Archive for the ‘North Division’ Category

BookPeople Turns Up the Heat on KOOP

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Rebecca Feferman talks to “BrooksPeople” (Jim, Mandy, and Sally Brooks of BookPeople) after the August 23 KOOP Radio vs. BookPeople game. BookPeople’s 8-7 victory over KOOP puts them ahead of Feferman’s own SXSW team by a half game as they vie for the final playoff spot in the North Division of the Alternative Softball League.

Almost Lights Out at the Ballpark

Friday, August 14th, 2009

BookPeople Filthy Animal Sally Brooks shows off the first-ever ASL tattoo

We had all waited three months for this one. The Emo’s Lounge Vampire Bats and the KOOP Radio Kilowatts were supposed to play each other in the second week of the season sometime back in early April. It turned into what has to be the most rescheduled game in Alternative Softball League history. I think they tried to play this game four times – two of them got rained out.

It was well worth the wait.

Vampire Bats late-season add-on Houshang “the Persian Nightmare” hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Emo’s to a 13-12 win on July 22.

The Vampire Bats were behind the whole game. They trailed by as many as eight runs in the fifth inning before bleeding the Kilowatts dry.

Emo’s Lounge held KOOP to six hits in the final four innings, while rallying for five runs in the sixth inning and two runs in the eighth, to set up Houshang’s game winner to left-center field and help us all forget he struck out twice in his ASL debut.

Lucas had a 3-run homer and Will “the Thrill”had a two-run homer as part of Emo’s 5-run sixth inning to cut the KOOP lead to 12-9 and to send the Vampire Bats into a bloodthirsty frenzy.

But it was almost cut short in the top of the seventh inning when an Emo’s fan managed to find the switches for the field and turned off the lights. The city league umpire wasn’t too pleased. He wasn’t going to turn them back on.

It was intended as a practical joke but the Vampire Bats looked like someone shoved a stake in their hearts.

I wouldn’t have done it. The Vampire Bats are pretty inked up, and their roster includes a fair number of bouncers and at least one former bounty hunter. They’re also touchy about the lights. They lost a game last year when an umpire unceremoniously ended the game with the light switch.

Jason Sabala, Erin Pennington , and their friends Andrew Jackson and Alexander Hamilton went to talk to the umpire, who was amenable to the presidents’ powers of persuasion.

Emo’s Lounge made it a 1-run game on Sabala’s single to drive in Jeff Schlamb and Chad D. who reached on a single and a double respectively.

Long Le went 4-for-4 with a double, triple, and three RBIs, whileJessica Ardis batted 3-for-4 with an RBI in her ASL debut for KOOP.

Lucas led the vampire batters, going 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, and four RBIs. Will “the Thrill” and Chad D. both batted 3-for-4.

WHEATSVILLE SKUS SKEWER BOOKPEOPLE

Ladda Phommavong and Beth Beutel both hit two-run singles in the seventh inning to break open a defensive deadlock as the Wheatsville SKUs beat BookPeople 10-8 and secured a playoff spot on Aug. 6.

It was personally my most uncomfortable win this season.

We Wheatsvillans only needed to win one of our last four games to get into the playoffs. Why did it have to be against BookPeople, my former team with whom I had savored victory snatched from the jaws of defeat? The game felt a lot like BookPeople’s 17-15 win over Waterloo Records last year in the playoffs. I felt like I kicked my puppy.

We beat BookPeople 14-10 in our previous meeting this season with a 6-run, two-out rally in the ninth inning.

The Filthy Animals (3-7) played one of their most solid games all season – the Brookses (Jim, Mandy, and Sally) stayed calm and didn’t mutter to themselves in the field, no one threw a glove and Jeff Rose caught almost every thing hit at him – but they came up short as they fight for the third playoff spot in the Alternative Softball League’s North Division.

For the first six innings, neither BookPeople nor Wheatsville (7-3) could get the advantage. Neither of us had a lead for more than a half-inning. The game was tied at 1 in the second, tied at 2 in the fourth, tied at 3 in the top of the sixth, and tied at 5 in the top of the seventh.

Jeff Rose anchored BookPeople’s stingy defense out in left field. He caught five fly balls, three were mine, including a rifle shot of a line drive the fourth inning that almost had more legs than he did.

Meanwhile, Trae Branham kept BookPeople’s bats at bay. He held BookPeople to 21 hits and only three doubles. He also tagged out two runners in a row at home plate in the sixth inning.

It appeared that it would stay knotted at 5 after the Filthy Animals got two quick outs on a fly out to second and a groundout to third. Allen Demling singled and Trae Branham followed with a double to set up Ladda Phommavong’s sneaky single up the middle of the infield to drive them both in.

