MPA’s Road To Victory!

MPA’s Road to Victory!

MPA’s Road to Victory!

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By Nate “Coach” Turner, LEED AP ID+C.

It wasn’t easy, but we finally did it … MPA is the 2013 Architectural League Softball CHAMPS!! Last year, we finished in dead last place in our Softball League. But we were determined to reverse that standing and get rid of the dreaded title of “last place”. This season, the entire team hit the ground running (around the bases of course!) … we made the promise to never be in last place again and that’s exactly what we did. What played out (no pun intended) was better than we could have imagined: We went from WORST to FIRST.

After each game, I would update the entire office about how the game played out. What you will find below are all of this season’s email recaps, highlighting all the big plays and of course, each and every team member that helped make a dream a reality.

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Good morning team, fans,

Last night served as a reminder as to why each season can be so different.  With a team effort from start to finish, offensively and defensively, we held off a late rally from A/E/N to hold on for a win 17-13. A 7 inning strong pitching effort from John Harris, smooth infield defense and consistent scoring allowed us to bend but not break during a perfect summer night.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Everyone got at least one hit, with several folks coming through in the clutch….Caitlin, Jenna, Sarah you know who you are.
  • Some inside the park home runs (Bob, John), so nice to see other teams sweat for once trying to figure out where and when the baserunners are going to stop.
  • SMOOTH infield throws to prevent baserunners from getting on or advancing.  Newbies Dave, Katie, you are welcome back ANY time!
  • Numerous shout outs to the whole team for the game and especially the 6th & 7th innings when we ran out infield hits, forcing the other team to rush throws to 1st.  Nothing quite like manufacturing runs in a close game!
  • Last but not least, thanks to Jenna and Bob for the cupcakes and beers respectively.  If that’s what it takes to get the W then count me in for wanting to start a new tradition.

Great job team, next week’s game is on Wednesday vs. Safdie architects.

Go MPA!

 

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Good morning team, fans,

I’m happy to report that MPA got another win last night in rather lopsided game against Safdie Architects. They are back in the league so we took advantage of their rust early and often before the game was called at the end of the 6th inning. I could give credit to stellar individual performances again but this was definitely a complete team effort. After scoring 8 runs in the top of the 1st, we never looked back. Our stingy defense started continued with great pitching performances by both John Harris and Rich Murphy. By keeping most of the hits confined to ground balls our infield limited their few baserunners to mostly singles. In addition, despite the muddy basepaths, we showed heads up infield defense tagging out lead runners at every chance we could get. As for our offense, our lineup continues to feed off of opposing pitching; either pulling for straight away power, hitting to the gaps, or hustling on close plays to force the other team into bad decisions. Well done team!

This was a great win that puts us at 2-0 for the season!!!!

P.S. Next week’s game is against LWA Arch & NBBJ on Thursday 7/20.

 

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Good morning team, fans,

I’m happy to report that MPA is now 3-0, as we got another win last night in a close game against Leers Weinzapfel / NBBJ. It ended up being very different than last year’s lopsided 29-11 win, as we ended the 1stinning tied 1-1. Both sides struggled to get baserunners on as each team was pitching effectively and playing opportunistic defense. Just when it was looking like we’d cruise to a win, leading 8-2, they rallied and took the lead 10-8 by the end of the 6th. Needing 2 runs to keep the game going, the bottom of our order toughed through their crafty pitching and hustled on the basepaths to keep things alive for the top of the order.  Once we had baserunners on, we put the pressure on by putting everything they threw at us into play.  7 runs later we not only tied the game but taken a 5 run cushion into the bottom of the inning.  From there our soon to be famous MPA curtain defense took over and sealed the game.

Some notable game observations: we did most of our run scoring with two outs, we actually responded to a rally with a rally AND we shut down the opposing team in the bottom of the 7th.   Just goes to show that each year is different. This was definitely an exciting win and now has us begin a season at 3-0 for the 1st time ever!!!!

