AC Tile hands Gray Hares sound defeat

No love for the local slow pitch royalty

Let’s start with the good news. The Gray Hares secured their first win of the season already when they defeated Poo Fest 15-5 last week.



Typically, it takes until the waning weeks of the season for the Gray Hares to put together their annual win, but this year they’ve got one in the bag and could end up with more.
For those of you who don’t know who the Gray Hares are, they are a “veteran” crew of softball enthusiasts that pull themselves and their team together every summer to compete in rec league slow pitch softball.
They are always the first ones out on the fields for spring training gearing up for another summer of slow pitch.
They’re “veteran” in so far as they are veterans of life. With a majority of their players 60+ in age, they’ve seen it all. In fact pitcher Sam Lumb was sheriff of Crested Butte when the streets were still dirt and a majority of the current softball players were still in diapers.
Other Gray Hares have slipped comfortably into retirement in Crested Butte after putting their noses to the grindstone for most of their lives in the “real world” working for companies such as Colgate and RJ Reynolds and are now active Rotarians in the Gunnison Valley.
They’ve been there, done that. From Rosa Parks to Barack Obama, “keen” to “sick,” the original Dodge Charger to the latest remake of the Dodge Charger, “A day that will live in infamy,” “Ask not what your country can do for you…,” “I am not a crook,” “Tear down that wall,” “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” “I’m the decider,” etc. etc.
With a win under their belt, the Gray Hares took to the field Thursday night at Gothic Field on a roll and fired up—well as fired up as the Gray Hares can get—to take down AC Tile.
AC Tile, nicknamed the OverKochevars, splintered off from the UnderKochevars from last year to form their own team under the guidance of Mark Bortolin, bringing with him pitcher and slow pitch steeze aficionado Charles D. Bond Jr., aka Bondo, as well as a variety of former UnderKochevars who are looking to step it up a bit more and perhaps make a run at the rec league title.
The move appears to have worked. As of Friday, AC Tile was sitting in third place with a record of 4-1 and the UnderKochevars were in sixth place with a record of 1-4.
Here’s the thing though: You can make that run for the rec league title all you want, but it’s rec league, and that needs to be remembered when facing a team such as the Gray Hares.
Nevertheless, AC Tile was on a mission from the first inning to the last stretching for extra bases and sending runners home at will, enroute to a 21-1 win.
The Gray Hares opened hot in the top of the first as Kathy Cannon walked, and singles from Lumb and Jen Hartman loaded the bases for Don Bunnell.
Bunnell connected for an RBI, fielder’s choice single to put the Gray Hares on top 1-0 but AC Tile returned the favor in the bottom of the first inning and then some.
Melvin Seyfried led off with a double and scored. A base hit by Jennee West loaded the bases and Bortolin pushed two more runs across with a single to center.
AC Tile continued to spray the field with base hits— it could have been worse had it not been for some standout defense from the Gray Hares.
Bunnell scooped a ground ball to third and tagged the runner and Kathy Cannon charged on a line drive to gather the short hop base hit to left center and fired to third for the tag out by Bunnell.
Lumb is always masterful on the mound with his unique delivery of step right, throw right technique, then struck out the next batter to end the inning and hold AC Tile at seven runs.
Bondo worked some of his own magic on the mound as well, striking out one batter in the top of the second and the AC Tile defense did the rest to retire the side.
The Gray Hares defense found their bearings after the first inning holding AC Tile scoreless the next three innings.
Despite the distraction of his daughter’s wedding in two days, Don Haver was focused enough out in left field backpedaling on a deep fly ball to make a falling grab.
Hartman flagged down a line drive at short with runners on to end one inning and Lumb did the same on the mound in the next inning to hold the AC Tile offense in check.
But it was just a matter of time before AC Tile got their offense rolling. They possess all the necessary ingredients for slow pitch success at the plate with power from the men, power and consistency from the women and speed all around.
They proved their ilk in the bottom of the fourth connecting for eight base hits to score seven more runs.
Julie Frerichs opened the rally with a lead off single. Another base hit put two runners on for Ashley Fetterman and she delivered stroking a two RBI double.
Gray Hare catcher Linda Hebert offered some temporary relief from the pounding, chasing down a foul ball for the grab but it was only temporary as AC Tile continued to pour it on.
Bondo backed his pitching up with his bat crushing a two RBI triple and Katrina Birdsall finished the rally with a two RBI single and a 14-1 AC Tile lead.
AC Tile then tacked on seven more runs over the course of the next two innings for the 21-1 win.

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