July 7, 2013
Washington, DC – Rewind to spring season, when the Young Hoppers had trouble with the fundamentals of softball. We struggled with our timing at the plate and decision-making in the field. We got the little things wrong, and at the end of the day, we didn’t make the playoffs for the first time since 2009. You can blame it on a lot of things, but you should mostly blame Wage for moving to Barcelona. What a dick.
But things sure are different these days. Maybe it’s how the sun sets impossibly late. Maybe it’s the way the sweat glistens on Jeremy’s back. Or maybe it’s just Audrey. Regardless of the cause, the effect is the same.
Summer is Hoppers season.
The past two games have solidified the Young Hoppers as the front-runners in the pennant race. At 4-0, they’ve already beaten the second, third, and fourth place teams but know better than to get cocky.
As we’ve learned in the last two games, you can’t get too comfortable with a lead. You just never know when a team’s going to come back with an unexpected rally.
Against the second place Heart Attackers, the Hoppers led by 8 going into the 5th inning, only to see the Heart Attackers claw back run-by-run, inning-by-inning.
The Hoppers also fielded incredibly [sometimes], including Dave Duberstein’s diving web gem (shown below) and two consecutive one-two-three innings.
But other times, we made silly mistakes that allowed for extra bases, letting balls to drop like they were going through puberty.
But the Hoppers were lively and consistent at-bat from start to finish. Everyone got on base with either a good piece of hitting or downright hustle. Janiece Reinhardt continued her craaaaazy long hitting streak by mashing extra base hits into short field. And Duberstein drilled a 2-run homer in the bottom of the first.
Despite a few minor mishaps, ultimately, the Hoppers held it together, pulling off an 11-9 victory.
A similar result from the week prior, when the Young Hoppers faced and defeated our current least favorite opponents, randtastic 10.
The Hoppers got off to a solid start and were practically indomitable until the third inning, where the team tallied up eight runs and made the rand pitcher (who has bloated sodium face and looks like Mama Fratelli from The Goonies) so frustrated that he refused to shake our hands after the game. Class act, bro.
The randtastic nerds stuck around, putting up 5 runs in the 5th inning to get back in the game. But the Hoppers had the Gummiberry Juice to bounce back.
Hopper shortstop Alex Bard played the game of his life, going 3-for-3 with an honest-to-goodness triple and fielding like an absolute pro. Audrey Anderson executed an unassisted double play. Oh, and Stu Koltov homered. I’m sure he’d want me to tell you that.
In both games, the Hoppers had moments of absolute brilliance that outshone the hot doodie swamp smell and questionable fielding in the latter innings. It speaks to the ingrained will and competitive nature of the Young Hoppers. Somehow, some way, we find a way to win. Because as Mr. Schollenberger, my high school science teacher once said, “Good. Teams. Finish.”
*EDITOR’S NOTE: As impossible as it sounds, the Heart Attackers also have a pitcher named Kovacs. And even more impossibly, they are both (a) a good team and (b) not at all dickheads. The Heart Attackers are the anti-rand.