by Than Acuff
As I write this early Monday afternoon the tarp throwers have already started staking their claim to real estate on the Center for the Arts field in preparation for the free Leftover Salmon Alpenglow series concert.
This place is blowing up?
It’s really hard to make a left turn across traffic in town these days and it’s only going to get harder as 13,000 people are expected to fill the streets of Crested Butte this Fourth of July. Granted, I probably shouldn’t be driving in town anyway, what with climate change and all, but I feel that if I’m listening to NPR while driving, then it’s okay. I feel I get double carbon offsetting credits when listening to Democracy Now!
The climate in the Tuesday/Thursday league is changing as well, as the Whetstoners appear to be the hottest team in softball right now as the season heads into the Fourth of July break. And by “appears,” I mean I’ve seen them win both games I’ve watched and they unabashedly told me that they are the hottest team in softball right now after taking down the Winehouse Monkeys at Tommy V Field last Thursday for their second win in a row.
I would almost agree with them, too. Fact is, you know things are going your way when your shortstop boots a fairly routine ground ball, literally kicking the ball, and it ends up in the glove of the second baseman standing on the bag for the force out.
And that’s just what happened for the Whetstoners in the top of the first inning and things just continued to roll, bounce and fly their way the entire game.
They followed that up with a couple of Barbwich RBIs as a sac hit from Barb Winter scored one run and Barb Peters knocked in another run with a base hit.
The Winehouse Monkeys got a boost from Pete Basile in the top of the second. Basile brings power and speed to the plate and put both together at once to lead off with a solo inside the park home run (ITPHR).
Shirley Consedine then laid down a big hustle single and then hustled her way home as John Polzin, who brings a little less power and little less speed than Basile, connected for a two run ITPHR down the left field line for a 3-2 Monkey lead.
Then Whetstoner pitcher Rich Driscoll found his zone and would handcuff the Monkey hitters for most of the rest of the game. He lured Tony Wildman into a ground out with a shallow pitch followed by a couple of deep pitches, one of which Wildman swatted at like a… well… wild man. Driscoll then fanned the next two hitters to set the stage for the Whetstoner attack.
Meghan Dougherty led off with an error-assisted double followed by a single from Haysley Rolph. Lawson “Law Dog” Yow pushed one run home, Mikahla Claussen singled and then scored on a two RBI double from Driscoll, Michele Fitzgerald and Winter combined for a couple of hits to score three more Whetstoners and they were out in front 9-3 heading into the third inning.
Michael Ryan, Dan McHale and Basile combined to score a couple more Monkey runs but the Whetstoners kept on coming. Rolph cracked a RBI double and Yow chased her around the bases for a two RBI ITPHR for a 12-5 Whetstoners lead.
Alex Mattes-Ritz joined in the hit and run parade with a two run ITPHR of his own, Rolph and Driscoll continued to punch RBI hits through the infield and then things got completely out of control for the Monkeys.
Basile did connect for a two RBI triple and Consedine and Justine Sanchez pushed a few more Monkeys home but the Whetstoners’ entire batting order, and then some, stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning to knock in 11 runs.
It started, once again, with the Barbwich as Winter and Peters each slapped base hits to score three runs. Yow had his second ITPHR of the game, Fitzgerald and Mattes-Ritz scored three more runs with hits and Winter knocked in another run in her second trip to the plate in the inning for a 27-9 Whetstoner lead and eventual win, putting a close to what was a beautiful sunset.