2016 Youth League Baseball And Softball Season (2)
The Princesses host the Auburn Warriors for three games and take the first 1-0 with the single run scored in the seventh via Christina Bay’s sacrifice fly off of Sam Park after three walks by Brianna Casper load the bases with no outs. Auburn wins the second 16-1, scoring five runs off of Erica Beach in the first, four in the fourth off of her and Kathie Petite and seven in the sixth off of Carol DeVito as Sherri Johnson makes her pitching debut with 1 2/3 shutout innings. New York scores its only run in the seventh on Joyce Camp’s groundout. Auburn in the last game loads the bases in the first on a single and two walks off of Jo Wei when Vivian Gold’s first career grand slam puts them up 4-0. Savanna Mathis’s homer off of her puts Auburn up 5-0 in the second. Cathy Ohms allows back-to-back leadoff singles in the bottom half and then Dakota Russel’s double makes it 5-2 Auburn, who gets those runs back in the third via Sara Elias’s double after a single and walk off of Carol DeVito. Erica Beach permits back-to-back hits to start off the seventh, then Shawn Ivan homers to make it 10-2 Auburn. They get two more hits in the inning. In the bottom half, New York gets back-to-back two-out singles off of Maria Abraham, but Joyce Camp strikes out to end the game as her teams falls despite outhitting Auburn 13-10. They leave on 11 ladies and Auburn strands five.
Sasha Ellis in the first game of three versus the Hawks male team in Philadelphia allows a leadoff walk and subsequent single in the first, then Jerry Quincy homers one out later to put his team up 3-0. She allows a two-out double that inning. The Princesses get on the board in the second via Kylie Cox’s leadoff shot off of Timmy Hudson. Philadelphia gets that run back on Karol Hall’s leadoff blast in the bottom half with Ellis allowing two, two-out singles. New York cuts the lead back to two via Christina Bay’s homer in the third, but in the bottom half, Philadelphia gets men on first and third on a single and error and Carmen Olson’s one-out homer puts them up 7-2. Ellis walks two guys with two outs before being taken out in her shortest career start. She is set to get a loss until her team makes history. Cox singles to lead off the fourth and back-to-back blasts by Crystal Lewis and Sherri Johnson make it 7-5 Hawks. Hudson leaves with two outs in the inning. Justin Barret allows a leadoff double and hit-by-pitch next inning, then Lewis’s one-out shot puts her team up 8-7. They make it 9-7 on Adrianne Thompson’s two-out blast. Aubrey Davison next inning allows a leadoff single as Dana Thompson’s one-out shot makes it 11-7 Princesses. Davison allows a two-out walk and double as Johnson’s double scores both ladies. Dakota Russel triples off of Davison in the seventh, scoring via Jessica Moore’s single. Dana doubles in the ninth off of Blair Barbier, then Fallon Gabriela’s homer makes it 16-7 New York, the final. They commit three errors, but hit a record eight shots and 15 extra base hits. The 16 runs are the most that they score this year. Erica Beach earns the win with 3 1/3 shutout innings, permitting three hits. Three relievers retire the Hawks 1-2-3 for the last three innings.
For the first of three versus the Springfield Isotopes at home, New York gets two leadoff walks off of Kristen Wood in the third. Jessica Dignon’s double scores one. Fallon Gabriela’s single scores two and after a walk, Kara Rau’s RBI double puts her team atop 4-0. Rachel Fox replaces Wood and allows a two-run double to Ayumi Karino. Adrianne Thompson’s single after a walk and strikeout scores one run. Kylie Cox singles to load the bases. Dignon singles in another run before Gabriela caps the scoring with a grand slam. They score a record 12 runs in an inning on eight hits. Jamie Hinshaw’s leadoff blast in the sixth off of reliever Kathie Petite breaks the shutout, but New York gets the run back in the bottom of the inning on three leadoff singles, the last of which by Crystal Lewis scoring a run, off of Lisa Norris. Their only other hit came in the second. They win 13-1 despite only outhitting Springfield 12-9, stranding five runners and Springfield strands 13. The Subways the next afternoon play the last of three versus the Vermont Rip Tide at home. Holly Evelyn pitches six innings, giving up one run on William Contreas’s single in the third and six hits, but Luis Montana tosses 5 1/3 perfect innings. In the sixth, Loren Pierre reaches on an error as his team’s first runner, but is negated on a double play. Hank Rutenberg’s homer next inning after a walk puts his team up 2-1. Their lead holds to mark the first time since 1914 they win a game on one hit as Rip Tide pitchers retire all other batters. The Subways do not strand a single runner for the second time this season.
