Archive for the ‘2008 Season’ Category

There Can Be Only One

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The 'Chronicle' celebrate their 2008 ASL title with the Carmadillo

It was a game – and a season – that the late cultural critic John Leonard would have loved, its “cumulative tension” released only after the last out was recorded on Oct. 19, its Fabian policy and vagaries finally giving way to the “hand grenades and machine guns” of more traditional fall sports like football, basketball, and hockey. Of course, Leonard was talking about baseball there, and I’m talking about its slovenly civilian counterpart, softball, but whatever, the Chronicle still won.

After a four-game losing streak stretching back to a charity tournament late last year (and by charity, I mean we gave that shit away) through an 0-2 start to the inaugural Alternative Softball League season early this summer – simultaneously cementing the tendency of its “fanbase” to all but ignore the team’s very existence – the Chronicle flipped the switch in time to emerge as 2008 champions, dispensing of archrival BookPeople in a back-and-forth 11-9 thriller. The win was the Chronicle‘s fourth in six games against the Filthy Animals from Sixth and Lamar, dating back to the days of the Unofficial Shadow League of Local Businesses. The overall score in those six games? Illustrating once again that the numbers do, in fact, lie, somehow something like 70-67 BookPeople. Cumulative tension, indeed.

This latest in a long line of instant classics happened in front of a fired-up throng of 6,000-plus lucky witnesses to history at Krieg Field No. 4. The record gathering came to get face time on News 8, I’m fairly certain, but when the lazy broadcast bastards didn’t show up, they turned their attention to hot dogs, a keg, and the Carmadillo. An estimated eight of them were rooting for the paper’s poet warriors, more commonly known among longtime Austin softball followers as the Infantile Retards.

Eight was enough, as it were, because the vocal minority pro-Chronicle crowd was deafeningly loud and rabidly literate, with one fan, Samantha, rotating four – four – signs throughout the contest: “Chronicle/Softball/We Rule”; “I’d Rather Be Here Than in Tampa [where the Rays were in the process of besting the Boston Red Sox in seven games]”; “Beat BookPeople”; and “D” (one side), “Picture of a Fence” (other side). Samantha, sadly, at no point stripped and streaked onto the field, à la BookPeople supporter Noah after outfielder Dale‘s eighth-inning home run – his second of the game – that tied the score 9-9. Proving to be his favorite team’s final highlight, the speedy Noah was a blur of body hair and ecstatic savagery.

Believe it or not, there had been a more bizarre tour around the bases an inning earlier, when Chronicle publisher Nick Barbaro – basically an older, slower, wealthier, and more clothed Noah – extended the Chronicle‘s short-lived lead to 9-5 on a bloop home run down the right-field line. Apparently taking a victory lap six outs before victory was actually achieved, Barbaro casually circled the diamond with a grin as BookPeople’s comically erratic relay throws caused the ball to trail him like an outwitted smart bomb or a heat-seeking missile from assorted Looney Toons installments. Cruising for home, the ball hovering politely near his shoulder as if to say “after you,” Barbaro shrugged, seemingly oblivious to the course of events while teammates and fans screamed at him to pick up the pace, and crossed the plate. As is often the case, he must have known something we didn’t. He must have known these playoffs were his: In two games, the erstwhile role player went 7-7 with 5 runs scored and 6 RBI. That is what we in the business call production.