Bruce “Motormouth” Cloud followed Ladda with a single and Beth Beutel had a single of her own to drive in what would be the winning runs. A freshly shorn Mike “Professor” Conti added an insurance run with a single in the bottom of the eighth.

Trailing 10-5 in the top of the ninth inning, BookPeople would have made Henry David Thoreau proud by trying “to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan [and] endure the last hour’s toil.”

The bottom of BookPeople’s lineup scored three runs on four hits with a little help from a passed ball with two runners on.

Alex “Flex” Rosenthal led off the inning with a single and was driven in with singles by Ansley Brown and Jon H. One run in with one out.

After a pop-up to Wheatsville pitcher Trae Branham for the second out, Wellington Chew hit a dribbler between the pitcher and first base and it looked like the game was over. Trae scooped up the ball and fired a laser beam that must have burned a hole in first baseman Jimmy Evans’ glove or blinded him.

As we scrambled after the ball, two more runners scored and Wellington went to second. BookPeople’s Jeff Freeman grounded out to the pitcher to end the game.

BookPeoples Brian Sansone and Wellington Chew each batted 3-for-3, while Jamie Reeves and Jeff Rose each batted 2-for-3 with a double.

Allen Demling was flawless at the plate, going 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Mike Conti drove in two runs while Ladda Phommavong had three RBIs for Wheatsville.

WATERLOO RECORDS GROUNDS VAMPIRE BATS

Maybe the lights were too bright for their nocturnal eyes. Maybe there was garlic on the pies from the pizza-eating contest. Maybe some holy water accidentally found its way into the keg of Lone Star.

Whatever the reason, the second game between ASL South Division rivals Emo’s Lounge (the Vampire Bats) and Waterloo Records was less dramatic than the first.

In their last meeting, Waterloo Records narrowly beat Emo’s Lounge 27-26 in an April 6 seesaw slug fest with 17 combined runs scored in the eighth inning.

This time, Waterloo Records (7-3) swatted away the Vampire Bats with 10 runs on 12 hits in the third inning to win 20-10.

The Bloodsuckers couldn’t stop the bloodletting as Waterloo batted around their 15-person lineup with a string of seven hits in a row before the first out and another five hits before the inning ended.

Charles (2-for-4, 4 RBI) put the nail in the Vampire Bats’ coffin with a 3-run homer as part of Waterloo’s 4-run sixth inning.

Take away the third inning and it may have been a defensive showdown. The game had been scoreless with only two hits between the two teams; Jason Sabala was pitching a no-hitter.

After that, Emo’s Lounge (4-5) held Waterloo to 10 runs on 18 hits while scoring 10 runs on 22 hits.

Don Lamb was unstoppable at the plate for Waterloo, batting 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI, as was Chris Anderson, who went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Kevin was a homer short of the cycle for Emo’s Lounge, batting 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Jason Sabala went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs.

Mike Crissey

Wheatsville SKUs Skewer BookPeople

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Wheatsville (6-3) vs. BookPeople (3-6) gets divisional play in the Alternative Softball League crackin’. Watch BookPeople give it a shot in the ninth, followed by Rebecca Feferman‘s in-depth interview with Wheatsville SKUs Trae Branham and Mike Crissey.

Emo’s Turns the Lights Off on KOOP

Monday, July 27th, 2009

What started off as a practical joke nearly cost Emo’s the game, as one fan from the stands thought it would be funny to turn off the lights to the field. However, a half hour and $40 later, the lights were back on and so was KOOP (2-6) vs. Emo’s (3-4), in what will surely be remembered as an Alternative Softball League classic. KOOP Radio, leading for eight innings by as much as 8 runs, is up to bat in the top of the ninth, leading 12-11. After a post-game rundown by statistical genius and Wheatsville SKU captain Mike Crissey, his interview with Emo’s pitcher, Jason Sabala, and third-basewoman Erin Pennington, suffers the same fate that the game nearly did.

KOOP Radio Breaks Off SXSW

Monday, July 20th, 2009

After an unfortunate forfeit their previous game, KOOP Radio (2-6) recruits some new players and comes out swinging against South by Southwest (3-6), winning 17-10. BookPeople captain Mandy Brooks and I speak with KOOP left-fielder Long Le after the game.

C3 Presents the ‘Chronicle’ With a Tough Loss

Friday, July 17th, 2009

History repeats itself as league leaders C3 Presents (7-1) prevail in a tough defensive matchup against the Chronicle (6-3), winning 9-6, just as they did in their previous game against BookPeople. BP captain Mandy Brooks catches up with Chronicle team leader Mike Bartnett afterward for some post-game reflection.

