With the Blue Jays floundering and their playoff hopes dissipating, the hope of the Canadian baseball/softball nation were on the Suds, Buds and Windmills as they entered into the first game of the playoffs. Coming off a loss in their last game of the regular season, despite a strong showing by Justyn (yes with Y, not with an I, Krystle), how would the team rebound and how would the team take the challenge of the playoffs? Entering the post season in the third seed and Pete making his return to the lineup, there were many questions to be answered. After a slow start to the season, Pete was back in form but would he continue to shine as he did two weeks ago? Would Justyn continue to shine as well? If both excelled, they would be the best tandem in the league. Krystle moving to rover and Jith moving to right field, also could raised defensive questions. Would this team in a rebuild year with a bit of this and a bit of that – the chemistry they finally found leading to a six game winning streak. Would it continue?
Ladies and gents, fans and the beagle joined in to watch and the Suds, Buds and Windmills rose to the occasion. Despite one bad second inning, in which 5 runs were let in, Eric and the team had one of their strongest defensive outings. The 1st inning was a clear indication of how the game was going to unfold. Eric was phenomenal, with no walks, strong defense and a dirty pitch that painted the front of the mat and infuriated the batters. Eric shared the player of the game with Peter, who riled off two monstrous home runs and kept the team in the game with the 4 RBIs.
But a game can’t be won with only two people. The game exemplified a truly complete game. Sam and Justyn got robbed on wicked line drives to the pitcher and shortstop, but they were indicative of the effort of each player on the team trying to push out a bloopers and singles. Heather, Sarah and Krystle didn’t take grounders for granted and got onto first with pure heart and determination. Mark also returned to form with 3/3 night with a bunch of RBIs. Jith also got back on the board with a single and mile high pop, which the shortstop lost in the stars. Carlos who lost a ball in the stars as well during the middle of the game, redeemed himself with a snag of an extremely hard line that had everyone even more pumped up; it was the play of the game. Despite an “odd” toss from Krystle to Heather early in the game and a poor second inning, the lesson of the game was even though certain balls careened off fielders, the team pushed forward as they picked themselves up and finished off the innings. Every member of team pushed to get the outs, by playing patient and precise softball. Martin and Eric were the epitome of this – the fantastic duo helped eliminate many players in the last few innings. Justyn should also get an honourable mention for his almost pulling a home run back from over the fence! If caught, it might have been arguably considered the play of the year or maybe more.
As the first chapter of the playoff closes, a new one begins on the road to the championship as Suds, Buds and Windmills will now face Fouled Balls on their way to what could be an highly exciting and contentious 3-game series with the Rivals, who had claimed their spot in the finals with a victory earlier in the night. Regardless of foul balls and rivals, if Suds, Buds and Windmills continue to play a patient and precise softball, their season will hopefully end on a very exciting and high note.
First round of the play offs folks! Let’s win this.