But if Barbaro is the Chronicle‘s playoff MVP, as many would argue, he might have to share the award with many of his teammates. Perhaps the most unexpected candidate is light-hitting catcher Kristine Tofte, whose groundout in the bottom of the eighth drove in what would turn out to be the winning run after BookPeople had battled back from a 9-5 deficit in the top half to knot things up. Other major contributors included captain and leadoff man Bobby Leath (7-9 with 4 runs); clutch second basewoman, trophy designer, and multiple gold ball winner Shannon Stott; left fielder Mike B. (5-7, 6 runs, 5 RBI, and stellar defense); third baseman Travis (6-7, 4 runs, a league-leading 8 RBI); me, for too many reasons to number here; “The Appalachian Natural” Doug Freeman, who uses a fiddle bow tied with live snakes to a ham hock in place of a bat (6-7, 5 runs); ASL Commissioner and left-center-fielder Mark Fagan (6-7), whose gliding catch in the top of the ninth stopped a BookPeople rally before it started; the great first baseman and expert batsman Michael King, who managed to score 3 playoff runs despite an absence of legs; veteran outfielder James Renovitch, who had a huge hit in the sixth frame of the championship; the dynamic Cassie Wright; Logan Youree, for his miraculously rapid improvement and his camera; line-drive machine Simon; Christina Jupson; and ace Charlie Sotelo, who returned from a regular-season injury to pitch the paper to a title in what were possibly his last two games with the team. Also Patrick’s mom.

Alas, only six of those worthies will play in the first annual ASL All Star Game, this Sunday, Nov. 16, 3:30pm, at Havins No. 1. Mike B., Jupson, Leath, Travis, Stott, and I will join representatives from BookPeople, Emo’s, KOOP Radio, and Waterloo Records in an exhibition of softball skill and a celebration of our fading youth. Come drink beer and get your car broken into. There will be a piñata filled with cocaine and jewels, as well as a mystery guest. For the full rosters and more information on the ASL, see www.myspace.com/alternativesoftballleague.

Shawn Badgley

BookPeople Advances to ASL Championship Game

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Waterloo Records' Chris Anderson strikes a pose (Photo by Logan Youree)

Last night, BookPeople turned a page in Alternative Softball League history, coming back from an end-of-the-season slump to defeat Waterloo Records and advance to the ASL Championship Game. Fourth place BookPeople had their work cut out for them going up against Waterloo Records, who finished the season in first place with an intimidating 6-2 record. But, at the end of the game, it was BookPeople that came out on top, 17-15, advancing to the ASL Final against The Austin Chronicle.

After the first inning, the game was tied 3-3, but a strong offensive showing in the second and third put BookPeople up 11-3. Despite a valiant effort from the Waterloo team, closing the gap midgame to 11-7, BookPeople continued to hold onto the lead. A good run in the bottom of the eighth looked promising for Waterloo, but solid defensive play by BookPeople secured a third out with the bases loaded, preventing a potential comeback. In the bottom of the ninth, Waterloo had a chance, but ultimately fell short of the two runs they needed to force extra innings. Highlights from the game include a solo-shot home run by BookPeople’s Jeff Rose, as well as an equipment-hurdling, fence-clashing foul catch from BP third baseman Bryan “the Beast” Sansone. Kudos to Waterloo’s Chris Anderson, who had a three-run homer in the first to tie the game 3-3.

The Championship Game is scheduled for October 19 and the awards ceremony will be held October 21 at Emo’s Lounge. Stay tuned for information about the ASL All-Star Game, which will take place after the season final. Game on!

Michael Bartnett

ASL Playoffs Heat Up

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Fans cheer on the 'Chronicle' as they defeat Emo's in the ASL playoffs' first round (Photo by Logan Youree)

Yes, that’s right, the inaugural season of the Alternative Softball League, sadly, is nearing its dramatic conclusion. It’s hard to believe that only a few months ago this fledgling sporting venture was just getting its wings, but here they are, done with the regular season and cleat-deep into the playoffs.

On September 22, The Austin Chronicle defeated Emo’s, 32-12, and moved on to the ASL Championship Game (time and date TBA). This Sunday, October 5, Waterloo Records (who have dominated the league and finished in first place) and BookPeople (who barely slid into fourth place and the final playoff spot as a result of a KOOP Radio loss to Waterloo in the last game of the regular season) will throw down in an epic battle to see who will move on to the ASL Final.

Come on out to Krieg Field No. 11 at 7:30pm for one of only two chances left to witness the spectacle that is the Alternative Softball League. Are you ready for some softball!?

