Mel’s Fate Lies In Facing A Formidable Foe On A Familiar Field
by Associated Press
The last time the Burger Bashers stepped onto the Great Lawn for postseason match-up, the setting was a familiar one. They had stood on the same grassy spot in Central Park in 2012 while facing a playoff predicament, and both times the team had slinked back to Mel’s Burger Bar with much of the same lingering feelings - those of a season cut short by misfortune and missed opportunity. Today they will step out onto a similar spot both in geography and in perception. They take the field for their second consecutive visit to the quarterfinals of the City Stars Softball League Playoffs. And this time against a much-heralded foe. The first-team from DeutscheBank has long been a regular season powerhouse, but with little silverware to show for it. They will look to these playoffs with a perennial resolve as great as any team in the league.
The Mel’s machine came into the postseason with a veil of confidence after winning their last five regular season games, but showed signs of anxiousness in their second round win over the Smokin’ Aces. The anxiousness was quelled by timely hitting by Jeff Dworin, Steve Cukalevski and Dylan Marshall, and solid defense by Liz Caggiano and Brad King. The Burger Bashers now hope to be firing on all cylinders and forgetting any lingering disappointments from past seasons. The Mel’s manager voiced his appraisal of his team early Friday, “We are all focused on the task at hand. The team needs to focus on the little things: communication, base hits, and defense. The fundamentals that have carried us through the summer and awarded us this opportunity. Nothing is given away in this game and no one is taking anything for granted. We will take what win. And do it one game at a time.” A motto being stressed throughout the organization. When asked about the sluggishness of the bats in the Second Round, he added, “We have 100% confidence in our offensive abilities as a team. The great thing about our team is that everyone plays a role. And each walk, single, or extra base hit continually contributes to the outcome of every contest.”
It wasn’t all good news, as also announced was a blow to the team’s roster. Starting center-fielder, Chris Vola, was placed on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) List, after a medical leave of absence. A spokesperson for the team released a statement regarding the move: “We all know Vola has been a big part of this team and has devoted himself year after year. It is a substantial hole but we stand behind him as Bashers, and will continue to dig deep to reach our goals. Chris will continue bust his ass for this team and contribute in any way possible.” The Burger Bashers also unveiled a commemorative logo in recognition of Vola’s recovery.
The Mel’s team takes to the Great Lawn at 6pm to determine their fortune.