P.S. Next week’s game is against Gensler on Tuesday 6/25.


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Good morning team, fans,

Sorry to say that are run to an undefeated season ended abruptly last night as MPA lost to Gensler 19-6. They continue to have strong pitching that kept our baserunners off the paths for most of the night.

Combine that with some inopportune defensive lapses and that was all they needed to keep us in check.

That being said, here were some of the positives:

  • No injuries!
  • We got our new uniforms out in full force last night.

Being down 19-1 in the bottom of the 7th …..We showed them that even with 1 out we weren’t going to go quietly. We got another 5 runs, fueled by successive hits from the middle of the order.  A particular shout out goes to Jenna for catching the other team off guard.  She ran out an infield hit to advance the runners, followed by a hustle play to 2nd by beating a throw, capped by taking home when the other team didn’t have time to throw.

So, even though it started to feel like a lop-sided game midway through the game, we are still 3-1 and now have a bye week during the 4th of July holiday to rest up. Our next game will be against Perkins & Will, Tuesday 7/9.

Here’s to an early “happy 4th “everyone!


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Good morning team, fans,

Apparently all we needed was a week off to return to our winning ways by beating Perkins + Will 12-11 for our first walk-off win of 2013! I knew it would be close since last year we had played them in extreme heat (while battling some injuries) only to lose in the last inning by having a rally fall short.

In almost an identical fashion to last year’s game, we ended the 1st inning being down several runs.

For the next few innings both teams added runs, had shutout innings and had some nice defensive plays as we exchanged leads. As the overcast rolled in both teams seemed to sense that this was going to be a close one that would eventually be decided in the last inning. They had already cut the lead from 10-5 to 10-8 when Bob made an awesome running catch against the outfield fence to stop any further damage.

When I say “against the outfield fence” I should give you a visual….he should have been wearing a seatbelt for that impact. As the game wore on they took the lead in the top of the 7th and went ahead 11-10.  Yet again our defense bent but didn’t break. Some heads up in-fielding and timely plays stopped their rally. In the bottom of the 7th Sarah led off by beating out an infield hit AND with her hustle forced them to overthrow 1st.  With Sarah now on 2nd, John Harris followed with a hit to tie the game.  After we got an out, I got up to the plate and advanced John to 2nd……still only one out.   Bob followed and proceeded to hit a shot between centerfield and right to bring John home for the go ahead game winning run!  Since there were others that have not been mentioned yet that also deserve credit, here are some other key moments:

  • John and Rich continue to provide a stellar 1-2 punch alternating innings pitched.
  • Rich had a key 2-out hit near the end of the game to start a mini-rally and showed some skilled baserunning tactics (looks like he’s getting back to form).
  • Derek had some smooth defense while also providing some speed on the basepaths.
  • Tom provided some serious power at the plate and made a sweet diving stop at 3rd late in the game that limited a line drive to a base hit.
  • Caitlin continues to show a fearless approach at Catcher, going after foul tips at all costs.  AND she got a key RBI single late in the game.
  • Lauren helped anchor 2B and provided some pop at the top of the lineup.

This is exciting stuff folks, we are now halfway through the season and are sitting at a 4-1 record.

Our next game will be a tough one, against Miller Dyer Spears, next Thursday 7/18.

Go team!!!

 

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Good morning team, fans,

Just in time for the weekend, MPA beat Spagnolo!!!

(Consider this a late edition recap)

After having an off week due to rain we took the field Wednesday for what turned out to be a perfect summer night. SGA got on the board first as we appeared a little rusty, but we limited our miscues and got away with giving up only 2 runs. After getting one back in the bottom of the inning we kept it tied 2-2 until the 4th. Sensing a lull in our team effort, we had a quick team meeting to re-focus.  We responded by scoring 3 to go ahead after 5.  Then we followed up with a tight 1-2-3 inning shutting them out while also adding 3 more to go ahead by 4.

They clearly knew it was time to do something so they tied it up by the middle of the 6th.  However, with our MPA mojo, we played the right mix of small ball and got one more run to go ahead 9-8.