Michael Bartnett

ASL Powerhouse Gets Shut Down

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

(Logo by Michael Bartnett)

I hate to say it, but those 11am Sunday practices have helped the Chronicle‘s game phenomenally. I hate to say it because I have to be at those morning practices, and typically after a night of boozin’ and bruisin’. There was a 90% chance of rain on game night, Monday, Aug. 18, but our game vs. second-place BookPeople went on as planned, in the muggy, saunalike night. This game would be different than our last round with BookPeople, who clobbered us 28-14 earlier this season and made us all realize that practice was necessary. Thanks for that, BookPeople.

The first three innings went back and forth – Chronicle up one, tie, BookPeople up one, then ending the third inning tied at 2. In the first Shannon Stott scored a run on a hit to deep right field by Travis. In the next inning we played good defense, allowing BookPeople to only plate one run, but our offense struggled, with three batters up and three down. Bottom of the third, Doug Freeman placed the ball right over the rover for a double and picking up an RBI (scoring James Renovitch).

Top of the fourth, the Chron‘s catcher, yours truly, was having a hard time. First, I didn’t catch a foul popped back to me by Mandy Brooks; the ball went right over my head. Then, I couldn’t make a catch from third baseman Travis, and BookPeople scored their only run of the inning. Bottom of the fourth, our offense kicked ass. Shawn Badgley was up first and picked up a double. Mike Bartnett then advanced Shawn to third with a double. Next was Travis, who picked up two RBIs and a triple, and he was eventually brought home by Cody Kirk with a single. Michael King batted in one last run for the inning, bringing the score to 6-3, a lead we never surrendered.

The fifth inning was scoreless. The Chronicle defense was on, but the offense was lacking – with three up, three down. Top of the sixth, BookPeople scored their last run of the game. Bottom of the inning, Shawn started the rally, though it might have been hard to tell with only a single. Mike B then advanced Shawn to third with a double. Next, Travis stepped up to the plate and picked up an RBI, while Mark Fagan scored Travis on a grounder – the last two to cross plate for the rest of the game. Top of the seventh, Shawn (at shortstop) and Shannon Stott (at second base) were a defensive powerhouse. The first two BookPeople outs were fielder’s choice plays at second base – the first a throw from Shawn to Shannon and the second a throw from Shannon to Shawn. Shawn caught a pop-up at shortstop for the final out. Bottom of the inning, it was three up, three down again for the Chronicle.

Top of the ninth, it was time for the Chronicle to hold BookPeople. With one BookPeople out, we were ready for the second. Brian was up to bat; the ball dropped near first, and King went to grab it. Shannon ran over from second to back up King, who tagged first base for the second out, with the runner collided with Shannon at full speed. It was the crash heard ’round the Alternative Softball World. Shannon crumbled to the ground in agony. She was eventually carried off the field to a round of applause, but the game had to go on – we had to get that last out.

“Alright guys, let’s show Shannon just how valuable she is to the Chronicle‘s team by coming back and winning,” said BookPeople’s Rose. Valuable is right, but we still won the game. The next player up was the last player out, and we took home another victory, 9-5. Clinching our playoff spot, “We’re hitting our stride right before the playoffs!” said coach Bobby Leath. That night Shannon was taken by ambulance to the hospital. She wasn’t doing well and really scared us, and we thought she may have a concussion. But after a thorough check out, she was diagnosed with a very deep bruise on her right leg. We all hope you get better soon; you bring so much to the Chronicle team. Expect her back and better than ever next time – watch out, Waterloo.

Kristine Tofte

KOOP Gets Played

Friday, August 15th, 2008

‘The Austin Chronicle’ softball team (Photo by Amber Hamilton)

This time, I think it was the socks – they made me look like a professional baller, and I intimidated the home team, KOOP Radio – but the credit really belongs to our new fanbase (special thanks to Cassidy and Yaz for showing their true Chron spirit) and the Chronicle‘s solid play on both sides of the ball, bringing us to a 3-3 record.

