Excitement of softball lives in the central city

September 1, 2013 in Lifestyle, Lifestyles, Local News, Local Sports, News, Sports, Top Stories

Ninety-Nine Problems with Swagg defeats Platinum Boss Ladies

BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer

A lot was at stake Saturday, Aug. 24, for two women’s softball teams. The game, held at Robinson Park on Forest Avenue, would decide if 99 Problems with Swagg or Platinum Boss Ladies would advance to the championship game held the following week.
In the beginning, the game gradually advanced. By the second time 99 Problems with Swagg went to bat, the pace quickly changed.
Batters began hitting balls deep into the outfield. Many of those hits were singles or doubles that weren’t fielded by the opposing team; in which case 99 Problems capitalized off those mistakes.
“Oh my God, what are you guys doing?” was just one of the questions yelled by the coach of Platinum Boss Ladies, to his players. “You guys are making simple mistakes.”
From those mistakes, 99 Problems scored over and over again. Even on the defensive side, 99 Problems with Swag showed their dominance.
The Platinum Boss Ladies started out with a lot of enthusiasm but it quickly soured to the point where players didn’t make efforts to try and catch balls or simply didn’t run to scoop up singles that could’ve easily turned into an out.
The end result was a 25 to seven loss for the Platinum Boss Ladies and a trip to the championship game for the 15 and1 women of 99 Problems with Swagg
Temika Shears, head coach for 99 Problems with Swagg, said they did a lot of practice going into the game. Bat control and being able to hit the ball in the area of their opponent’s weaker players, were just two of the techniques they worked on.
“We stayed focused on hitting the ball. If we can’t hit, we can’t win,” Shears said.
Although they had a sizable lead, 99 Problems with Swagg, utilized their comfortable lead to test players at different positions, instead of using their time for mere play. For example, if a player normally played in the outfield, she experimented with playing second base.
Ina Sidney plays left field for 99 Problems with Swag. The veteran has played since 1984.
Sidney spoke about the ability of being able to spot the difference between a veteran batter and someone new to the game.
“Someone that’s new to the game is obviously nervous and they do a lot of moving around in the box,” she said. “Also, they can only hit to one side of the field. A more seasoned player can hit the ball anywhere. He or she doesn’t lay the bat on their shoulder and they’re not doing a lot of moving in the box.”
That type of insight is what Sidney said allows them to adjust their defense accordingly.
Ninety-nine Problems with Swag will play High Maintenance in the championship game at Robinson Park at 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 1.

Members of the 99 Problems with Swagg softball team.  One of the ball players, foreground, presents the back of her jersey. The jerseys display the breast cancer survivor ribbon and names of players’ mothers; one a survivor and the other who recently passed.

Temika Shears, head coach for 99 Problems with Swagg, said they targeted the weaker players on the team.

Although Ina Sidney jumps high for the ball, Tiffany Garrett of Platinum Boss Ladies, was still able to score one of five points for her team.