In the top of the 7th they were able to get some runners on but yet again we made key plays when we had to.  Game over!

Special shout outs to the whole team sticking together on this one, they had some great fielders and the hits were hard to come by.

AND

  • John Harris pitched the whole game, while also stretching a hit into a triple.
  • Rich played some great first base while also getting a rally going mid-game.
  • Derrick showed some versatility shifting into the outfield for yet another game.
  • Mike made his first appearance and made some noise with his bat
  • And pretty much everyone else on the team had a key RBI or sacrifice hit when needed.

Lastly, a special shout-out to Bob and his acrobatic outfield skills.  His diving catch late in the game got us a much needed out.  Limping and all he stuck it out the rest of the way.

I know this was a long summary but at 5-2 it’s hard not to feel good about where we are at. We still have 4 games to go, so keep cheering us on as we try to keep the magic going.

Go team!


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Good morning team, fans,

By beating Acentech / DiMella Shaffer last night 30-10, we proved we can hang with most teams from the 2012 season. As the visiting team playing near Harvard Sq. we knew we had to score early and often against a team that beat up on us last year. In what turned out to be the largest team showing all year, with 15 of us, we had some serious cheering on the sidelines all game.

Starting off with a 9 run 1st inning (that included several home runs); we almost went through almost the whole order in just the first 15 minutes. From there we never looked back as we responded with runs of our own every time they scored.  Even as they tried to rally we shut them down and continued to pour it on.  Everyone did a great job shuffling around, making plays when they were needed, and making timely force plays to catch lead runners when necessary. That combined with savvy base-running where all opportunities were taken advantage of made this a great win.

  • John and Rich continued to provide a great combination pitching effort
  • Matt continued to intimidate opposing players with his rifle arm from centerfield.
  • Lindsey and Katie made some smooth plays at Second and Short respectively
  • Bill provided some serious pop in his at bats by starting with 2 HRs in his first two at-bats.
  • Bob, Matt, Rich, John, Mike, Dave, Rob, Bill & I all had some nice outfield hits that kept the outfielders busy…
  • …while Jessica, Caitlin, Jenna, Katie, Lindsey and Melissa all made some nice underneath the defense to advance runners, get RBIs and test the infielders throws.

This was a balanced effort all around, which now puts us at 6-2 with 3 games left to play.  Just goes to show what a little extra focus and hustle can do. Next week is another big one as we go up against CBT on Wednesday the 14th.  Stay tuned for more as we gear up for our post-season run.

Go team!

 

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Good morning team, fans,

We hat yet another perfect night for playing as we beat CBT 30-25. We started off the game slowly getting a run in the 1st only to have CBT answer with 5 of their own. We got 3 back in the 2nd to close the gap only to have them add 4 in the bottom of the inning. In the 3rd we struck again, for 4 this time to make it 8-9 while tightening up our defense to keep it a one run game going into the 4th. That’s when the MPA fireworks started…..we scored 10 in the 4th as we batted around the order to gain a comfortable lead. Once again our defense played some tight defense to shut them down without scoring a run. The top of the 5th started with the same momentum as batted through the order once again getting 12 more runs to make it 30-13. However, CBT then held us scoreless for the last two innings as they chipped away at our 17 run lead by getting 5 in the 6th and 7 in the 7th to make it a close game.  We finally got the 3rd and final out of the game with a force out at 2nd as our defense tightened up during the last few minutes of daylight.

We are now 7-2 everyone, looks like we’ll be going to the playoffs!!!

Some game notables:

  • Dan P. made his first appearance of the season and helped anchor the outfield while providing some left-handed pop in our lineup.
  • John H. had some nice quick grabs of comebackers to the pitching mound.
  • Bob yelled “Ahhh, that’s garbage!” on pitch he popped up only to discover it had the depth to be a nice home run. (It would be the 1st of several nice shots)
  • Tom cranked one deep to center as well, clearing the bases
  • Rich, Lindsey, Mike and Bill played some stellar defense working against the glaring sun all night.
  • Melissa continues to find her RBI form.
  • Our whole lineup was relentless at the plate and on the basepaths….it’s amazing what can happen when you hustle through every play.

