Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Elevate continues onslaught in softball

“What’s more American than…”

by Than Acuff

A long time ago we decided we’d had it with England and decided to do our own thing. They didn’t like that, sent armies over to stop us, but we persevered and eventually won our independence.

Happy Birthday, America!

Every day we enjoy that independence in some fashion, whether you know it or not. Sometimes we abuse that independence and then follow that abuse with the phrase, “What’s more American than…”

I can only answer, ummm nothing.

I know I abuse my independence every week with softball coverage. But… “What’s more American than” softball coverage? And feel-good stories—feel-good stories are pretty darn American and the Elevate softball team is a feel-good story.

It wasn’t much more than five years ago, maybe less, maybe more, that Elevate came into the local softball league and was immediately punched in the face a number of times. I vividly remember one game in particular when it was pouring rain and Elevate had yet to win a single game yet still showed up to lose another game, again, in the pouring rain.

Well, look who’s laughing now.

Elevate is currently undefeated and tied for first place with, statistically speaking, the best defense in the Tuesday/Thursday league. On Tuesday, July 2 they continued to elevate their game when they took down the Dingers 23-4 at Gothic Field. Actually, they didn’t “take down” the Dingers. They destroyed the Dingers.

The Dingers may be the next Elevate in five years, or more. The team is rumored to have started from a Facebook post on one of the Marketplace forums by someone looking for players to form a team bent on taking down Pitas. With that in mind, a little cohesion is lacking as they were pieced together just in time for the 2019 season.

Regardless, there they were on Tuesday not taking down Elevate. And who can blame them as Elevate opened the game with not one, not two, but three home runs in the top of the first inning. Yan Linero, CJ Hoover and Spencer Bates all went yard, solo shots all of them, but still yard. And “What’s more American than” going yard?

Mikaela Johnson and Jared Martin peppered some base hits in there, Ashley Jackson III popped a two RBI double and Heather Theiss knocked in another Elevate run with a single for a 6-0 Elevate lead.

The Dingers did have a small answer to the initial Elevate onslaught as Brent Chambers doubled, Halston Gage singled and Ryan “Oh Canada” Kay drove one run in with a sacrifice fly RBI.

JD Shobe did come up with some stellar defense for the Dingers in the top of the second inning when he made a running shoestring grab to rob Hoover of an RBI base hit but that merely set up Spencer Bates two batters later to jack a three-run home run, their fourth and final allowed home run of the game just two innings into the contest.

Typically, reaching your home run limit so early is a bad thing, especially when three of them were solo shots, but it did nothing to really affect the outcome of this particular game.

The Dingers did score another run when Jake Nelson connected for a RBI single in the bottom of the second inning but Elevate came right back to knock in six more runs on hits from Johnson, Martin, Jackson, Kelly Jones and Becca Pavlik.

The beating continued into the sixth inning as Elevate tacked on three more runs. Theiss and Linero singled and Hoover drove them home with two RBI triple. A testament to Elevate’s new attitude was shining bright on this particular play as Theiss slid into home—and by slid I mean tripped and stumbled, but still willing to get dirty for runs.

And “What’s more American than” gettin’ dirty?

At this point, if you haven’t been doing the math, it’s a lot to a little and the Dingers are just trying to get through the evening without completely imploding. Kay and Shobe each did punch a solo shot over the fence and there was some confusion on one particular play when a grounder looked to be a double play, only to not be a double play and a run scored. And while that kind of confusion would typically cause consternation, it did not as it appeared that no one seemed to care anymore.

Eventually, the game ended and Elevate had their eighth win in a row but it is my sincere hope that the Dingers stick it out this season. I mean, what if the colonists had quit? We’d be driving on the left side of the street and instead of needing three right turns to make a left in town these days, we’d need three lefts to make a right.

And “What’s more American than” driving?

Ummm, nothing.

Happy Fourth of July.

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