Sunday, August 25, 2019

Hares hand short-sided Whetstoners a tough loss

Skimo to Shambhala

by Than Acuff

We got some new entries to my ongoing favorite bumper sticker contest.

Skimo is neither.

The stick figure humping the word It.

Don’t Make Me Violate My Parole.

For reference, that last one about parole was placed right above another bumper sticker that said, I My Wife. She must be so proud of her felonious life partner.

“I’m gonna wait for you dear, I love youuuuuu!”

In other news, the Boulder Shambhala Center is a cultural institution dedicated to humanity’s expansive embodiment of bravery, compassion and profound confidence in basic goodness.

The Boulder Shambhala Center is also facing charges of Catholic priest proportions.

Putting the sham in Shambhala.

Ommmmm…ommmmm…ommmmy God what do you think you’re doing?

I think one may want to avoid “the road to shambhala.”

On Thursday, the Whetstoners showed up to face the Hares two players short of a full squad and suffered accordingly.

A couple of the Whetstoner players pointed out that the doubleheader they played two days prior had taken its toll on the team. I had no idea softball could be so tough.

Truth be told, I’m sure it was “life” interrupting their season rather than doubleheader fatigue. The umpire at the game mentioned that one potential reason for player attrition is in line with the current economic situation of our community whereby locals can’t afford to live in town anymore. Therefore, rather than walk to the games, drink and then walk home, they must drive to the games and then cannot drink because they have to drive home.

I dig that responsible attitude toward drinking and driving, certainly a big difference from back in the day when Pops would have numerous Bloody Marys and a couple of Black Labels in his system by the end of the Colts game (Baltimore Colts, that is) and then proceed to drive back to D.C. that evening. His one classic traffic move, which he pulled off every Sunday without repercussions, when leaving the Colts game was to drive up to the police officer waving the line of cars to turn right and he would fake right and then turn left and we were on the road to D.C. well ahead of everyone else. A little move he picked up watching Lydell Mitchell play, I guess.

Regardless, that theory pitched by the umpire resonated with me and I would call on the town of Crested Butte and even Gunnison County to create affordable housing in town for locals to save local softball.

While current affordable housing efforts have a litany of requirements that include you earn a certain percentage of your income in Gunnison County, have lived in Gunnison County for five of the last seven years, among other prerequisites, the requirements for this new housing plan would be simple.

Do you play softball?

Do you intend to continue to play softball?

Do you drink?

Done and done.

As I was saying, the Whetstoners were two players short of a full squad and suffered accordingly at the hands of the Hares.

The Hares set the tone early in the game as they turned a 6-4-3 double play in the top of the first inning and followed that with five runs in the bottom of the first as doubles from the two Franks, Pavkov and Stichter, and a two-run inside the park home run (ITPHR) from Joseph Draper pushed in the five runs.

The Whetstoners came back with three runs off hits from Rich Driscoll and Michele Fitzgerald and when they pulled off a 6-3-6 fence assist double play in the bottom of the second inning, it looked like we had ourselves a game, until we didn’t.

The Hares then caught fire in the bottom of the third inning, rattling off eight base hits to drive in six runs.

Don Bunnell opened it up with a single up the middle. A walk and another base hit loaded the bases and Pavkov cracked a three-RBI double. Nick Rodell followed with a two-run ITPHR and the Hares were hustling.

Zach Matthias charged in on a bloop hit for a running grab in shallow left to deny another Hare hit but additional base hits put Hares on the pond and Sam Lumb came through with a clean RBI single to center and an 11-3 Hares lead.

Hares defense continued to hold the Stoners at bay and when the Hares returned to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning, they tacked on five more runs. Katie Johnston singled and scored on a sac fly RBI from Bunnell. Pavkov continued his one-man automatic at the plate ways with another RBI double, Rodell and Stichter each struck again with RBI hits and by the fifth inning the Hares were up 16-3 and the Whetstoner first-basewoman turned to me and said, “You can go if you want and I will call you later and tell you what happened.”

But the Whetstoners are the Whetstoners, which means nothing other than a segue into the next change in action.

That is, they are always capable of a comeback and they started to turn things around in the bottom of the fifth with their defense, specifically Fitzgerald’s defense. Fitzgerald chased down on a deep fly ball to the right to make the grab at the warning track and then backed up her teammate in right center to grab the ball and fire to second base for a force-out. The Whetstoners then turned the third out and stepped to the plate in the top of the sixth inning to mount their comeback.

A series of base hits loaded the bases for Pete Basile. Basile had been quiet all night at the plate but came through this time driving a two RBI double to right field. Barb Peters connected for a RBI single, Matthias did the same, Driscoll singled to load the bases and Fitzgerald connected for a two-RBI double to pull the Whetstoners back to within seven runs.

Ultimately though, the Whetstoners needed to do all of that earlier in the game, and more of it, and while they added two more runs in the top of the seventh inning, the Hares remained in control to close out the 16-11 win.

Speaking of housing, does anyone think it’s weird that the road into Aperture is called Pyramid Avenue?

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