Kegs, derels and profanity…softball in America
by Than Acuff
The Whetstoners faced the Trash Talkers, the Talk of the Town’s “other team,” in a slowpitch softball showdown Tuesday night at Gothic Field and while the Whetstoners are notoriously raucous and the Trash Talkers can be what they say they are, the game was relatively civil.
Even some traveling derel, who has decided Crested Butte is his home for now, was relatively civil, stumbling and babbling, but civil. Amidst his ramblings I did manage to pick up on his motto in life, “Here today, gone tomorrow.”
But I did hear loud and clear what might have been one of the most profound expressions of freedom of speech by another fan at the game, who just happened to be sitting with the aforementioned derel.
Birds of a feather…
At one point during the game, he was upset that he wasn’t playing due to an injury and stated, and I quote, “F**k, F**k, F**kity, F**k, F**k, F**k.”
That’s right, six f-bombs in a row with one accented by the addition of “ity” at the end.
Say it out loud, it does kind of roll off the tongue.
I read once on the wall at the Talk of the Town bathroom that profanity is the crutch of the inarticulate. But I would argue that what that guy said may have been one of the most articulate expressions of one’s feelings, bordering on poetry, really.
His parents would be so proud.
My suggestion, less weed, more Wheaties.
Meanwhile, the Trash Talkers and the Whetstoners were busy battling it out on the diamond at Gothic Field, actually taking the game to extra innings before a winner emerged.
The Trash Talkers set the tone with their first batter, Melvin Seyfried, who turned a routine single into a solo inside the park home run (ITPHR). Brian “Turnah” Turner stretched a single into a triple and Brice Harrell connected for a two-run shot to straightaway center for a 3-0 Trash Talkers lead.
The Whetstoners came right back in their first at bat, scoring two runs off of hits from Alex Mattes-Ritz, Lawson Yow and Chris “Rocky” Durante, but the Trash Talkers’ bats remained hot in the top of the second inning.
Riley Kortz singled, Christine Hawk walked, Seyfried cracked a RBI double to center and Julie Frerichs pushed two more runs home with a single for a 6-2 lead. But the Trash Talkers’ train came to a screeching halt when Whetstoners second basewoman Megan Craver yanked down a line drive from Turner for the third out.
The Whetstoners, being the Whetstoners, never back down from a fight and they responded once again as Rich Driscoll and Mikahla Claussen hit singles and scored on hits from Mattes-Ritz and Barb Winter. Trash Talker catcher Christine Hawk chased down a foul ball behind the plate for a key out and the Trash defense held to maintain a one-run lead heading into the third inning.
The Trash bats picked right back up where they left off as Matt Hart tore the hide off the ball with a powerbunt RBI single, Kortz followed with a RBI base hit and Dave Seymour dropped a RBI single in shallow right field. Harrell then drove another run home with a sac fly RBI and the Trash Talkers were riding a 10-5 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Whetstoners clawed their way back into the game over the next two innings as hits from Michele Fitzgerald and Mattes-Ritz set up Winter for a two-RBI single. Winter tacked on another Whetstoners run with a single in the bottom of the sixth inning, Lawson Yow cracked a RBI triple to right center and Lisa Sumner and Durante combined for two more runs to put the Whetstoners on top 11-10 as it appeared the Trash Talkers were tanking.
But just when things were looking ugly for the Trash Talkers, they rallied when it mattered most. Seyfried came through in the top of the seventh inning with a game-tying RBI double and their defense held tight to force the game into extra innings.
Extra innings ramp up the intensity as each team starts their at bat with a runner on second and every hitter steps to the plate with a full count. One pitch is all you get.
Turner made the most of his one and only pitch in the top of the eighth. After flirting with the fence in right all game long, he finally found the sweet spot to open extra innings with a two-run home run. Molly Reinhardt and Harrell each reached home safely and then Hart watched his one and only pitch fall for a ball to walk and push another run home, giving the Trash Talkers a 14-11 lead with the bottom of the eighth standing between them and the win.
The Whetstoners looked primed to pull it off with Mattes-Ritz on second and Winter walking to put two on with no outs but Hart chased down a line drive in the gap for the grab and fired to second base for a double play and the next batter grounded out as the Trash Talkers held on for the 14-11 win.
Unfortunately, the aforementioned derel missed it all as he spent the eighth inning trying to find his way out of the port-a-john.
“Here today, gone tomorrow.”