Split doubleheader against 'Fightin' teams Take first game 16 to 4; Comeback in Game 2 falls short

BRIGHTON -- (AP) The Ed Sox combined strong pitching, solid defense and timely hitting to grab their first win of the season, a 16 to 4 vanquishing of the Fightin' Sandcrabs in the first game of a doubleheader at Smith Field in Brighton.

Donna Barry pitched five strong innings for her first win of the season, and Paul Luevano knotched his first save. The Ed Sox offense, which has scored in fits and starts all season, fired on all cylinders, plating at least three runs in three straight innings to put the game out of reach. Bench coach Michael Keefe ran the team for both games.

In the second game, they fell to the Fighing Funbaggers 25 to 10. A season-ending injury to shortfielder Anne Slinn and the Funbaggers' masterful hitting display put the Ed Sox too far behind early for a late inning rally fall to bear fruit.

"It was a good win but I'm sorry to lose Anne for the season," said manager Ed Mason. "Still, I hope we can build on Sunday's winning effort and carry that into the run to the playoffs."

In the first game, the Ed Sox took a quick 2 to 0 lead over the Fighting Sandcrabs into the third inning when the offense exploded. The Ed Sox plated three runs that inning, as infielder/outfielder Heather Watkins and Slinn singled back to back. They were doubled home by Mike Keefe, who then scored on a Brad Zollner double.

In the fourth inning, the Ed Sox brought 10 men to the plate and scored six runs. The Ed Sox scored three more in the fifth and a pair in the final frame.

Meantime, Barry, with the aid of battery-mate Linda Mason, kept the Sandcrabs off balance with a baffling array of dazzling pitches. What balls that were put in play were stymied by solid Ed Sox defense. Dan Stachurski covered short stop like the Wizard of Oz, Ozzie Smith, while Ted Young had the fans chanting "Dewey, Dewey," as he showed off his cannon in right field. Teresa Wu sparkled like a young Jerry Remy with her play at second, while Chris Cammett patroled center field with same abandon that made us fall in love with Johnny Damon.***

"That was some crazy shit Donna was throwing," Mason said. "And defense was sick, yo."

(*** I wasn't at the first game. But I am reconstructing events with the help of the team score card, my vivid imagination, and the occasional bong hit. Say no to drugs, kids.)

The second game was a tough slog for the Ed Sox, who have a history of not faring well in double-headers.

It began in disappointing fashion when the Ed Sox shortfielder Slinn pulled up lame in the top of the first inning while chasing down a ground ball that slipped through the infield.

The Ed Sox gave up five runs in the first inning, but when they came to bat they quickly got two of them back. Keefe lead off with a double and scored on a Zollner home run, his first of the year.

Watkins started a third-inning ralley with a double. She scored on a Keefe double. Keefe advanced to third some how (I didn't score that inning) and scored on a sacrifice fly by Zollner.

Trailing in the fifth inning, the Ed Sox rallied again. Skipper Mason led off with a single. He advanced to second on a Barry single and scored from second when Watkins hit him home. Barry and Watkins advanced on a Wu single and scored on a line drive by the hot-hitting Teddy Ballgame.

Although the Ed Sox were able to put runners on and score, there defense couldn't hold the Funbaggers, whose expert batters skillfully swatted down at Barry and Luevano's pitches and put them between Ed Sox fielders. The Ed Sox also were missing shortstop Tim Farrell, and with the loss of Slinn, Keefe was forced to stitch together a crazy quilt defense that included Cap'n Ed holding down third base for the first time in two seasons.

In the sixth and final inning, the Ed Sox scored three runs on a Pat Curley home run.

Ed Sox Notes: ** The Ed Sox called up Todne Texeira from AAA West Newton to fill in for Slinn in Sunday's game.

** In her only Ed Sox appearance, Slinn had three hits and scored three times. She goes on the disabled list with a 1.000 batting average.

** Ted Young has been knocking the cover off the ball. He hit safely in all seven at bats during the double-header, with three doubles. T- Wu continues her excellent hitting, too.

** Watkins, despite running 20 miles before the game to prepare for the Chicago marathon, had five hits, including a double, in six at bats.

** Linda Mason continued her smooth work around second base.

** Donna Barry had two hits and scored two runs in the double-header. Zollner not only homered- he reached in four of six at bats.

** Lead off hitter Keefe continues to get the job done. He scored five runs in eight at bats on Sunday.

** Stachurski hit safely five times and scored three runs.

** Ed Mason, playing third base for the first time since the magical 2004 season, ended the fifth inning with a leaping grab of a Funbagger line drive.

** The Ed Sox next game is at 3 pm at Daisy Field in Jamaica Plain. Tickets are still available. Daisy Field is on the J-way just before Perkins St. (unless you're coming from the south, in which case it is just after Perkins St.)