The first ever fastpitch softball game to be played at Kloevermarken -- an exhibition affair between the 1st division Vikings of Kastrup and your Urban Achievers of Copenhagen -- had all the features of an old-timey scrimmage between a bunch of fundamentally sound amateurs and the lovable ragtag team of barnstormers.
The sandlot field, surprisingly raked and ready for throwdown bases and a quick measuring, proved to be an unpredictable and surprisingly satisfactory infield. Cleared of all large stones, there were still some wicked hops; and those of us who tried sliding have some bloody knees to show for it.
The fenceless outfield made the gravel expanse a fast track where gap doubles turned into inside-the-park homers.
The thorny, gnarled mess of half-dead vines writhing around our backstop fence was a real bummer, man. But we managed to put up a net to provide minimal protection against losing any of our precious dozen practice balls. Miraculously, we lost only one.
The game went alright. No dudes got dinged up, despite two full teams (plus one Brazilian spectator in rollerskates) standing on the field due to a lack of dugouts. The Achievers looked rusty, but with Rune Threefingers and the mighty Feebles toeing the rubber we held our own.
A few bloop hits and seeing-eye grounders eluded our middle infielders, but not without several diving efforts from Lukwata at short. The dynamic duo up the middle would get their revenge, however. On a sharply hit ball to the seamonster, he and Dudermensch turned a textbook 6-4-3 double play!
As the sun's early Spring curve dipped into the Copenhagen skyline beyond centerfield, the Copenhagen batters had a tough time picking up the ball all evening -- especially the spin on each dreaded riseball thrown our way. Too many strikeouts.
In fact, the Achievers were no-hit by the ringer from Kastrup. That creep can roll, man. Down a half-dozen runs in the 6th inning, their closer on the mound, we finally threatened to score. D'mensch led off with walk and stole second with one out. Nis showed equal patience and a keen eye, drawing a walk and allowing the runner to take third on a passed ball. Jesper got plunked and the bases were loaded with two outs. On a 3-2 pitch to Three Fingered Jesus, he made decent contact, but the comebacker to the mound ended the inning.
The sun now shining directly in the eyes of batter, catcher and ump, the game was called with one out in the 7th. Our first spring training game ended a bit anti-climactically, but the beautiful sunset over our sandlot field gave us more than a glimmer of hope for this season. As Nis reminded us, "Look around, man. We're not at Whoresholm. We're not stuck in some cramped corner of Faelledparken. We're on our own homefield and we made it work."
Hell yeah. And it's gonna look even better for our home opener on May 17th.
Next up, however, we travel to Stoneless to play the Bulls in the season opener on Sunday. In the meantime, we'll be adhering to a strict drug and alcohol regimen to keep our minds limber.
Catch ya on down the trail...