In an interleague game versus the Warlocks in Salem the Princesses go up 2-0 on Dakota Russel’s homer after a walk in the second off Hector Baines. Salem makes it 2-1 in the fourth via three straight two out singles off of Terri Bell, but homers by Fallon Gabriela, Crystal Lewis, and Rosario Paterson put New York up 5-1 next inning. Salem cuts it to 5-3 in the eighth via Joey Votto’s single with two on followed by Hillary Pitt’s groundout off of Veronica Rivera, but falls with that score despite outhitting New York 13-6. They strand 13 runners and go 2 for 18 with them in scoring position and the Princesses had no runners in scoring position, stranding four on two walks. They win the next game 8-1 with Salem scoring its one run in the sixth on Alex Crone’s groundout after a leadoff triple trailing 4-0. They had four hits, but strand just one runner, Hayley Ericson after he singles to lead off the second, since they hit into two double plays and none of their batters reached base in other ways. In the finale, the Princesses go up 1-0 off of Otto Sanders as Crystal Lewis walks to lead off the first, steals second, goes to third on a groundout and scores on Dana Thompson’s groundout, but Kimberley Dickinson singles to lead off the bottom half off of Sasha Ellis and shots by Sasha Ustilovskaya and Hillary Pitt put Salem up 3-1. New York cuts it to 3-2 on Christina Bay’s homer in the third. Dickinson singles to lead off the bottom half, steals second, and scores on Joey Votto’s double. Erica Beach relieves Ellis, allowing an RBI single to Ustilovskaya. Kylie Cox’s blast in the fourth after a walk makes it 5-4 Salem. Sanders in the sixth allows a two-out walk and single. Matt Carisiti gives up a two-run double to Kara Rau, but in the bottom half, Salem ties the game when Kathie Petite throws a wild pitch with the bases loaded. In the 10th with runners on first and second off of Jo Wei, Pitt grounds to shortstop Sherri Johnson, who gets the out on second, but baseman Cox’s throw to first is off. Rau’s throw to home is too late, letting Votto score as Salem avoids a sweep with a 7-6 win, outhitting New York 10-4.
The Subways fight the Eagles for three games in Eureka. In the first one, Eureka puts men on first on first and second on two walks off of Holly Evelyn in the first with two outs, then Kelly Shipper singles to score a run. Peter Harris’s single after another walk loads the bases scores two and Steve Luna’s double scores another. Evelyn walks the next two batters to reload the bases and force in another run and Michael Santiago replaces him to get the inning’s last out. Rick Hague doubles to start off the top of the second off of Stanley Baker, then scores on Ted Husain’s single. A single and hit-by-pitch load the bases and Kendrix Miller’s double scores two. A double and two singles score a run each to yank Baker from this game. Tory Luisa in relief strikes out Hank Rutenberg, then walks Hague to reload the bases. Husain’s single scores a run. Samuel Ramirez’s triple after Mario Ruiz strikes out clears the bases. He scores on Miller’s double as Lilian Augustin strikes out to close an inning where New York scores 11 runs, fourth best in history. In the third they load the bases on two hits and a walk off of Luisa when Hague’s grand slam puts them up 15-5. Next inning, they get men on first and third on two walks with two outs off of Joan Len as Shipper’s error scores a run. In the sixth, they get men on first and second on a walk and hit-by-pitch off of Sal Iverson as Hague’s double scores a run. An out later, Ruiz’s single scores two more. Augustin in the ninth reaches on an interference call, then James Cooper homers off of Joshua Alvin to put his team up 21-5, the final. That is the most runs they score for a game in 2016. They outhit Eureka 19-3. Eureka commits three errors and, after leaving the bases loaded in the first, gets just one runner for the rest of the game when Luna walks in the third off of Santiago, who gets the win while Miller Diaz throws the last three innings to earn the save.
