M. Eleanor Schmalzl
Despite the weather’s best efforts, the 1L tournament came and went this past weekend on the soggy diamond known as Copeley Field. While Stephen T. Parr tried to drown the overeager 1Ls with more rain during the 10 a.m. game, his efforts were ultimately futile as the teams began the day of “friendly” competition. After several weeks of regular season play during which the 1Ls (and only the 1Ls) managed to play on wet turf and the occasional muddy Copeley, Section H managed to secure the number-one seed despite their overall lacking performance at Dandelion. Going undefeated leading up to this past Sunday, the team came in ready to fight for ultimate victory. However, Section H was not the only team competing for that prized trophy. According to Brooke Swann ’20, NGSL member and overall badass at all things but especially all things softball, every team had some standout talent. Swann remarked that clutch hits and major defensive plays carried some teams through games, and the 1Ls who participated and supported “had way more fun than all of their peers who chose to spend the day in the library.” Head Ump Carly Crist echoed Swann, remarking that the overall talent of the 1L class made for a fun day of softball.
Kicking off the day at 9 a.m. was #7 Justice RBIs vs. #10 C’s and Desist, with Section J securing the W with a 14–7 victory. After their victory, Section J members enjoyed a few cold ones as they prepared for the foul language and taunting they feared they’d endure from the #2 F Bombers in their upcoming 12 p.m. game. At 10 a.m., #6 Rip’s RAngers faced #11 Good Not Great, with the latter living up to their reputation of being good but not, well, great. Section A, with a first baseman who does not use a glove, advanced by a score of 15–8, ready to challenge the #3 Legal-E’s at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. First round of play finished up with #8 Beyond A Reasonable Out defeating #9 Bam’s I’s 12–5, with the #1 seeded Habeas Porpoise as their next opponent in the late afternoon 3 p.m. time slot.
After no upsets in the first round of play, the former favorites in the first round prepared to fight an uphill battle as they went into second round against the well-rested, top-seeded teams. Justice RBIs fought but ultimately fell to the F Bombers with a final score of 15–6, bringing Section F forward to secure a semi-final position. Rip’s RAngers managed the first upset of the day at 1 p.m., defeating the Legal E’s by a narrow 13–10 margin and lots of chants about “friendship.” Section A’s victory secured their spot in the semi-final against Section F at 4 p.m.
On the other side of the bracket, #4 Docket Like It’s Hot defeated #5 SoftbaLLMasters 14–7. While the LLMs may have been defeated in their first game of the day, the Law Weekly still maintains they’re the real winners after Attending the T-Pain Concert and skipping the downpour that was Dandelion. Given that most of them had never played softball, they knew how to hit some real dingers that rallied great support from the crowd. But alas, Docket Like It’s Hot secured their position in the semi-finals just before the Habeas Porpoise took down Beyond a Reasonable Out 13–6, meaning D and H would face off in the semis before the championship game.
After a busy second round, Section A came into game three with high hopes that were ultimately crushed by the F Bombers. With a final score of 10–3, Rip’s RAngers left feeling proud of their journey through the day, leaving the field singing the High School Musical soundtrack that boomed from their radio throughout the team’s games. The F Bombers still had a game left to play, spending their downtime nursing injuries and preparing their obscene vernacular for the championship game yet to come. Habeas Porpoise roared into the 5 p.m. game against Docket Like It’s Hot, winning 5–0 before the game that followed directly after. Lucky for Section H, the team did not follow the lead of #1 seed UVA Men’s Basketball during last year’s March Madness and actually met expectations in their big moment. After long days for all teams, the championship game had arrived.
Section F, despite a valiant effort and a left-center fielder who could literally throw the ball from the road to home, the team couldn’t find its stride against the powerhouse batting of Section H. With a 10-1 final score, the F Bombers left cursing themselves, wishing they had found their swing in time to rally. Meanwhile, Section H sang along to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” for unknown reasons. Regardless of their odd victory music, the team found victory and crushed the hopes of underdogs everywhere.
Due in part to great musical choices and a few thrilling upsets, the 1L tournament lived up to expectations as a thrilling and competition-inducing event. Now we can hope the 2Ls and 3Ls can follow suit and, you know, actually play some softball.
Brooke Swann ‘20 contributed on-the-ground reporting for this article.