by Matt Floyd
A new era officially began on Sunday afternoon as the Metro Nashville Softball Association entered NAGAAA play as two B-level, four C-level, and 15 D-level softball teams took to the field in the opening weekend of the 2009 Spring/Summer season.
Over 600 players, family, friends and spectators came out to West Park for the opening day festivities which included vendor booths, parade of teams/players, a special musical performance, announcement of Hall of Fame nominations, and finally some fun games.
After all the pre-game fun and festivities were completed, the teams got down to business. The day saw a lot of great action, including some early upsets and surprises.
In D-level action, the Fireballs surprised many with two big wins. In their opening game, they posted a 7-3 victory over a solid Holy Trinity (Red) team. However, the first shocker of the season was their 8-5 victory over the very strong Xplosion (formerly Fusion) team. The Fireballs were one of four D-level teams to finish the day with a 2-0 record. Defending league champion Players needed some late game heroics to defeat Inferno.
The game was scoreless going to the seventh when Inferno plated one run. Players tied the game in the bottom half of the seventh to force the extra inning. Julio L. hit a bases loaded single in the bottom of the eighth giving the Players a 2-1 triumph. Players defeated Play Swingers to finish the day with a perfect 2-0 record. Players Too (2-0) had a great offensive day, defeating Holy Trinity (Blue) 23-11, and P4 by a 8-5 margin. The Panthers rounded out the perfect 2-0 teams on the afternoon. Panthers edged P4 10-8 in their opener, and won a slug fest over Corkscrew 18-6.
The league welcomed seven new teams including Double Time. DT had a good showing in their debut losing 7-2 to Blaze, but winning the final game of the day over P3 11-9. They fell behind 7-5 early to P3 before rallying for six runs in the fourth to take the lead 11-7 and escaped a bases loaded jam in the fifth to preserve the victory.
The B/C Division displayed some very good action. Defending champions Time finished the day 2-0. In their opener, they faced off against Good Times, a new team from Knoxville. These two teams are no strangers to one another as they have battled each other several times before in tournaments with each laying claim to victories. Time proved too strong this “time” around, with an 11-6 victory. Time rounded out play with a match-up against Nashville Heat (B-division). Time cooled off the Heat early with a 10-spot in the first and held off a comeback, completing the 15-10 win.
The Knoxville Cyclones, also new to the league, put on an offensive show as they went 4-0 in opening day action. The Cyclones outscored their opponents 54-9, defeating Nashville Heat 14-4, Fury 5-3, Clippers 16-1, and Good Times 19-1.
Opening ceremonies were a complete success as the league has grown to 21 league teams with over 300 player/coach participants. With the 21 teams, MNSA will have five slots at the NAGAAA World Series in Milwaukee, Wis. Action continues next Sunday, May 3,2009 at West Park.
For complete standings, schedules and team information, please visit the league website: http://www.metronashvillesoftball.org/.