Mike Bartnett had an extremely good game at bat and in left field. During the top of the first inning alone he picked up two RBIs (Shannon Stott and Shawn Badgley), while his speed brought him back home on a hit by Travis. Unfortunately, a bit of ball fumbling in the bottom of the inning allowed KOOP to plate two runs. In the second, KOOP’s pitcher did a nice job psyching out our first three batters, and no runs were scored. Bottom of the second, KOOP scored one run, bringing the game to a tie, 3-3. Third inning, Chronicle coach Bobby Leath struck out one, and catcher Erin Toombs made a great play at the plate, tagging out the runner headed home for the final out of the frame. (You go, girl.) And we certainly kept those defensive juices flowing during the third – three up, three down.

Top of the fourth, the Chron‘s offense came back with a vengeance. Mike B had a solid hit to center field; it was missed by the outfielder and made its way to the back of fence. He flew around the bases like his life depended on it, advancing Shannon home with his home run. Mark Fagan also picked up an RBI (Travis) for our third and final run of the fourth. KOOP scored one run during the bottom of the inning leaving the Chronicle up 6-5.

The top of the fifth and the Chronicle offense was pumped up again. Doug Freeman was up to bat and he clobbered the ball, sending it flying into left-centerfield for a triple. Next up was Simon Mulverhill, one of the newbies. He brought Doug home with a sac fly. A sweet hit by Michael King landed him on first. I was up next, and I’m pretty sure that damn pitcher really got into my head – holding his glove over his face so all that’s showing is the intensity of his eyes, and then the long aggravating pause before he winds up and lets loose. Needless to say, I struck out again (for the second time in my softball career I must remind you), and I’m blaming it on KOOP’s pitcher – WTF?! Logan Youree was up next and he got things started, advancing King to second with a single. And with KOOP’s defense snoozing in the field, Michael snuck over to third. Nice job, King. Back to the top of the batting lineup, with players on first and third, Bobby made a clean hit, as usual, and King ran home for the score. It would have been nice to score a few more, but we ended the inning with runners stranded on all the bases, but up 8-4.

The beer and excitement started to set in, and my notes covering the last four innings became sparse. The sixth and seventh were scoreless. KOOP had one more run in the eighth and the Chronicle one in the ninth. We won the game, 9-5. And with the playoffs approaching, we need to keep improving our play – and keep winning. The Austin Chronicle‘s plays our next game Monday, Aug. 18, vs. BookPeople, ranked second in league standings.

For up-to-date stats on the ASL, team info, game info, or just a good time, check out the ASL MySpace page: www.myspace.com/alternativesoftballleague.

Kristine Tofte

The Chronicle’s Second ASL Win

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Chronicle Coach Bobby Leath suspiciously eyes the shores of Toftation Island

Maybe it was our new at-bat theme songs. Maybe it was my new red cleats. Maybe it was our new teammate, Simon. Or maybe the Tofte clan cheering section (ma and pa, that is) served as a good-luck charm. Whatever it was, it was the best the Chronicle has played all season. The result: a second league victory for the (2-3) Chronicle team.

On Tuesday, July 29, we played our second league game vs. Emo’s. The Chronicle was pumped, bringing four players home in the top of the first – Shannon, Shawn, Mike B., and Travis – to Emo’s zero. However, the Emo’s offense brought it back during the second and third innings, scoring a total of seven runs with the Chronicle failing to respond. There was some great lefty-on-lefty action in the third – Bobby on the pitcher’s mound for the Chron and Brian from Emo’s at bat. Brian appeared to not have a problem with match-up, sending the ball flying, picking up two RBIs with this home run.

Come top of the fifth, the Chronicle was down by two runs. King was up to bat first and smashed the ball into left center picking up a single. Another great hit, this time by Jupson, landed players on second and first. Next up was the newbie, Simon, and a third smash by the Chronicle team had the bases loaded. I was up next with a lot of weight on my shoulders, and I’m not talking about the weights I was bench pressing in the dugout beforehand either. And with Donna Summer providing the soundtrack, I thought for sure this was going to be it. I was hoping to show the ball some “Hot Stuff,” as well as impress my parents. Unfortunately, neither of those things happened; I struck out for the first time ever in my softball career (the last two months).