Filthy Animals Take Waterloo Records for a Spin

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

After a four-game losing streak, the BookPeople Filthy Animals are back in the win column, rejuvenated by the return of shortstop Jamie Reaves, who suffered an ankle injury earlier in the season, and first basewoman Jennifer Morris, who had been working abroad. BookPeople (3-6) authoritatively put down the South Division’s Waterloo Records (6-3), 20-9, and we were there for post-game commentary with an all-star BookPeople cast: captain Mandy Brooks and third baseman Bryan Sansone.

Donkeys Kick BookPeople in the Teeth

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

On Friday, July 26, the Brentwood Donkeys entered their matchup with the BookPeople Filthy Animals sporting a dismal 0-6 record. BookPeople was struggling as well, having won only two games out of the six they have played after competing for the 2008 ASL championship, where they fell short to The Austin Chronicle. What transpired Friday night – a stunning 23-22 BW walk-off victory – would seem impossible to some of the league’s faithful. But we have footage to prove it. Enjoy this video shot by Mike Bartnett of the historic ninth inning …

Keeping Softball Alternative

Friday, June 5th, 2009
KOOPs David Pernell (Photo by Logan Youree)

KOOP's David Pernell (Photo by Logan Youree)

We have served the dark will of cooperation for three decades. Skin as pale as soy milk in the moonlight … eyes blood-shot … showerless. The personal guard to Ronnie Earle’s refrigerator; the food-fighting elite. The deadliest softball force along all of Guadalupe … the Wheatsville SKUs.Wheatsville marched through the Alternative Softball League‘s northern division, defeating South by Southwest, BookPeople, and the 2008 Champions, The Austin Chronicle, on our way to a 4-0 record.All that stood in our way of divisional domination was KOOP Radio.

The odds seemed stacked against KOOP. They were outnumbered. We had four women to their two (hobbling them with an automatic out). Our bleachers groaned under a screaming sea of green-clad berserkers; theirs were empty.

We had won four games in a row, KOOP had dropped two.

A KOOP player prepares to smash it (Photo by Logan Youree)

A KOOP player prepares to smash it (Photo by Logan Youree)

But KOOP fought hard and rallied for 3 runs in the eighth inning to beat us 21-19 and grab their first win of the season on May 4.Trailing 18-19 in the top of the eighth, Peter “Iceman” Heck (5-for-6, 4 runs, 2 2B, 2 RBIs) led off with his second double of the game and David Youmans hit him to third with a single.

After a line drive fly-out, David Pernell (3-for-5, 3 RBIs 2B, HR) hit a double off an outfielder’s glove to drive in the tying run. Ben Barthy followed him with another double for the game-winners.

KOOP held us to two hits in the final two frames to seal the game.

Wheatsville struck early, building a 7-1 lead in the second inning, but it was the largest lead of the game. KOOP Radio cut our lead to 7-6 in the third inning, setting up a seesaw battle where neither side led by more than two runs.

Trailing 10-12 in the fifth inning, KOOP surged ahead, scoring eight runs on nine hits, including doubles by Peter Heck, David Youmans, Long Le and David Pernell.

We chipped away at KOOP’s lead with four runs in the fifth and tied the game in the sixth before Kevin “Dr. Krankenstein” Johnson gave us a 19-18 lead with a two-out triple in the seventh inning.

Kevin Johnson batted 4-for-4 with a double and a triple and drove in three runs, while Carla “Rasquacha” Vargas and Miranda “MC2Tall” Robinson each went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs for Wheatsville.

Will Evans from Emos Alternative Lounge (Photo by Logan Youree)

Will Evans from Emo's Alternative Lounge (Photo by Logan Youree)

Meanwhile, The Austin Chronicle combined stingy defense and a late-game offensive burst to beat Emo’s Lounge 10-8 the same night.

The Chronicle had the lead for most of the game until Emo’s took a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning.

The unlucky Loungers looked like they may get their first win, but the Chronicle powered ahead with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the lead for good.

Jeff Schlamb batted 3-for-4 with three doubles and three runs scored, and Kevin C. and Bill Corsello homered for Emo’s Lounge.

Michael King went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, a gentle reminder from one of the league’s founding graybeards that softball is not actually a youngster’s sport. Billy Jenkins batted 4-for-4 with a couple more RBIs and Jeff Carlyon batted 4-for-5 for the Chronicle.