FYI, the next game will be Thursday 8/22 against the defending champs (who are still undefeated) so it should be a fun one.

Go team!


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Good morning team, fans,

In what might have been our best win of the season yet, we beat (ahem mercy ruled) the defending champions 20-1 last night. We started off the game getting a quick 3 runs on the board and were able to limit their rally to only one. We continued to score every inning slowly building our lead while playing consistent defense all night. Once again we had a mercy rule opportunity kick in by the 5th inning but decided to start the 6th to see how much more game play we could squeeze in.  After adding a few more they claimed mercy and we called it after 5-1/2. This should serve as a reminder that when we put our minds to it we can compete with anyone in the league!

Some game notables:

  • John H. pitched an amazing game, limiting most of their batters to infield (and playable) hits.
  • Our team defense was so smooth, we didn’t force any plays, we covered for each other and we recovered quickly if there was any type of mis-step.
  • Our line-up never gave up, choosing pitches well, mixing infield hits with gap shots to the outfield we kept them off balance defensively all night.
  • Once again our hustle on the base paths allowed us to beat throws and create additional runs.
  • I know there aren’t many individual shout outs, but that reflects how balanced our WHOLE TEAM approached the game last night.  Everyone played their parts with passion and composure.

So now for the funs stuff.  We should be in sole possession of first place with only one game left to go.  This means that if we win next week we could have the #1 seed in the playoffs. Currently our make-up game against Autodesk is scheduled for Tuesday the 27th…..however there are a few folks that might not be able to make it so I am going to see if I can ask for Wednesday instead.

Great job once again, and go team!

 

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Good morning team, fans,

We had the most exciting “almost” game ever today.  Having a roster of 4 this morning we utilized every option to pull together a team this evening only to have the other coach offer us the win since he thought we weren’t going to pull it off.  Yet another example of our resilience this year! So what does that mean?  First off, no game highlights for tonight but rather a well-timed “off week” as we head into the holiday weekend to prep for the playoffs.

At 9-2 we have done several things this year that are firsts:

  • Won 9 games! (previous record was 7)
  • Lost only 2 games (previous record was 3)
  • We finished the season as the #1 team. (We had never cracked the top half of the playoff order before)

With all of those things we have still only taken the first step in going from worst to first.

The playoffs will start next week and we are currently scheduled to play the #8 seed on Wednesday evening (9/4).

I will know more information on Friday but stay tuned as we try to make a nice run in the playoffs too!

Thanks for the all the support in the first half of the season, let’s keep it up for the second part too!

 

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Good morning team, fans,

We got our first ever post-season win last night beating Acentech/DiMella Shaffer 21-8.

Knowing that they would not want a repeat performance of when we beat them 30-10 on their home field, we knew they were going to try and start off strong. They certainly did, between some timely hits and some early spotty fielding by us they put up 4 quick runs.  However, like we have been doing all season, we rallied in the bottom of the first for 6 runs of our own. In the 2nd inning we got back to our defensive form and held them scoreless while tacking on another 8 runs to go up 14-4 after two.  They would get another run in the top of the third but responded with another run in the bottom of the inning to make it 15-5 after three. Once again we held them scoreless in the top of the fourth, while getting 5 more insurance runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 20-5.  They would not go quietly though, sensing that they were running out of innings (and daylight) they had a little rally in the 5th inning for 3 runs but we stopped the damage while stranding all of their runners in a bases loaded situation. We did add one more run in the bottom of the inning to make it 21-8, but when they didn’t score any more in the top of the 6th we called it due to daylight safety concerns AND the fact that they had already admitted defeat.

