(From Nick Palladino, associate producer and TODAY softball captain)
For those of you who missed it, TODAY softball ran its record to 3-0 with a thrilling come-from-behind victory against MSNBC rivals Morning Joe on Friday. After being taunted by the Morning Joe folks ON THE AIR on Friday morning, TODAY fell behind early and faced an uphill climb for most of the game, with Joe opening up a 9-3 lead in the middle innings.
But TODAY mounted a huge comeback in the final innings, narrowing the gap to 9-6 by the 6th inning. Sparked by an RBI single by Matt Zimmerman, a base knock by Sean Reis, and an RBI by Chase Levy, TODAY closed the deficit to 9-8 after six.
In the 7th, down to our final two outs, three consecutive singles by Ryan Osborn, Peter Giordano, and Dan Fleschner tied the score at 9-9. Armen Setrakian then followed with the first walk-off hit in recent TODAY softball memory, crushing a ball over the head of the Morning Joe left fielder to seal the victory and touch off a wild celebration at home plate, where both Giordano and Setrakian were mobbed.
In addition to those mentioned, an additional gameball goes to Tom Sasso, who in his first game, clobbered an early two-run homer to keep TODAY within striking distance.
Last Friday's win will surely go down in the annals of TODAY softball lore as an all-time classic, ranking right up there with the extra-innings defeat of GMA in 2007, and the 2004 victory over GMA that featured the greatest throw I have ever seen on a baseball diamond, MLB or otherwise, when Richard Adams cut down the tying GMA run at the plate with a bullet from left field that preserved a one run victory.
Friday's win also maintained the undefeated status of both TODAY and GMA heading into Friday's epic confrontation. I understand that the interns are furiously making signs as we speak.