Loren Pierre in the next game walks in the first off of Aaron Larsen, steals second, moves to third via a groundout, and scores on Ted Husain’s sacrifice fly, but Eureka ties in the second off of Zane Serena after Kelly Shipper singles with two outs and scores on Jimmy Caruso’s double. They do not score for the rest of the game off of Serena or Dorian Santos, though, and New York makes history again. In the fourth, Kendrix Miller walks with an out, then scores via James Cooper’s double. Hank Rutenberg homers an out later to put New York atop 4-1. They get two on on a walk and double next inning. Husain then doubles to score them both. Miller walks, then Cooper homers and puts them up 9-1. Sal Iverson relieves Larsen and allows a two-out homer to Rutenberg to make it 10-1 Subways. They next inning load the bases on a walk and two singles. Husain’s single scores two. A walk reloads the bases and after Miller strikes out, Kenneth House’s grand slam, second of his career, makes it 16-1 New York. Cooper doubles off of Joshua Alvin to lead off the eighth, goes to third on a single, and scores on Rutenberg’s groundout for his team’s final run. They hit the home run cycle for the first time ever with 16 hits, but fail to sweep this series, losing the last game 4-2. They score both runs in the first. Eureka scores one in the first and eighth and two in the fourth.
A month later, the Subways host the Eagles for three games, losing the first 7-3. Both teams score three runs in the ninth with New York leaving the bases loaded. They take the next match 17-1, the second time they beat Eureka with that score this season with Kelly Shipper’s leadoff homer in the ninth breaking Zane Serena’s bid for a complete no-hitter and shutout. The finale is scoreless until Mario Ruiz doubles to lead off the sixth off of starter Aaron Larsen as an out later, Jacky Martinez homers to put his team atop 2-0, but homers from Peter Harris and Jimmy Caruso off of starter Michael Santiago in the seventh tie it up. Steve Luna singles and Santiago walks three straight two-out batters to put Eureka atop 3-2. They get two huge runs in the ninth on Harris’s double off of Bernie Hales after two straight two-out singles to win 5-2.
The Wizards play a three-match set against the Princesses in New York, where last year, they won their first series since 2003. They win the first game, but lose the second. Joey Rhode in the last one hits a leadoff single in the second off of Terri Bell, moves to second via a groundout, and scores one out later on Meredith Cole’s single. Kylie Cox in the third hits a leadoff triple off of Anne Smith, scoring on Christina Bay’s single. A single and walk load the bases, then Fallon Gabriela’s sacrifice fly puts New York up, 2-1, but Smith retires her former team, who she spent the last seven years with in order in the other six innings she throws. Daisy Ricardo takes the mound in the seventh, hoping to get her 13th save, but Megan Aker on her first pitch homers, tying the game. After striking out two, she walks the next two batters. Ryan Colin’s double puts her team up 3-2. Ricardo after a walk is taken out under boos by the crowd, who booed Smith too at the game’s start. Sandy Boon in relief allows a double and single, each scoring two runs, putting the Wizards up 7-2. Ricardo is charged with five runs on two hits in 2/3 innings in her worst relief appearance of this season. Tina Whitlock retires New York 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning. Smith earns her first win against them as they win two out of three in New York for the second straight year, but the Princesses win three of four from the Wizards in Minneapolis a month later after sweeping a four-game set there in 2015.