Next up, King was thrown out at home plate on Logan‘s fielder’s choice. Back to the top of the lineup, Bobby picked up two RBIs (Jupson and Simon). We ended the inning with four runs but still down by one.

We kept rolling through the sixth inning, with Mike B. up to bat first. He had that look in his eyes – you know, the look like you know you’re about to clobber the ball. And sure enough he did, then rounded the bases with amazing grace and speed, scoring a home run. Three more made it back to home plate that inning (Travis, Cody, and James), and with Emo’s scoring zero, we were up by two.

Mike B. had another great offensive showing in the seventh, adding two RBIs to his stat sheet (Shawn and Bobby). But the Emo’s offense once again reigned supreme. A ball missed in centerfield resulted in three runs for Emo’s. Stan scored a home run on a deep left center hit. By the end of the seventh we were down by one again but scored one more in the eighth – tying up the game.

Scoring three to Emo’s two during the ninth, we won the game, 19-18. Coach Bobby was proud: “Quite possibly the greatest game in Chronicle softball history. We’ll be telling our grandkids about this one.” Maybe. The next two games happen tonight; check out the Alternative Softball League MySpace for details:
www.myspace.com/alternativesoftballleague.

Kristine Tofte

Waterloo Records Recycles the ‘Chronicle’

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 7:30pm, field No. 11, which happens to have the most spacious dugouts at the Kreig complex (just a side note), it was our game to win. Waterloo Records had the home-team advantage but their captain, Chris Anderson, was out, and the Chronicle was sporting a solid lineup.

Waterloo raked in four runs to the Chronicle‘s zero during the first inning. The top of the second also went rather poorly for our team – with three at-bats reciprocated by three outs. Waterloo found themselves in the same boat, also scoring zero, and Mr. OTR Austin Powell ended the inning with a great catch for the third out. We are all so glad he is back from the dreadful world of all things unsoftball, and back with a vengeance.

The third inning saw quite a bit of offensive action from the Chron team, though the outcome was still negative. Our first two batters went right back to the bench. But our next three – Michael King, Tofte (yours truly), and James Renovitch – loaded the bases. Next up was Shelley Hiam, who had quite a bit of pressure on her with two outs and bases loaded. She made a great hit but was thrown out at first base thusly ending the potential rally. Waterloo scored one run in the third leaving the Chron down, 5-0, but not out.

Top of the fourth, we finally got on the board. First up was Austin, who made a fabulous hit – it was fumbled around by a few Waterlooers in right field, which translated to not only our first run of the game but a home run for the returning Powell. And Austin kept his game going strong, indeed, all the way through the fourth inning, with a nice catch for another third out and no runs scored by the home team.

The Chronicle came out strong in the fifth inning, both offensively and defensively. Mike B was first up to bat and made it to first base. Doug Freeman was up next, his hit went awry and the catcher snagged the foul, giving us our first out. One more on base (Mark Fagan) and one more out (Erin Toombs) followed. The next batter Cody Kirk made a great hit, sending Mike B to home plate. Christina Jupson followed with a fantastic hit to center field and totally improved her stats with two RBIs (Fagan and Cody). Next up, King made a solid hit to deep center field and also scored an RBI (Jupson). Unfortunately, I scored the last out with a line drive to first. But overall the Chron totally brought it back in the fifth, ending the inning with our team down by only one run.

The Chronicle defense had a great showing in the bottom of the seventh. Travis, who was playing shortstop, made two great throws to King at first base. The third and final Waterloo batter was out grounding to none other than the Chron captain himself, Bobby Leath.

Unfortunately, the Chronicle team was never really able to pull it together offensively, losing in the end: Waterloo, 12; Chronicle, 8. The Chronicle’s next game is on Tuesday, July 19, against Emo’s at Kreig at 8pm. If you just can’t wait that long for more softball action, hit up the Emo’s vs. KOOP Radio game on Sunday, July 27, 7:30pm, Krieg No. 1.

