Official champions of the unofficial rec “leauge”
by Than Acuff
Let’s go back to last year when the Avalanche made a historic run at the softball title, much like the quest of the Predators for the Stanley Cup, only to fall short in the championship game, losing to Pita’s OG.
The subsequent trophy was handed to Pita’s for their title and the celebration began and, my guess is, lasted well into the night.
Despite the outcome of the championship game of the softball league last year, somehow, some way, the Avalanche ended up with a trophy as well and proudly displayed it at their game against the Eldo Thursday night.
According to the trophy, the Avalanche is the 2016 rec league champs, or rather, “rec leauge” champs, as it reads on the trophy.
Problem is, there was no rec league last year, not even a “rec leauge.” But trophies aren’t just handed out to anyone, they must be earned. I mean, it’s not like you can go online or walk into a trophy store and order up a trophy that says you are the champs, can you?
That would be crazy. And who would do such a thing?
So, with that in mind, the defending “rec leauge” champions took the field Thursday evening to face the Eldo and it appears that the Avalanche has carried their winning ways into 2017 as they handed the Eldo a resounding 26-9 thumping and are tied for first place after one week of play.
Granted, the Eldo was a few players short of a full roster and therefore had only two in the outfield and were forced to take a number of automatic outs due to a lack of women. Which is also strange because the Eldo is always crawling with women. I mean, it’s not just a bar where local dudes go to drink, is it?
All kidding aside, the Eldo being short on players is an anomaly for certain. They are notorious for having a full squad, almost two full squads, at every game. But it’s early in the season and there’s plenty of time for the Eldo to bolster their numbers.
All of that said, it took a while for the Avalanche to pull it together as they were noticeably overthinking at the plate, trying to take advantage of the gaps. Michael Blunck didn’t have to think at all in his first at bat. While there was a lot of green in the outfield, Blunck kept it simple, crushing a solo shot over the centerfield fence.
The Eldo came right back in the bottom of the first as singles from Mikaela Johnson and Will and Kelli Jones loaded the bases for Will Browne. Browne delivered with a two-RBI double to left and the Eldo was chugging. That is, until the Avalanche defense turned a grounder into a 5-3-2 double play to close the inning.
The Avalanche continued to struggle at the plate through the third inning as the Eldo women in the infield made play after play on ground balls to stymie even the best Avalanche hitters. The Eldo then opened up the game in the bottom of the third, rattling off four runs. Joey Reed led off with an error-assisted triple and scored off a single by Johnson. The Joneses followed with back-to-back base hits to score another run, Mel Yemma tapped a grounder-turned-RBI triple and Kevin Williams capped the rally with a RBI single for a 6-1 Eldo lead before automatic outs due to a lack of players ended the inning.
The Avalanche finally pulled their bats out of their asses and started hitting, taking full advantage of the Eldo’s lack of fielders. Sam Reaman led off with a double, Adrienne Weil pushed him home with a single, Blunck doubled and Mikey Weil drove the ball high off the netting in left for another Avalanche run. A couple of walks and a base hit later, Reaman returned to the plate with the bases loaded and found the massive gap in deep right field for a grand slam inside the park home run (ITPHR) to put the Avalanche on top 10-6.
The Avalanche defense finally woke up as well to hold the Eldo scoreless in the bottom of the fourth and returned to their hitting ways in the top of the fifth to score seven more runs.
The pummeling continued in the top of the sixth inning, capped by a three-run ITPHR from Ralph Lundi. The Avalanche tacked on three more runs in the top of the seventh inning to go up 26-6, but the Eldo had the final say, or rather Browne had the finally say, as he crushed a three-run home run over the centerfield fence but it was way too little, way too late, falling 26-9 to the reigning “rec leauge” champs.