5-15 jumps out to early lead to down Marines
June 26, 2013
By Nathan Deen
FORT BENNING, Ga., (June 26, 2013) -- Curtis Graffam, team captain of the 5th Squadron, 15th Cavalry Regiment, Cav Boyz softball team said the key to his team's offense is simple -- patience at the plate.
"We need to take a pitch, take that first strike, let the pitcher throw that first pitch and not swing at it … and then drive the ball somewhere," Graffam said. "We're popping up a lot. Everyone's reaching for that short ball."
5-15 drove the ball early and often -- gained a six-run lead and played consistent defense throughout Wednesday's game while getting some less experienced players some playing time late. It went on to defeat the Fort Benning Marine Corps Detachment 10-4 at Gowdy Field.
The Cav Boyz improved to 5-0 on the season after winning the Commander's Cup Preseason Softball Tournament.
"We took what we had in the preseason and carried it forward into the regular season," Graffam said.
Graffam said nothing really changed Wednesday -- the Cav Boyz have played consistently well in their first five games and have been especially good at jumping out to big leads.
"It's been the trend," he said. "Usually in the first or second inning we come out and score five or six runs and then later on, we score three or four here or three or four there."
After racking up three runs in the top of the first inning, the Cav Boyz reeled off five consecutive hits with two outs in the top of the third to grab a 7-1 lead. The string of hits was capped off by a two-run single by Mike Russo.
Back-to-back doubles in the top of the fourth inning by Matt Brogdon and Malcolm Gass helped the Cav Boyz get three more runs and a 10-3 lead.
The Cav Boyz had no trouble sitting on that lead and substituting players the rest of the way -- the only Marine scoring threat came in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Marines had two runners on base with no outs, but the Cav Boyz forced a flyout and two ground balls to seal the win.
Graffam likes the depth of offense his team has -- even when one part of the order is struggling, another can pick it up, he said.
"In the preseason tournament, it was the bottom of our order," he said. "This time it was the middle of our order. They wait on that perfect pitch … and drive to wherever they need to … getting base hits and scoring the runs."