Playoffs fast and furious
There are two seasons in softball: the regular season and the post season.
The competitive league playoffs opened Monday, August 4 (I can’t believe it’s already August) without any major surprises.
The Wildbunch advanced with a forfeit win over Josephines only to lose to the first-seeded Isotopes and drop down into the loser’s bracket.
The LoBar showed up for their first playoff game against the Talk of the Town with just eight players. Yet, despite the short roster, they managed to cruise to a fairly easy win, sending the Talk into the loser’s bracket.
The Airheads edged out a 10-8 win over Tongue & Groovers at Pitsker Field and the Last Steep decimated the Black Holes 35-3 in their opening round game, building some offensive—and I mean offensive—momentum for the post season.
35-3? Where do I begin?
Well, let’s start with the first inning as the Last Steep retired the Black Holes 1-2-3 in the top of the first and proceeded to score 14 runs in the bottom of the first.
Black Holes pitcher Abe Fisher was throwing everything at the Last Steep hitters. Fisher worked, or at least tried to work, every bit of the plate with every spin on the ball possible, including a knuckle ball with absolutely no rotation whatsoever—but it didn’t matter. The Last Steep hitters were on fire.
Jeff Banford led off with a stand-up triple and scored on a base hit by Amy Shellenberger. Andrea Schultz and Josh Schumacher connected for RBI base hits and Rhett Yarborough knocked in two runs with a bases-loaded single. But the offensive highlight of the inning came from Jerry Heal.
With his nephew, Wyatt, standing by in the drizzling rain, Heal stepped to the plate with two runners on and crushed a three-run shot over the right field fence, much to the delight of his family.
The Great Bambino of local softball delivered. It was like something out of a Disney movie. Except, it wasn’t the game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth that ultimately cured the terminally ill child listening to the radio broadcast from his hospital bed.
Actually it gave the Last Steep an 8-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and allowed Heal’s family to head elsewhere and get out of the rain.
Yarborough pushed in two more runs in his second trip to the plate of the inning with a triple and the Last Steep was comfortably on top 14-0 at the close of the first inning.
Fisher led off the top of the second inning with a stand-up triple and scored on a sacrifice hit from Hannah Godwin to give the Black Holes a run.
But a run still left the Black Holes 13 runs shy of a tie and the Last Steep continued on its tirade in the bottom of the second inning to go up 17-1.
The Black Holes scored two more runs in the top of the third inning as Josh Egedy and Paul Holder tapped base hits and Eric Dishman pushed them in with a line drive.
An opposite field RBI double by Rose Reyes gave the Last Steep a 21-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, at which point the game just got ugly, or uglier.
Heal tagged a solo home run to lead off in the bottom of the fifth inning and Michael Blunck drained a three-run shot to straightaway center.
Plays on defense by Holder, Egedy and Gracie Coburn proved that no matter what the score, the Black Holes would not give in, so the Last Steep persisted to hammer away at them.
It got downright cruel in the bottom of the sixth inning when Blunck, Schumacher and Yarborough all connected for inside the park home runs to score eight more runs, closing the 35-3 win for the Last Steep.