In the last game of that series, New York goes up 2-0 in the first on back-to-back homers by Kylie Cox and Kara Rau off of Tina Whitlock, who leaves after the second inning due to arm soreness as Arielle Kerrigan in the fourth allows a leadoff double to Christina Bay. She after two strikeouts and a walk scores on Dakota Russel’s single. Cameron Vincent in the bottom half homers off of Terri Bell, then Sandy Boon walks Megan Aker with the bases loaded in the sixth, but Joey Rhode strikes out to end the inning and her team loses 3-2 despite outhitting New York 9-4, leaving on 11 girls including the bases loaded in the third.
In the last of three against the Rip Tide in Vermont, the Subways get two on with two outs on a hit and walk in the second off of Luis Montana, then Samuel Ramirez homers to put them up 3-0. They make it 7-0 next inning via two-run homers from James Cooper and Ted Husain, both after walks. In the bottom of the inning, Holly Evelyn walks two straight hitters with two outs, then RBI singles by Morgan Harmon and Ken Longoria make it 7-2 Subways. Montana in the fifth permits three straight one-out singles before being relieved by Dakota Miranda, who walks Husain to force in a run before retiring the next two hitters. In the sixth, Evelyn allows a leadoff single, subsequent double and two-run double to Henry Williams and is relieved by Miller Diaz, who gets an out, allows back-to-back singles (the first of which to Craig Jessop scores a run), and gets another out. Bernie Hales relieves Diaz and walks Harmon to load the bases before Longoria grounds out to end the inning. New York breaks the game open in the seventh with nine runs off of three relievers. William Contreas hits a leadoff blast in the bottom of that inning off of Hugh Anderson. In the eighth, New York loads the bases on a single and two walks off of Shannon Doe, then Rick Hague’s sacrifice fly, Loren Pierre’s double, and Lilian Augustin’s single score a run each. The Subways win 20-6.
In the offseason, veteran closer Fabian Vizcaino for the Minneapolis Wizards announces that after 17 years, the current season will be his last with the league. The team’s last home series is three versus the Subways. They take the first two games, the second of which eliminates the Wizards from the playoffs. In the last, Jim Hardy tosses seven shutout innings for New York, giving up three hits and two walks. Dorian Santos and Casey Barnes pitch perfect eighth and ninth, respectively. James Cooper singles to lead off the top of the fourth off of Kyle Stevens, moves to second via a walk, and scores on Samuel Ramirez’s single. Dick Weaver’s leadoff shot in the seventh off of Stevens makes it 2-0 Subways. They next inning get men on second and third base on two hits with an out off of Bobby Eliot as Ramirez’s single makes it 4-0 New York. Wizards’ manager Rudy Abbott brings in Vizcaino for the very last time after Jacky Martinez walks. A prerecorded announcement by the late Bob Sheppard followed by Vizcaino’s favorite song plays and he enters the field. Everyone, including the Subways cheers and applause. He retires Weaver and Rick Hague to end the eighth and gets the first two outs in the ninth. 13 pitches later, his baseball career officially ends and the crowd erupts as Abbott and fellow Wizards Leonard Putin and Shelby Myers go to the mound and tearfully hug him. He then leaves the field in tears, blowing kisses and waving at the cheering crowd. Seth Rosin replaces him and strikes out Hank Rutenberg to end the inning. The Subways sweep the Wizards on the road for the first time in history and two of the Wizards’ hits come leading off the eighth off of Hardy.
New York in the last of four against the Marines in Seattle builds a 12-0 lead after six innings and hit three three-run blasts. They score a run in the second and three in the third off of Anita Casablanca and five in the fifth and three next inning off of two relievers. Carol DeVito pitches 5 2/3 shutout innings. She and two relievers in the sixth allow four two-out runs, Stevie Ross starting the scoring with a blast. Seattle scores another run next inning on Mandy Phillips’s shot off of Sandy Boon. New York wins 12-5 to sweep the series after being swept by them in a three-game set at home in April. They play a three-game series in Eureka against the Eagles and win the first one 8-6. They lose the next 7-1 with Sherri Johnson giving her team its two hits, including an RBI single in the fourth off of Beverley To, who pitches a complete match, but take the last 14-9 with a five-run sixth breaking an 8-8 tie and both teams scoring a run in the seventh.
