ED SOX HIT ON WAY TO PLAYOFFS

MEDFORD (EP)     With their bats falling silent a second straight game, the Ed Sox lost their season finale 11 to 2 to Hitting Machine at Tufts Field.

The Ed Sox enter the playoffs Sunday with a record of 2 wins and 4 losses -- a marked improvement over the team's winless inaugural season -- and sole possession of sixth-place in the eight-team Boston Ski and Sports Club Fall Frostbite League. They will take on Team Davidson, which finished the regular season with a mark of 3 wins and 3 losses.

"We're just hitting our stride," Ed Sox skipper Ed Mason said. "I expect we'll roll through the playoffs. And I mean roll."

The Ed Sox mustered only five hits in the loss to the the last-place Hitting Machine. Two of the hits belonged to pitcher/third baseman/spritual guru Mike Keefe, who scored in the first inning to give the Ed Sox and early lead. Keefe reached on a double, advanced to third on a throwing error and was knocked in by hot-hitting catcher Mary Ellen Mullaney.

But in a sign of things to come, the Ed Sox hit into a pair of fielder's choices and a grounder back to the mound to end the first-inning threat.

The bats remained still until the sixth inning, when skipper Mason reached on a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. He was advanced to third when left fielder Arnold "Breaker of Bats" Salvati sacrificed to the pitcher. Then, with one out, Mason engaged in some daring baserunning to plate the Ed Sox' second run.

Catcher/second baseman/shortfielder Teresa Wu grounded sharply to the pitcher. Mason strayed off third and took off with the pitcher's throw to first, which got Wu. Seeing the advancing runner, the Hitting Machine first baseman fired home. The throw beat Mason but the catcher was out of position and didn't tag the runner, allowing him to score.

After falling behind 10 to 1 after two innings, the Ed Sox defense tightened up, allowing only one run the rest of the way. Donna Barry pitched three quick innings of relief, allowing just one run. Tim Farrell made a fine stab of a line drive to center. Ted Young made two fine catches in the fourth inning. Keefe, moved to third late in the game, made an inning-ending catch of a stinging line drive to end the fifth inning. Brad Zollner and Young teamed up for a bang-bang play at third, nailing a greedy Hitting Machine baserunner. Mary Ellen Mullaney and Salvati also made nifty catches.