-Kristine Tofte

Three Cheers for the Alternative Softball League

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

(Photo by Erin Toombs)

Make that two cheers for BookPeople, holding strong to that first place spot, and one for The Austin Chronicle, which is no longer in last place.

BookPeople stayed busy last week with two games in four days. Last Sunday they took out KOOP. And Wednesday, July 9, they defeated Emo’s. Representing in the third game of the week, the Chronicle finally pulled ahead on Sunday, July 13, and beat KOOP – the Chron’s first season win.

I won’t lie; on Sunday, July 6, my focus was not so much on the game as it was on what was going on around me. Yes, it was the first official league game for KOOP Radio, but the Carmadillo, an armadillo go-cart, provided a bit too much distraction. I mean, seriously, all metal with fire shooting out of its eyes. It even has its own MySpace page: www.myspace.com/armadillo_car. Wow, impressive. The KOOP team, however, was not, losing to BookPeople, 25-8.

I missed the game on Wednesday. It was a late night because of deadline – you people do want your Austin Chronicle on Thursday morning, don’t you? Someone had to finish the paper – well, not by myself. Since I wasn’t at the game, I wasn’t able to get any of the goodness that makes up your typical ASL game. However, BookPeople won, 18-8, and remain king of the mountain, and Emo’s is close behind, standing in second place.

This past Sunday’s game, between two of the lower ranked teams, was a hot one, starting at 6pm, a bit early for ASL games, which generally begin at 8pm when the sun has gone down quite a bit. It was KOOP Radio’s second official league game, but the had the desire to win.

The first inning saw the most action, with KOOP scoring four runs in the top and the Chronicle scoring five in the bottom. Our runs were quite impressive. Cody was up to bat with two outs and the bases loaded; he made a great swing and got two RBIs: Mark Fagan and Doug Freeman.

The top of the third, our defense really stepped up – three at bats reciprocated by three outs. We shut them down. One, two, three, as Michael King would say. The bottom of the third the Chronicle had three more runs: Shannon Stott, Shawn Badgley, and Mike B.

KOOP only scored one more run, in the top of the seventh. We had home field advantage, and there was no need to play the bottom of the ninth. Finally, the Chronicle won our first official league game, 10-5. KOOP has fallen to last place in the league, and we have made a small comeback, holding down the fourth place spot.

We did have one injury, however. Freeman hurt his knee jumping up for a ball in centerfield, which was thankfully caught by Badgley. Our defense was so on it that night that two of our players were headed full force for the ball. It seemed Freeman did what he could to avoid the collision but still ended up hurting himself in the process. We hope that knee gets better before Thursday, Mr. Freeman.

Chronicle pep talk from Coach Bobby Leath: “We keep playing D like that, and we’ll definitely win more than we lose.” Well, OK. We better bring it on Thursday, July 17, then. The Chronicle will be playing Waterloo Records at Krieg field 11 at 7:30pm.

Kristine Tofte

BookPeople vs. ‘Chronicle’ and Emo’s vs. Waterloo

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Emo's – undefeatable (Photo courtesy of Emo's Softball Team)

Two games. Two fields. Two totally different outcomes. As goes the action of the Alternative Softball League this week. The Chronicle’s chokefest on Monday, June 23, moved them to the bottom of the league standings. And on Tuesday, June 24, the once easily beatable Emo’s became undefeatable.

Well, I don’t have much to write about the first game of the week because I was playing in it and was unable to actually take notes – too into the action, you know. It doesn’t really matter though, because if I had, they would be indecipherable anyway – probably just a stream of angry jargon with some unsavory words thrown in for good measure. It was a blowout, and we had two injuries: Logan hurt his wrist on an attempted catch, and Charlie severely pulled his hamstring but at least got a run out of it. Yep, we lost. BookPeople kicked the hell out of us – seriously, we lost 13-28. Fifteen runs. Can you believe it? I’m blaming it on the fact that we had an “off” night. But not to worry, we have practice this Sunday, so we won’t suck so badly next time. Congrats, BookPeople.