Versus the Rip Tide in Vermont, the Princesses are up 5-1 when Janine Tanner’s blast in the sixth off of Erica Beach cuts the lead to 5-2. Terri Bell next inning hits a batter and allows a walk. Two-out RBI singles by Tanner and Sammie Nate off of Daisy Ricardo make it a one-run match before Natalie Wilson’s three-run shot gives the Rip Tide a 7-5 win, though they are outhit 14-9. The Princesses strand 12 runners.
Tragedy hits Youth League in the final week of the year when three softball recruits for the Tampa Whales die after their bus collides with a tractor trailer on a highway heading home from a training camp. A game, the last of three against the Marines men’s team in Seattle for the next day, is therefore cancelled. Since Tampa was already eliminated from the playoff race and Seattle had won the Western Division, it is not rescheduled. Tampa finishes third in the East at 73-76 and Seattle finishes with an 81-68 record, worst of all division champions after losing 15 or their last 18 games (including 7 straight to end the year) while their division lead shrunk from 10 games to 2 ½, narrowly escaping one of the worst late-season collapses for league history. The Chicago Storms men’s team wins the Central Division at 91-59, the second highest record in the league despite losing their last four games including being swept by the Dolphins at Stanton, letting them clinch the wild card. The Subways finish 2016 with the league’s best record at 97-53 and win home field edge in all three rounds of postseason. On the softball side, the Vermont Rip Tide take the East at 90-60. The Hawks and Princesses miss the playoffs together for the first time in 21 years, finishing fifth and second respectively. The latter team ended with a better record than Western Champs Seattle at 84-66.
The defending champs Canton Dragons male team becomes the league’s first to finish fifth in one season, win the championship the next and close last in their conference again the following season. They close 2016 at 65-85, just two games better than their disastrous 2014 season after finishing 2015 at 91-59.
The Princesses win seven in a row to start September, their longest winning streak of 2016, taking the last of three from the Witches in Salem after losing the first two, sweeping three from the Vermont Rip Tide at home and winning the first three of four from the Philadelphia Hawks as their gap in the wild card shortens to three games, but then lose two of three interleague home games to the Auburn Warriors, losing the third 2-0 with both runs scored in the seventh aided by errors from second baseman Christina Bay and pitcher Carol DeVito. They go 3-8 on an 11-game road trip, dropping four to the Tampa Whales, first time they got swept in a four-game set by them since 1990, and three of four to Vermont to fall as much as 12.5 games back. They end 2016 with six at home against the Whales and Witches and sweep the former team. In the second game, they trail 3-0 in the seventh, but load the bases off of Inci Ark on a hit and two walks. Jessica Moore walks to force in a run, then Hollie Jones relieves Ark, getting two outs, but Crystal Lewis, who in mid-August announced she would retire at the end of 2016 to start a family with her new husband, hits the 0-1 pitch into center for a walk-off grand slam. This would be the last home run of her career. Her team got one hit before the seventh and is outhit 5-3. Tampa scores three runs on two hits in the fifth. New York is eliminated from the playoffs after the next game and drops two of three to Salem to close the year.
The Rip Tide end the season 14-5 versus the Hawks, losing just one game of three in Philadelphia in April and one of three at Vermont in mid-August before being swept in a three-game set at Philadelphia in their next-to-last series for 2016. They go 9-9 versus the Whales, losing two of three in each of the first four series before sweeping a three-game set in Tampa in August, then winning two of three in Vermont in September. The Subways go 13-6 versus the Rip Tide, winning two of three in four sets, sweeping another three-game set in Vermont, winning three of four for another series there, and losing two of three at home. They go 10-9 versus the Tampa Whales after sweeping the last three-game series from them in New York. They go 2-4 versus the Colorado Racers women’s team, losing the first two of three in Colorado and New York before taking the last. They were previously 13-2 against them since interleague play began in 1997.
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