In true JagNation fashion, the Jacksonville based team started out slow, as they were down two runs before their first at-bats. The Black and Gold were making their way around the bases with relative ease in the early innings, and even stretched their lead to 11-4 by the fourth inning.
The JagNation team showed great resolve by sticking to the game plan and manufacturing runs with well placed hits and speed on the base pads throughout the remaining innings and a strong defensive effort kept the Steelers at bay. JagNation held the Black and Gold scoreless over the last two innings, and the Cardiac Cats faithful rallied for a 14-13 victory.
It was a truly a team effort for JagNation as seemingly everyone on the 21-man roster contributed. Alfie Crow made a few fine catches a third base, and Matt Clough made a leaping grab at first. Zach Chalifour patrolled the outfield like Tori Hunter, and the oldest member of the team, outfielder Terry Wadsworth pounded a few key hits. Mike Woznick was a sure-handed first basemen, and John Caputo, Justin Timmons, and Mark Barley all had key contributions.
In most softball games, the female members of the team are more or less a novelty act, and the weak links of a particular roster. That certainly wasn't the case for JagNation as Catherine Barley pitched well, even recording a K over one of the male Black and Gold hitters. Belinda Smith gave JagNation a few excellent innings, and Roar member Melanie brought her beauty and style to the plate as she recorded a hit, and looked good doing it.
Starting pitcher Chuck Linton was hammered early, but then loosened up and was very effective on the mound. The JagNation starter also contributed with a few key hits.
"I was trying to be serious, maybe a little too serious early on, but second baseman Charlie Bernstein reminded me that Jesus loved me," said Linton. "I couldn't take anything seriously after that and I calmed down and pitched well."
The single casualty of the event was Coach Charlie Bernstein, who injured his knee trying to stop at second. Field conditions were less than favorable due to the conversion from baseball to softball. The JagNation coach barked orders from the dugout after his mishap and the JagNation team rallied around their leader to upset the more experienced Black and Gold.
"I couldn't be more proud of my guys and girls," Bernstein said. "It was a great team effort, a great defensive effort, and at no time did these men and women give up. I would sacrifice one good knee for a good victory every time."
Charlie's status for Sunday's game is questionable, he will have an MRI later in the week.
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Jags Win 14-13 Over Steelers
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