New Bros Rye Rye (l) and Twistworthy (Photo by Logan Youree)

New Bro's Rye Rye (l) and Twistworthy (Photo by Logan Youree)

Some of us had been waiting for this game since last season, since the Muntiny on Red River when Joe “Johio” Holzheimer left Emo’s Lounge for Transmission Entertainment and took some of the Loungers best players with him.

New Bros Brian C. (Photo by Logan Youree)

New Bro's Brian C. (Photo by Logan Youree)

Johio, a 2008 ASL All-Star, took a bounty with him: fellow 2008 All-Star and teammate Brian Campbell and workhorse pitcher Mark Twistworthy. He also scooped up All-Star Eric “the Swede” Seaholm from Waterloo Records. Some of the most able company of the ASL.

Johio seemed to be sitting pretty under the Tahitian-like sun in New Brohemia with his new crew of Nihilist Fucking Eagles.

Guilty Dave with Sabala in the background (Photo by Logan Youree)

Guilty Dave with Sabala in the background (Photo by Logan Youree)

Meanwhile, Guilty Dave and the remaining Lounge loyalists left last season determined to rebuild, “notwithstanding [their] miserable and almost hopeless situation” (as Captain William Bligh may have described it).

But neither squad had found safe haven this season. The Nihilist Eagles lost their first three games before beating the winless Brentwood Donkeys 15-5 in the Alternative Animal Cage Fight.

Emo’s Lounge was also winless with a 1-run loss to Waterloo Records, and a 2-run loss to The Austin Chronicle.

Both teams were hungry. Both teams were determined. Only one could win.

Eric “the Swede” Seaholm homered – and tripped over his own feet on the base paths – twice and Johio channeled Kirk Gibson and had a hobbling 3-run homer as New Brohemia beat Emo’s Lounge, 13-7, on May 11.

Emo’s had a 4-2 lead in the top of the fifth when Johio (2-for-3, 2B) smacked a deep line drive over the left center fielder’s head with two runners on. Despite a creaky knee, Johio limped his way around the diamond before the ball reached home.

To Johio’s credit, he did invoke Kirk Gibson before the game in some e-mails among team captains. Gibson is most well-known for hitting the game-winning pinch-hit home run in his only at bat during the 1988 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics with a stomach virus and two bum legs.

The Dodgers won Game 1 5-4 on Gibson’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth, on their way to win the World Series, 4-1.

Butcher Bear entertains the crowd (Photo by Logan Youree)

Butcher Bear entertains the crowd (Photo by Logan Youree)

Johio was also cheered on by Butcher Bear, a roughly 6-foot tall baby blue plushy monster with a gaping maw full of sharpened felt teeth that allegedly can play a musical instrument or sing. He’s in a band named for him, Butcher Bear & Charlie. To get that kind of billing, you gotta be good, right?

Paul Somebody had a two-run homer in the sixth inning for Emo’s to tie the game at 6.

Eric “the Swede” Seaholm (3-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI) had a solo homer to spark New Brohemia’s 3-run seventh inning, which sealed the game, and hit a 3-run home run in the ninth.

Johio batted 2-for-3 with a double and five RBIs, while Brian Campbell batted 3-for-4 and added two RBIs for New Brohemia (2-3, 2-2).

Kevin C led Emo’s hitters, going 4-for-4 at the plate.

“Don’t fuck with David Pernell.”

That’s BookPeople manager Jeff Rose’s summary of a record-smashing slugfest between the Filthy Animal’s and KOOP Radio on May 12.

With steady 10-mph winds and gusts as high as 21 mph at their backs, BookPeople and KOOP Radio combined for and ASL record 11 home runs and a record 60 runs scored. Maybe 18 doubles in a game is a record, maybe 36 extra-base hits is too.

BookPeople won the game 37-23. They never trailed. They now own the record for most runs scored.

But David Pernell hit a record four home runs, most of them off of Jeff Rose’s body. (David Parnell coincidentally had the only over-the-fence home run last season against BookPeople.) He also batted 5-for-5 with a triple for good measure and 7 RBIs.

His legend grows. “Don’t fuck with David Pernell.”

BookPerson Jennifer Morris sparked the barrage with her first career homer, a 3-run shot to right field, four batters into the first inning. She also batted 4-for-5 – just a little something to remember her by before she left town for Africa.

Three batters later, Jamie Reeves hit another 3-run home run. Jamie Reeves (4-for-5, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI) added another 3-run homer as part of BookPeople’s 9-run fourth inning.

Jeff Rose (4-for-5 had a 2-run homer in the fourth inning and Patrick “Your Mom …” Lloyd had a 2-run homer in the eighth inning.

