by Than Acuff
What ‘s up with the Whetstoners? They’ve kinda sucked this season. I mean, compared to past years when they were a constant threat to any team, any time, and racked up a title or two. Player Alex Mattes-Ritz says they’re hot and cold and considers the 2016 season a “rebuilding year.”
Well, it appears the Whetstoners suck no more as they took down the second place Eldo with authority Tuesday night at Gothic Field and appear to be “going rubric.”
After dropping two games during the Fourth of July week—granted both losses were to former comp league teams—the Eldo recovered to win their next game and then just barely eked out an 8-7 win over the winless Steep Peeps before losing to the Whetstoners.
It’s a little early to say the Eldo is tanking because they’ve got too much talent to tank and will be in prime form come the playoffs there’s no doubt. But, they certainly cratered against the Whetstoners.
The two teams traded three-run rallies in the opening innings of the game. Hits from Michele Fitzgerald and Barb Winter set up Lawson Yow and Chris Durante for RBI base hits to put the Whetstoners up 3-0.
The Eldo tied it up in the top of the third inning when Sohrob Nimrouzi and Vince Scola each singled, and Carly Webb pushed them home with a double. Jeff Banford then scored Webb with a base hit, but the rally came to an abrupt halt when Banford was thrown out stretching for a double.
Winter and Yow sparked the next Whetstoners rally with base hits and Liz Wigginton and Durante followed with back-to-back RBI doubles. Rich “the Resistor” Driscoll knocked two more runs in with a single for a 7-3 Whetstoner lead. The Eldo threatened to tie it back up in the top of the fourth, putting runners on and in scoring position several times, but only racked up two runs as the Whetstoner defense clamped down.
Durante struck again in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two RBI double and the Whetstoners blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning scoring five runs off of six hits capped by a crushing three-run dinger from Yow… YOWZAH!
The typically solid Driscoll struggled on the mound in the top of the sixth inning as the pouring rain hampered his grip on the softball and the Eldo took full advantage. Jess Ladwig led off with a double, moved to third when Jake Meyer walked and then scored on a sacrifice RBI from Jess Johnson. Patrick Cashion knocked in another run with a sacrifice fly RBI and after Kelli Jones singled, the next three Eldo hitters walked to push home two more runs and pull within five of the Whetstoners.
Feeling a little heat, and fully heckling the Eldo for walking so many times, the Whetstoners responded by tacking on three more runs. Driscoll singled, Megan Craver crushed a powerbunt base hit and Alex Mattes-Ritz and Winter pushed them home with RBI base hits for a 17-9 lead.
Banford closed the game with a solo inside the park home run but the damage was done, and so was the Eldo, as they went out with a whimper to lose 17-10, their third loss in the past six games.