There are a lot of game balls to hand out here so I’ll try to get everyone:

  • John pitched an amazing game yet again, getting his first post-season victory on the mound.  (Had some stellar hitting and base-running yet again)
  • Lindsey played some great second base and was killing the ball down the third base line getting some key hits and RBIs.
  • Bob had a nice HR hit late in the game to help put the game out of reach.
  • Matt had a couple of nice base clearing hits, especially the one where he almost passed Bob coming into Home.
  • Rich helped anchor first base while having some nice RBI hits AND showed off his crafty base running skills.
  • Bill made some slick grabs at 3B while continuing his hot hitting streak at the plate.
  • Dave helped out in a couple of spots defensively while getting some key hits and RBIs.
  • The platoon of Jessica, Caitlin and Jenna mixed through the batting order helped balanced our offense with all of them getting key RBIs.
  • It should be noted that their hustle on the basepath helped force throws and get runners either into scoring position or all the way home. (Seriously a great job!)
  • Mike anchored SS
  • Dan P. provide some lefty pop at the plate giving us some great gap shots AND helped make some nice plays at 1B.
  • Tom continued to show some serious hitting while also giving us some depth in the outfield.

All around great game everyone! I know there are some things we should improve on for next week as the stakes increase but this was an awesome all-around effort.  Lastly, we found out late last night that our next game will be next Wednesday 9/11 at 5:30pm against AEN (AKF Engineering / EYP ArchEng / Nitsch Engineering).

P.S. I also found out that the #2, #3, and #4 seeds all lost last night so it does nothing but helps our cause.

Go team!

 

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Good morning team, fans,

We got our second straight post-season win last night beating CBT 6-3! This means we will be playing Miller Dyer Spears next Wednesday (9/18) for the Championship Trophy!!! Facing yet another team that wanted revenge for scoring 30 runs on them earlier in the season, we knew this would be a very different game since our opponent beat up on the #2 seed just last week.  They started off quickly by getting runners on board to test our defense, but as we have done in the past we were able to limit the damage to just 2 runs.  In the bottom of the inning we rallied for 3 of our own as Matt ripped a shot to deep left that brought home John and Bob. We bounced back to form, holding them scoreless in a relatively quick 1-2-3 top half of the 2nd.  In the bottom of the 2nd Bill led off with a nice hit and advanced to second on some great base-running, Dan P. then got a clutch RBI to bring him home increasing our lead 4-2.  Both sides showed great defense in the 3rd, making heads up plays while giving nothing.  In the 4th we continued to bend but not break while holding them scoreless.  Bob then started another scoring threat by scorching a hit to deep left getting a triple in the process; Rich then brought him home on another clutch RBI increasing our lead to 5-2. We continued to hold them scoreless in the top of the 5th while getting our last insurance run created by a nice hit from Dave, followed by a clutch RBI from Bill.

In the 6th they did get a rally run from some aggressive base-running but we once again stranded their runners in scoring position.  Facing a rally based team with only a 3 run lead in the top of the 7th, we had incredible focus as we were able to allow only one base-runner to 1st but get everyone else on quick outs.   Clutch all around!!!!

There are a lot of game balls to hand out here so I’ll try to get everyone:

  • John’s pitching was amazing once again, getting his second post-season victory on the mound.
  • Lindsey played some great second base and was so close to ripping one down the 3rd base line.
  • Bob had an amazing foul territory catch that helped set the defensive tone early on.
  • Matt had a couple of nice hits, AND a great play where he backed up the infield grabbed a ball off a one-hop and threw to Dan P. at first to surprise the base-runner that thought he had a single all but locked up. (P.S. it ended their inning.)
  • Rich helped wear down the opposing pitcher and got some nice RBI hits AND showed off his crafty base-running skills….I think he got his wheels back just in time!
  • Bill made some slick grabs at 3B while getting some key hits and scoring an insurance run in the 2nd.
  • Dave continued to help anchor the OF trio with Bob and Matt while also working the basepaths with some nice hits.
  • The platoon of Jessica, Caitlin, Jenna and Melissa kept the other team guessing all night as to who was going to make the next big play.
  • Jessica made a nice catch on home plate in the middle of the game to get a key force-out for their lead runner.
  • Mike helped clog the middle by anchoring SS
  • Dan P. took a lot of reps at 1B, getting some nice grabs and got a key RBI in the middle of the game to help us get an insurance run.
  • Tom showed his team spirit by getting to the game later on to provide depth to our batting order (just in case we needed it)

Even though we’ve held other teams to fewer runs this year, this might have been our best defensive game yet since we responded to all of their scoring strategies.