BookPeoples Tacocat (l) and Sally Brooks are all smiles (Photo by Logan Youree)

BookPeople's Tacocat (l) and Sally Brooks are all smiles (Photo by Logan Youree)

Sally Brooks was flawless at the plate, batting 5-for-5 with a double and an RBI for BookPeople.

Ben Barthy(?) batted 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle with a 3-run homer in the fourth for KOOP (1-3, 1-3 North). Rick hit a 2-run home run in the third.

Mike Crissey

SXSW Softball Squad Shuts Down ‘Chronicle’

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
Your devoted ASL blogger and Wheatsville Captain Mike Crissey with the Chronicles Mike Bartnett behind him (Photo by Logan Youree)

Your devoted ASL blogger and Wheatsville Captain Mike Crissey with the 'Chronicle's Mike Bartnett behind him (Photo by Logan Youree)

“Pitchers never get any credit,” according to South by Southwest pitcher Charlie “Spinderfella” Sotelo.

I want to believe him, but how much do the other nine beer-fueled ballplayers on the field play a role?

He made a pretty strong case for all the underhanders in the Alternative Softball League by holding the The Austin Chronicle to one run on 10 hits as South by Southwest (2-3, 1-3 North) cruised to an 11-1 win on April 30.

Sotelo accounted for nine outs, including two strikeouts, and lured his former team into hitting nine pop-ups. The Chronicle batted for a season-low .290 average with two extra base hits.

In three games so far this season, they had batted for a .520 average with 26 extra base hits, including four homers.

South by Southwest also showed some stout defense. In the third inning, first baseman Matt Mandrella snagged a line drive by Samantha Jenkins and tagged out Shannon Stott who had left the bag.

Meanwhile, South by Southwest scored eight runs in the first two innings and built an 11-0 lead by the sixth with blistering shots on the edges of the field and Texas leaguers.

It was a different ballgame after The Chronicle (2-2, 2-2) settled down defensively. After the third inning, they held South by Southwest to a manageable three runs on 11 hits.

The Chronicle averted a shutout in the eighth inning with a little love and marriage. With two outs, Billy Jenkins singled and then Stott singled him to third. Samantha followed with a single to drive in her husband.
 Wyc Coming batted 4-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs for South by Southwest, enough to excuse getting caught in a rundown between second and third base in the fourth inning.

Darin Klein drove in three runs, going 2-for-4 with a triple, and Matt Mandrella added a pair of runs, batting 3-for-3 with a double.

Only Billy Jenkins and Shannon Stott could withstand Charlie Sotelo’s spin doctoring. They each batted 2-for-3.

So far this season, Charlie Sotelo has pitched for an 11.2 ERA in five games, slightly behind Wheatsville’s southpaw Trae Branham with a 10.0 ERA in three games and Dirk Stahlnecker from C3 Presents, who has an 8.75 ERA in four games.

Meanwhile, the Nihilist Fucking Eagles of New Brohemia emerged victorious from the Alternative Animal Cage Match, beating the still winless Brentwood Donkeys 15-5 on April 30.

Trailing 3-1 in the fifth inning, the Nihilist Fucking Eagles (1-3, 1-2 South) strung together four hits and a sacrifice fly to take the lead for good.

Jug Hedd, Joe Holzheimer, and Jim “White Van” Turner, each had singles to load the bases. Rye Bredd hit a sacrifice fly and Brian Campbell had one of his two triples of the game to drive in the go-ahead runs.

New Brohemia piled on three runs in the sixth and four runs in the seventh and eighth innings, while holding the Donkeys to five hits in the last four innings.

The Brentwood Donkeys (0-3, 0-2) took their only lead of the game with a sacrifice fly by Martin in the second inning; and ”Darth” Mader’s solo homer and Hartstein’s run-scoring single in the third.

The Donkeys got a close as 5-7 in the sixth inning on “Darth” Mader’s triple and ”Captain” Gordon’s single, which each drove in a run.

Jug Hedd batted 4-for-4 with an RBI for New Brohemia, while Rye Bredd (1-for-3, 2B), Brian Campbell (2-for-4, 2 3B), and M.T. Elliott (2-for-3, 3B) drove in three runs each.

“Darth” Mader (3-for-4) batted a single short of the cycle with a homer in the fourth, a triple in the sixth and a double in the ninth inning and drove in two runs for Brentwood.

You can keep up with all the games, trash talk, and your favorite teams and players through the league’s MySpace page at www.myspace.com/alternativesoftballleague.

Follow the ASL on Twitter at www.twitter.com/altsoftball.

Mike Crissey