[MIXTE] The BCF Petite Gazette – La Force 2019 Edition


 The BCF Petite Gazette – La Force 2019 Edition

(Parce que deux c'est plus que un, cette année vous avez droit à deux articles sur le tournoi de la Force. On commence avec la petite Gazette de Reg)

Author’s note:  Please remember that all jesting, making fun of, exaggerations, distortions and untruths are purely intentional and should be taken in good humor. Seldom are names changed to protect the innocent.. are there any? Any additional comments, roastings and toastings, feel free to add on.

La Force – July 15, 2019 The Gazette will be a new experience for just some of you. Most of you have endured previous editions and so far there have been no major lawsuits or stories of blackmail. So, here we go.

Another great 4 days of ball at La Force with a great bunch of people. I think that it was the ninth time for me. And.. from the first time, there were still 5 of us standing and playing.. Isa, Jenny, Elena, Flo and Reg.. perhaps some standing better than others.  In the mix we had some newcomer ‘rookies’ (in name only for the tournament).. Sasha, Thibault, Roro, and Marvin the young, and a few core players who are fast becoming old timers of La Force BCF.. Nadia, Lazaro, Chris and Elodie.  

The logistics went pretty well as far as I could note. Typically, there are 4,275 emails sent for organizing cars, rooms, meals, equipment, baby sitters, grocery shopping, uniforms, registration  color combinations, etc. In any case, I think we all need to thank Nadia for the organizing.    And of course, having the registration handled by the ladies meant that we made the cutoff date. I seem to remember that one year the ladies left it to the guys and we missed the tournament. As we all know it is one of the most popular in France and lots of teams want to play in it.

So, what were a few of the hilites of the stay in La Force?

Well, once again the duck population was put under a strong attack for a couple of nights. There seemed to be an ample supply however and I am sure the local restaurateurs were glad to see us in town once again.

Then, there are the suppliers of beer.. they are always happy to see us.. especially Nadia who  although petite is not a person to take on for a beer drinking challenge.

The swimming pool activity was rather subdued this year compared to some other times. A lot of sunbathing and not much water  ball games.. or whatever game you used to play where swimming trunks had to be securely fastened to avoid losing them.

On the ball field there were some outstanding performances. Our girls love to get down and dirty once they hit the base-paths with Jenny, Isa and Flo taking top awards in the sliding department all scoring 5.5 at least on their slides and dirt accumulation. Lazaro tried to top them in the late innings of the final game but failed to win the prize because he got called out at third. Can’t overrun the base.

In the outfield Lazaro made a great catch on a line drive which we put into the ‘save the pitchers ass’ category. Thibault also had such a catch and Sasha topped it off with a major league catch in right field.. definitely an STPA catch. Elodie had a tough time at the bat but caught the balls hit her way. I think Chris is going to work on her batting.

A couple of the games were pretty easy because the other teams walked a lot of batters or made some errors. In the first game I think we scored our first 4 runs without a hit. And we made it hurt with some good hitting.

Isa was killing the ball for the first couple of games driving in a lot of our runs. I dont have the score books with me but my old brain cells do remember that we had some very timely hits from Chris, Nadia, Flo, Roro, Sasha and Thibault to either win games or bring us back from a deficit to striking position. The good hitting certainly helped out  the pitching staff and kept the opposition under constant pressure, something that the other teams could not do to us.

The semi-final game was a bit of a thriller as we fell behind early on which can be tough to make up in a timed game. But it was hot, we had a great bullpen, and the bats came alive as the other team’s pitcher melted in the heat. In the end we salvaged a victory to move into the final.

The final was another come from behind game and in that one, we had the luxury of 7 innings to accumulate runs after a slow start. Marvin struggled a bit at the beginning but then Chris and Magic kept things within reach for 5 innings  while the bats once again were in chipping away at the other team’s pitching and defense. So when we hit the 6th inning Sasha was able to close the game down with no more runs while we scored 3.. and the last out was so sweet… a called 3rd strike on the number 3 batter in the order.

We got a nice break in that final game when they walked Sasha to load the bases and bring Jenny to bat. It was a good call by their coach but it backfired because they did not execute. Jenny hit a line drive which was dropped and we got to Thibault who had been crushing the ball all games but not this game. He was due for a good hit and drilled a long ball to right which scored another 2 runs (only because it was a ground rule double). As Flo said, in mixed fast pitch don't give up intentional walks. Serves them right for doing it! And a really great out was nailing Lucie after she jumped too far off third and Flo trapped her to end the 5th inning.

So, if I remember correctly, I’ve played in 9 LF tournaments. We have made the final 8 times and won 4. Vaguely remember pitching 6 of the finals and then going on strike for a couple. It was really nice this year to just have to do a couple of innings and let the youngsters do the rest. It certainly gave the other teams a bit of a problem as they did not have the luxury of decent bullpens, something very nice to have over a 6 game tournament in 30+C heat which takes a lot of energy from the body.

Over all the win was a real team effort On the offense there was always somebody hitting. On the defense, we played pretty steady ball overall. Roro caught a couple of line drives at 3rd which would have been base hits for sure. Having a bullpen meant we never had to let things get out of control. Our coaches.. Flo and Elena did a great job of team and lineup management making sure that everybody played and kept in the action.

I was asked ‘what is the secret of BCF success at La Force?’ A question I have asked myself over the years. Do any of you have the answer?

For me.. a combination of a few things.. Team spirit.. everybody plays for everybody so if one player not going well, others pick up the slack. Fun.. you gotta have fun when you play. Without the fun, why play? And  being able to make fun of ourselves and each other all in good spirit. No matter the combination of players we always seem to have a good mix of personalities for La Force that come together to make it all work.

That about wraps up my comments for this year. Great to be able to mingle and play with a bunch of young folks and a 200+ year old pitching staff.. (I guess if you drop Marvin and Magic out of the avg calculation, the team average goes from 44 to 34)

Hope to see you all again before too long.



La Force 2019 - Le compte Rendu (par Nadia)


Vidéo de la finale (sur le Facebook des Alouettes)

Vidéo de la demi-finale (sur le Facebook des Alouettes)

Les photos (sur le Facebook des Alouettes)