Talk takes down Airheads following controversial infield fly ruling

Know your infield fly rule

Apparently the summer heat is taking its toll on people in the valley, with news spreading about two confrontations, one major and one minor, on the softball fields last week.
The minor one involved an umpire and player, with insults flying and a player ejected. The major one involved actual fisticuffs on the field between two opposing players.
I’m not going to name any names but, c’mon people. Back when it was snowing in May you were whining about the weather and now that it’s a little hot, you’re brawling?
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed Monday night when necessary, and the Talk of the Town came from behind to defeat the Airheads 10-9 in the bottom of the seventh inning at Tommy V Field.
As I mentioned before, the new Tommy V Field is expansive, a hitter’s park. That fact became blatantly obvious on Monday night as the two teams combined for three inside-the-park home runs (ITPHR).
The first ITPHR strike of the night came from Bruce Winchenbach in the top of the first inning. Lauren Alkire reached first on a single up the middle and Winchenbach chased her home when he crushed a deep fly ball to the gap in right center for the two-run ITPHR.
Two hitters later Cole Stanford put in his bid for a solo ITPHR, jacking a shot to the same spot. Talk outfielder Brent Laney chased the ball down and hit cutoff man Patrick Henry Cashion in shallow right. Cashion turned and fired home to catcher Annie LeClair at the plate and LeClair stretched for the sno-cone grab to deny Stanford the run by half of a step.
Jesse Banks added a third run to the Airheads lead in the top of the second inning with a solo ITPHR. Banks, formerly known as Jesse “I hit the bank” Banks, has the power to go long, and does, often earning a himself a slow trot around the bases.
Monday night Banks proved he’s got some wheels as well, wheels relative to his size that is, when he cracked a deep shot to the fence in left field and turned a stand up double into an ITPHR.
Talk franchise player and certified Crested Butte local Eric “Turbo” Ervin returned the favor in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game 3-3. Jocelyn Wallace and Cashion tapped singles and Turbo cleared the bases with a three-run ITPHR.
An error-assisted power bunt double from Shannon White helped spark a six-run rally by the Airheads in the top of the third.
Winchenbach knocked in two runs, the Stanford family connected for back-to-back RBI base hits and Dalynn Trujillo smacked a RBI double to put the Airheads op top 9-3.
Still, no lead is safe at Tommy V as the Talk proceeded to clamp down on defense and chip away at the Airheads lead.
Laney and Kristi Miller opened the bottom of the fifth with base hits and scored on a double to right by Rice Owens. Scott “Scooter” Isensee added two more runs to the Talk comeback with a single and the Talk were on pace to take the lead with a runner on first and one out.
Wallace tapped a grounder to short and Dave White, as he so often does, scooped it up, tapped second base and fired to first for the inning-ending 6-3 double play stopping the Talk in their tracks.
Down but not out, the Talk recovered from the disappointment to continue their defensive stand in the next two innings, holding the Airheads to their slim two-run lead. Miller snagged a line drive down the first base line highlighting the Talk’s efforts in the field and setting them up for one last chance in the bottom of the seventh inning, aka last call.
Laney led off with a single and Owens drove him home with a base hit up the middle to pull the Talk within one run with no outs.
Priscilla Banks tapped a fielder’s choice RBI single to tie the game 9-9, and then reached second on a single from Scooter.
The game came to a head on the next play as Wallace popped a fly ball between first and second base. With runners on first and second and one out, the infield fly rule was in effect and the batter was out, but, the runners are free to advance at their own free will. If the ball is caught they can tag up and run. If the ball is dropped they can just flat-out run. As it turned out, the ball was dropped and Banks started running and scored from second base to win the game for the Talk of the Town.
A “discussion” ensued but, fortunately, umpire Tony Wildman was in a similar situation a week before, was shown the rule and was 100 percent correct in his call that the run scores and the game was over.

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