shack to retrieve to bases and some softballs. They also went in to gain access to yard tools to try and remove as much water from the infield as possible. They even got someone to play umpire for the game.

    With everything ready, all the 8:00 pm match-up needed was an umpire. A-WOL decided to take matters into his own hands and agreed to call the game after receiving the blessing from both the Pittsfield Vets and Champlain Masonary benches. And with Andy being Andy, A-WOL decided to also record the play-by-play action of the game. This came at the chagrin of Vet’s player Marlee.

    Taking the mound for the Vets was the veteran pitcher, Pick Palma. He would square off against Adam, the Masonry’s starting pitcher. After getting two quick outs in the first, C.M. managed to rally and score 4 runs to take a quick lead. They would tack on an additional run in the second via a solo-shot by Dave. Rick would make a “splash” of his own in the top half of the second as well: a C.M. batter hit a ground ball back to the mound when it encountered a puddle just before the pitching rubber, slowing it to a stop. Rick managed to field the ball for the out at first.

    Devin and a buddy from C.M. share a conversation on second. (Palma)

    The C.M.s were kept scoreless in the third thanks in part to two line-drive outs made by Devin at short. The Vets capitalized with 2 runs of their own to make it a 5-2 ball game. The second run came on a close play at home: Bishop slid headfirst into home plate to get a hand on the plate right before being tagged.

    In the fourth, the Masonry team rallied for 6 runs, including a 2-run homerun by Dave. This was he second homerun of the game. Not to be outdone, the Vets got back 3 thanks to a 3-run homerun by Jessie.

    In the fifth, Joelle made her pitching debut for the Vets and managed to limit them just a run. In the bottom half, the Vets would get 2 back. With the bases loaded, Bishop would connect for a two run single. However, some poor base running and/or base coaching caused Dawn, who was on first, to remain on first. She was easily forced out at second. After 5, Vets made it a 12-7 ballgame.

    The sixth inning got off on to a controversial start. The batter hit a ground ball to short but the throw to Kim at first was wide. The batter proceeded to second and then to third base. A throw was made to third but the runner advance to home on the play, netting an “infield homerun”. A-WOL, the game’ umpire, expressed his concerns about such base running in an amateur co-ed softball league.

    A-WOL stands ready to call the game behind the plate. (Palma)

    “I have no problems with a base runner advancing to second on a bad throw to first” said A-WOL after the game. “But stretching that to a triple or a homerun is uncalled for. After all, most teams will just conceded an overthrow and let the runner take second. Trying to make a play usually involves a toss to the second base where the runner darting to second is in the way between second and the fielder at first.

    “Whenever a runner challenges a bad throw to second with a run to third or home, that is where trouble can stir-up. The base runner is literally challenging a team that was more than willing to concede his or her advancement to second. Most are caught off guard and will respond to the challenge with a hard throw. The last thing you want to see is a rocket being thrown to a catcher, who 4 out of 5 times is not capable of catching such a toss. Someone can get hurt, all because someone wanted to stretch extra bases out of an error.

    “Last but not least, isn’t it just cheesy for a guy to celebrate a homerun that started with a ground ball and a bad throw to first?”

    The Masonry team took A-WOL’s words into perspective, and slowed things down for the remainder of the game. Regardless, this slow-down did not take a toll of run production, as they rally for 6 runs in the inning. Devin managed to record his third line-out at short in the inning.

    Vets fired right back in the sixth, scoring 3 runs thanks to a 3-run homerun by Jessie, his second of the game. This homerun also marked the second occasions this season in which Jessie hit back-to-back homeruns. After 6, the score was 18-10, C.M.

    Rick Palma returned to the mound in the seventh and nearly averted disaster in the processes. With the bases loaded and with only one out, the team managed to escape the inning by giving up only a single run. The Vets encountered a similar situation in their half of the seventh. With one out and the bases loaded, Bishop would connect with a grand slam over the left field fence. Bishop’s response to the hit was “about time”. But that would be all that the Vets could string together, as Devin made the final out amongst “traitor” jeers from the C.M. bench as the Vets fall 19-14.


  • Bishop: 3 for 3 with a grand slam, 7 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
  • Jessie: 2 for 3 with back-to-back homeruns, 6 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
  • Marlee: 2 for 3 with 2 runs.
  • Web gem: Devin with 3 line-drive outs at shorts.
  • Long ball: Jessie's second game to hit back-to-back homeruns. Bishop hits first gland slam in team history.
  • Vets pitching did not issue a single walk, but nor did they draw a strike-out either.

  • Game Photos & Audio Clips | Vet's Player Stats from the Game

    Andy Wolan is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Softball or its clubs.