First official day of summer

Two chatty little cousins, both wannabe ballerinas and princesses-in-training, reminded me of this simple childhood truth: There's nothing like eating a popsicle on a sweltering summer afternoon.


Double-header for games 5 and 6

June 16, 2010 – On a perfect day for softball, the Tiefel Tigers started playing game one with full daylight and blue skies and when the second game ended, the outfield grass was damp with dew and a silver sliver of moon brightened the dark sky.

Game one of the night was a rematch against A.H. Bennett. Paul Tiefel Jr. was feeling the groove and pitched the entire game. Southpaw Elizabeth Plath covered first base, Hannah Tiefel played second base. Difference-maker Jer Gurgel played a stellar defensive game at shortstop and Tim Burns handled third base. Paul Tiefel III and Jill Tiefel covered the left side of the outfield, while married couple Joel and Bek Carstensen defended the right side. After a slow start, the Tigers scored 7 runs in the top of the third inning to take a commanding lead. The final score at the end of the sixth inning was 13-2. 

BOX SCORE: Paul Tiefel III (1B), Jill Tiefel (1B, 2BB), Jer Gurgel (3B, 2B), Bek Carstensen (1B, BB), Paul Tiefel Jr. (2 1B, BB), Tim Burns (2B, 2 1B), Elizabeth Plath (1B), Joel Carstensen (2 1B)

The second game saw the Tigers meeting Trinity Equestrian's team for the first time this season. A minor adjustment to the batting lineup was the only successful* change that Manager Joel Carstensen made. Warmed up and ready to go, the Tigers struck first in the bottom of the first inning, scoring 5 runs and batting through the lineup. The hot streak continued through the second inning, when Burnsy let out a diabolical laugh as he ran to first base after placing a perfect pitch inches from the right field line, and into the third inning when the team batted through the lineup for the second time in the game. The defense held tight and the Tigers walked away with a win, 17-1.

BOX SCORE: Paul Tiefel III (2B), Jill Tiefel (2 1B, BB), Jer Gurgel (2 HR, 2 1B), Bek Carstensen (2 1B), Joel Carstensen (2B, 2 BB), Emily Tiefel (1B, BB), Tim Burns (3B, 2B, BB), Paul Tiefel Jr. (1B, BB), Hannah Tiefel (1B, BB)

*Astute readers are asking "What unsuccessful change did the manager want to make?" Joel was ready to go to the bullpen for the second game, but in a shocking development, the pitcher refused to abdicate the mound. After back-to-back walks were delivered to the first two batters, Jer Gurgel summarized his feelings. "He may be feeling it, but he's not showing it," he said. Fortunately, the pitching performance improved and a leadership crisis was avoided.

Noteworthy on the night:
  • Eileen Tiefel (Grandma Leener) kept up her perfect record of not playing in any games so far this season. (She did, however, make a run to the store for fruit snacks.)
  • Jill Tiefel was called a "gazelle" by a player on the opposing team who was impressed by a leaping catch in left-center field. (Pause. If the first rule of journalism is accuracy and truth in reporting, the second rule of journalism is impartiality. I can't help myself. I have to say this. I never thought I would be called a gazelle. Ever. Okay, unpause.) 
  • Left-fielder Paul Tiefel III almost performed a smooth tuck and roll after making a catch in the outfield but felt like he couldn't do justice to Jarrod Lentz's trademark move.
The Tiefel Tigers are in sole possession of first place in the city's standings.


Game 4: Alone at the top

The Tiefel Tigers met A.H. Bennett last Wednesday, determined to distinguish themselves from the other teams in the league. A.H. Bennett scored two runs in their first at bat. Lead by birthday boy Paul Tiefel Jr. in the lead-off spot, the Tigers matched those two runs in their turn at bat in the bottom of the first inning. After a scoreless second inning, the Tigers took a three run lead in the third inning. But it took the fourth inning to break open the game. The team batted through the line-up and continued on to victory. The final score was 12-2.

The Tigers lead the league in average runs scored (12) and fewest runs allowed (2). Next week's double-header could be an exciting highlight of the season.

BOX SCORE: Paul Tiefel Jr. (1B), Joelle Noeldner (BB), Paul Tiefel III (2 1B, 2 2B), Emily Tiefel (2 BB), Jer Gurgel (2 2B, 1B), Jill Tiefel (1B), Tim Burns (3 1B), Jarrod Lentz (2B, 1B), Rebekah Carstensen (1B)


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Week 3: On cruise control

Although the ranks of the Tigers were decimated by Messiah School's Entertainment Night (parental and teacher obligations), the remaining team members were motivated to score 10 runs in the first inning against Immanuel. 

Paul Tiefel Jr. pitched a no-hitter in the three innings. Rebekah Carstensen took over at first base, Hannah Tiefel remained at second, while Tim Burns anchored third base. Emily Tiefel handled the catcher's duties. Jer Gurgel ably held down shortstop (and on offense, he had two in-the-park home runs). Jarrod Lentz subbed in left field, while Mark Tiefel covered left-center. The right side of the outfield was blanketed by Joelle Noeldner and Jill Tiefel.

The game was over in the bottom of the third inning, as the 20-run rule was invoked. The final score was 21-0. The team is set for a showdown next week against fellow league leader AH Bennett.

BOX SCORE: Jer Gurgel (2 HR, 3B), Jill Tiefel (1B, 2 BB), Mark Tiefel (3 2B, 1B), Bek Carstensen (2B, 3 1B), Tim Burns (2B, 2 1B), Emily Tiefel (1B, 2 BB), Jarrod Lentz (2 1B), Hannah Tiefel (1B, BB), Paul Tiefel, Jr. (2B), Joelle Noeldner (2 1B)

UNI-WATCH: Tigers' front office is considering a move to a throwback uniform. Stay tuned for details.