by Matt Floyd
Going into week four of the Metro Nashville Softball Association (MNSA) schedule of games, all eyes were on the 4:00 game on Field 3 that pitted the two remaining undefeated teams thus far in the D-level: Nashville Players versus Pink Panthers, both boasting 7-0 records.
However, that game lost some of its appeal after the Panthers were shocked by Holy Trinity (Red) in the 1:00 game. The well-seasoned Holy Trinity team used their experience, solid defense and clutch hitting to pull off a 7-6 triumph. HT built a 7-5 lead going to the top of the seventh. The Panthers led off the inning with a home run by Anthony W. to cut the deficit down to one (7-6). After the Panthers got two runners on base, the HT pitcher struck out the next hitter and got the final hitter to pop out to end the game. HT Red improved to 5-4, while the Panthers (7-1) suffered their first loss of the season.
Despite the loss, the Panthers came out strong against the Players in a game where the final score wasn't indicative of the play. Through five innings, the Panthers held a slight 3-2 lead before the Players scored twice with two outs in the top of sixth, capped by a double by Kerry P. The Players reclaimed the lead and added seven runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach. The Players won the highly anticipated battle 11-3 and improve to a league best 9-0 on the season.
The other big surprise of the day came from the other Holy Trinity team. Holy Trinity (Blue) notched their first victory of the season in an upset over the Fireballs 4-3. The Fireballs jumped out quickly as Joe P. hit a two run single in the first inning giving the team a 2-0 lead. The Fireballs added one in the second inning to push the advantage to 3-0, but then saw the HT Blue team chip away slowly. HT picked up their defense and didn't allow the explosive Fireball team another run. HT finally pulled ahead in the sixth with two runs and held off a late comeback effort by the Fireballs. The Fireballs rebounded in their second game, highlighted by Mickey M.'s three-run triple in the fourth as the Fireballs cruised to an 11-2 win over P3.
After a slow start to the season, Xplosion has risen to second place in D level with a 7-2 record. Xplosion finished the day with three easy victories (Xtreme 10-0; Corkscrews 7-0; HT-Blue 17-5). Blaze also had a solid day defeating P3 7-0. The had the task of taking on a very confident HT-Red team in their second game. Blaze scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to take an 11-5 win over HT-Red. Blaze is currently in fourth place with a 7-3 mark on the season. Play Swingers pushed their record to 6-3 on the season with two more impressive victories (12-6 over P-Too; 15-2 over Double Time). They are in fifth place and have a match-up with fourth place Blaze next Sunday (June 14).
In a limited B/C level slate of games, Time continued to control the top of the C level standings with two more wins. They posted a 7-0 victory over Nashville Heat, before knocking off the Clippers 12-7. Time is 8-1 on the season. Fury (who had a bye week) sits in second place with a 4-3 record. Knoxville's Cyclones are 8-0 and lead the B division.
Be sure to come out and catch next Sunday's action as there are 29 games on tap. Games begin at 12:00 at West Park in West Nashville. The game of the week will take place on Field 4 at 12:00 as C division leaders Time will take on B division leaders Cyclones. A battle of D level second place teams will take place at 2:00 as Xplosion (7-2) will battle Panthers (7-2). This will be a key game for second place in the league.
For a complete schedule of play, league standings and up to date news and events, please visit metronashvillesoftball.org.