The second game of the week was Emo’s vs. Waterloo Records. Emo’s had the home-team advantage and thereby was last up to bat. The game was neck-and-neck the whole time, with both teams playing great offensively and defensively. I arrived a little late, at the top of the third inning to be precise, but didn’t miss too much. The game was pretty back and forth the whole time, with neither team taking too much of a lead.

Top of the eighth and Waterloo up to bat, Chris Anderson sends the ball bouncing through center field and over the heads of Emo’s players, and a shout came from the defense’s dugout, “You better save that shit for the circus.” But the three-ring tricks didn’t cramp Emo’s style – the inning ended with their team in the lead.

Going into the ninth, Emo’s was up 11-9, and after a few at-bats, Waterloo had runners on first and second with two outs. The third out followed shortly after, and there was no need to play the bottom of the ninth. It looks like all that practice has paid off for Emo’s. Great game.

Be sure to check out the ASL’s MySpace page for fairly up-to-date stats and schedules: www.myspace.com/alternativesoftballleague. Hope to see y’all out at the games.

Kristine Tofte

The Alternative Softball League

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

The BookPeople (0-1) squad

Five teams, co-ed, alternative: It’s the first official season of the Alternative Softball League, and hopefully will be one to remember. The ASL was created in order to give local businesses a way to get their sport on, and how better than with a friendly game of softball. We’ve rallied the troops and drafted five teams that promise to thrill with their trill skills. Some will win, some will lose, but only one team can be crowned champion. Drum roll, please. The ASL is: Waterloo Records, Emo’s Alternative Lounge, KOOP Radio, BookPeople, and The Austin Chronicle.

The opening game was played on Wednesday, June 4, between Waterloo Records and BookPeople, ending with Waterloo win, 6-4. The second game, The Austin Chronicle vs. Emo’s, was a rescheduling of a rained-out game. It was intense, tied 3-3 at the end of the first inning, but eventually Emo’s came through and showed their skills. (Emo’s had never won a game before, and were desperate for a W.) The Chronicle was down 4-12 at the start of the bottom of the ninth. Yours truly was up to bat with two outs. Two strikes later, the crowd grew silent. Not to toot my own horn, but I will anyway; I finally hit the ball and got an RBI single. That’s all we needed to get the team pumped. Seven runs later, we came back and only lost by one run, 11-12. A great game. Intense.

The next game happens tonight, Monday, June 23, 8pm at Krieg Field No. 1: The Austin Chronicle vs. BookPeople. Should be an exciting game between two winless teams and we hope to see you out there.

Check out the ASL’s MySpace page at www.myspace.com/alternativesoftballleague.

Here are the rules and regulations as posted on the ASL page: “This is still a work in progress and will continue to develop and mature. Here are a few of the general rules: 1) Games will be nine innings long with extra innings as per MLB. 2) Players may only play for one team per season. Teams may add legitimate members to their roster throughout the season. All players who play in the field must be in the batting order as well. 3) There must be at least three women in the batting order and two in the field at all times. Teams short on women will have the corresponding number of automatic outs added to their lineup. Catchers may be loaned from the opposing team but will not be responsible for covering the plate. Catchers are encouraged to wear a face mask. 4) Complaints of teams bringing in “ringers” will be decided upon by the council as per complaint. 5) The league council will consist of one team captain per team and the commissioner. 6) Each team will have two captains who will also be part of the umpire pool. 7) Each game will be umpired by two umps drawn from the umpire pool or agreed upon by team captains. 8) The umpire pool will not be limited to team captains, but will consist primarily of team captains. 9) The strikeout rule is three swings and you are out. Including foul balls, etc. 10) Team batting orders will be shared previous to each game. An unlimited number of players may be in the batting order. The batting order will be followed for the entire game. 11) The home team will book the field and pay for the field for that particular game. 12) The season will conclude with a playoff tournament/party to determine the 2008 ASL Champion. The top four teams will qualify for the championship tourney.”

Kristine Tofte