RIP Bill Dickerson
by Than Acuff
With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, people are, once again, walking on eggshells. Just as we were getting comfortable with the new way of life, or at least coming to terms with it, that new way of life may disappear as we all get sent back to our rooms with no dessert for not learning our lesson.
Therefore, Kelly McGuire reminded her Talk of the Town teammates prior to their game Tuesday night against the Pitas Meatsticks that it might be their last game as we are now flirting with Yellow on the Coronameter.
And while Yellow, if I’m reading the meter right, doesn’t mean an end to softball, it’s one step away from Orange, which does mean an end to softball, and mandated homeschooling. So, for the health and safety of my child, and my sanity (because it is all about me), wear your mask.
But until then, softball continues and the Talk of the Town and Pitas Meatsticks battled through five and a half innings before the Meatsticks edged out a 15-14 win.
At least some things remain the same. Just when you think you got Pitas, they rally and take it all back.
The Talk of the Town jumped out to 7-0 lead in the top of the first as Garrett McBride set the tone with a lead-off double. Brian Kunes drove him home with a single, Kelly McGuire and Erik Ervin combined for two hits and a run and Courtney Bock upped the ante with a two-RBI single. Mike Spradlin’s powerbunt single added a fifth run and then Hollywood drove two more in with a base hit, only to shoot himself in the foot, getting tossed out stretching for two and ending the Talk’s run.
The Meatsticks’ top of the order responded immediately in the bottom of the first as Thomas McLean led off with a triple and scored off a hit from Emily Crooks. Drew Stichter followed with a single but the Talk defense turned a 6-4-3 double play to slow the Meatsticks down. Bryan Densmore did take a moment to drive a solo shot off of Town Hall before the Talk closed out the inning.
Mariko Kusaka got the Talk back on the scoring track in the top of the second inning with a RBI single to left and McGuire and Ervin combined again for two base hits to drive in two runs, and just when the Talk was looking good up 10-3, Pitas did what they’ve always done—they came back.
Melissa Mason, McLean and Crooks all singled to load the bases and Stichter scored all three with a double to right center. Heather Cooper singled and then scored as Densmore crushed his second dinger of the night to centerfield to cut the Talk’s lead down to one run.
The Talk tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the third inning and their defense tightened up a bit, including a diving grab by Robbie Vandervoort to make up for his batting miscue earlier in the game, but the Meatsticks refused to give up. Crooks tapped a RBI single to left center and then Stichter stroked a two-RBI double to tie the game 12-12 heading into the fourth inning.
But the Talk refused to roll over as well and when Kunes, Ervin Bok and Vandervoort rattled off a series of base hits, the Talk was back on top 14-12.
Both teams’ bats fell silent their next time at the plate but when Lisa Vukovich connected for a single in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Meatsticks came back to life.
Roland Mason stepped up to the plate to tie the game with a two-RBI double off the netting in left center and McLean connected for a RBI single to score Mason for a 15-14 Pitas lead.
The Talk had one more shot, and like the good old days of Jaeger shots, or Rumpleminze shots, or Goldschlager shots compliments of Dickerson, that final shot didn’t sit well, as the Talk failed to score, falling to Pitas 15-14.