They tried scoring on grounders, line drive shots and even pulling to the outfield…but we responded to all of them!

Lastly, we found out after the game that Miller Dyer Spears won’t their game 13-9.

So it will be the #1 vs. #5 seeds for the Championship next Wednesday (9/18) at 5:00pm in Moakley Park….same fields.

I will sound out a calendar invite later today but mark it in your calendars, since this will be the first time we are in the Championship!!!!!

We have one more game, kind of a big deal, so Go team!!!!!

 

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Good morning team, fans,

Softball Champs for the 2013 Season!

We finished at our record best 12-2 to capture the coveted trophy for the 1st time ever last night beating Miller Dyer Spears 15-14. When I asked Monica K. how to write this morning’s recap she replied;  “Simple.  Victory…Done!” (However, you know me, I can’t keep it simple….so here it goes.)

Since most of you saw the pre-game video, you knew we were coming to play.  Miller Dyer Spears has perhaps the most balanced team in the league so how fitting that our last game, the ultimate test, would be for the elusive championship trophy. We started off strong by holding them scoreless in the top of the 1st then putting up a quick 7 runs in the bottom of the bottom of the inning going through ¾ of our lineup.  Knowing that each team got here for a reason we expected a tighter 2nd inning and had to tighten our defense by limiting their rally to 5 runs in the top of the 2nd. They held us scoreless in the bottom of the 2nd so suddenly this became a game again.  After they scored 4 in the top of the 3rd, we rallied for 2 and made it 9-9 after three. Once again we held their offense in check in the top of the 4th as we shut them down and then added a run to make it 10-9 after 4. With the sun starting to set and the intensity rising, both teams starting playing a lot tighter defensively.  They rallied for two in the top of the 5th to make it 11-10 while holding us scoreless as we went into the 6th.   In the 6th they scored an additional run to make it 12-10 and on their 3rd out we got their runner to 1st to end the inning eliminating another potential run (remember this for later). As we went into the bottom of the inning we rallied for 2 as the top of our order wore down their pitcher and we took advantage of some defensive hesitation by working the bases to perfection.  Tied 12-12 going into the last inning, we switched to the night play softball since the sun was half set. They led off with a double and proceeded to take advantage of some wobbly defense on our part, but we held them to only 2 runs as we headed into the last three outs of the game. The second half of the order was up, and after I fouled out the #8 through #16 hitters took care of the rest.  We placed hits all over the infield taking advantage of not only great placement but some defensive indifference where their players suddenly couldn’t communicate with each other.  Loading the bases we put the pressure on them and hustled through every hit and every play to score runs when possible and force throws to keep our inning alive.  Bill and Mike and scored first, followed by Tom for the game winner as the three of them plus Caitlin, Dan P. Jessica, Derrick and Melissa all played a huge part in our late game rally to come from behind and win 15-14!!!!  Remember that 1 run difference in the 6th?  That was the game decider folks!

Like we’ve done all season, we had balance, everyone helped in one way or another.  Whether it was fielding, hitting, pitching or running we all found a way to cover for one another and not give up until the final out.  We had some great hits, some heads up plays on defense and a bend but don’t break defense that didn’t give in to pressure in the 7th.

Great game all around, great season all around and wow, it’s been a long time coming but we are the league CHAMPIONS everyone!!!!

From worst to FIRST….THANK YOU EVERYONE for making this happen.

Now rest up and enjoy the Trophy!!!!