Tully’s triumphant in rec league softball title game
Written by Than Acuff
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
Best game all year
What a finish.
The rec league came to a climactic close Tuesday night at Gothic Field as Tully’s. Typically when I write that it was standing room only (SRO) at games, I’m joking, but this time it truly was SRO with both sets of stands and the first base and third base lines packed with fans. And not just the fans that are looking for another reason to drink in public but also fans that are looking to watch some quality local softball action.
“Little league and rec league softball, anything can happen,” commented one fan.
Courtney Johnson set the tone in the bottom of the first inning with a diving grab in right field. Meanwhile both offenses were clicking and after a two RBI double from Chuck Harmer, Tully’s was on top 7-4 heading into the third inning.
The quietest inning of the night was the third as both teams cooled off temporarily bringing the crowd to a dull roar and leaving an opening for one last Meatsticks rally cry.
From then on it was full throttle slowpitch softball action.
The Eldo retook the lead in the top of the fourth inning as singles from Sean Crossen and Katie Hoban put two runners on for Matt Laut. Laut pushed Crossen home with a double, Jess Johnson scored another on a sac fly RBI and Patrick Cashion punched an opposite field RBI triple to tie the game 7-7. Ian Baird charged in on a bloop fly ball to make a sliding backhanded grab stemming the Eldo tide until Zach Marquis stepped up and crushed a towering two run home run over right center putting the Eldo on top 9-7.
Tully’s came right back in the bottom of the fourth to score four runs on six hits as the top of their batting order came through just as they have all season long. Judd Mesaris stroked a triple to the opposite field and scored on a base hit by Robyn Estes. Harmer hammered a double off the fence, Meghan Dougherty and Tyler Williams followed with RBI singles and Baird backed his defense up with his bat cracking a RBI ground rule double for an 11-9 Tully’s lead.
Will Browne provided the lone offense for the Eldo in the top of the fifth with a triple off the netting and scoring on a sac fly and Tully’s built on their lead in the bottom of the fifth when the top of the order struck again. Mesaris and Estes drove in a run each and it could have turned ugly had it not been for the work of both Jess Johnson and Jess Ladwig. Johnson made a running grab in left center to rob Harmer of an extra base RBI hit and Ladwig pulled in a line drive at third base to end the inning.
The Tully’s defense held the Eldo scoreless in the top of the sixth inning and then tacked on two more runs to their lead. Williams stretched for a lead off triple and stayed there despite the enthusiastic encouragement from Harmer as third base coach. After siding head first into third, the ball poked loose and Harmer was in Williams’ grill, “You got it! You got it! Get up!” Williams opted to stay and then scored on a single by Emily Barbot.
Johnson came up with another circus catch in shallow center with a running, diving grab to hold the Tully’s runners at bay until Mikey Strauch used all of his former tennis all star power to forehand a RBI double building a 15-10 Tully’s lead.
Down 15-10 with the bottom of the order up to bat, it appeared as if it would take a miracle for the Eldo to come back. After a lead off ground out, Browne and Courtney singled and Sebastian Zurdweg smashed a power bunt base hit to load the bases.
Then came the miracle and then the heroic. Jill Hickey provided the miracle as she connected for a base hit RBI turned three RBI error-assisted triple. Matt Laut pulled the Eldo to within one with a RBI single and the Cashion provided the heroic. With the Eldo down one, with two outs and one runner on, Cashion drove a line drive to straightaway center that just barely cleared the fence for a two run home run putting the Eldo back on top 16-15.
Truth be told though, it would take another miracle to hold off Tully’s as they had Estes leading off in the bottom of the seventh with Harmer on deck, Dougherty in the hole and Williams waiting in the wings. The only real question was, who was going to end up the hero?
Well, it took until Williams to determine that as Estes and Harmer doubled, Dougherty drove in the game-tying run with a single and Williams won it with a ground ball to the first baseman to secure Tully’s the 2013 rec league softball title.
I could bore you with post game interview quotes from the players but I think Estes said it best when she screamed, “We f***ing won it!” while hanging out of a school bus during the Tully’s victory lap down Elk Avenue.