Rise up and pledge!
[ by Than Acuff ]
For the first time since I can remember, the Rasta Hairnets actually have a player on their team with dreads. Not that it matters because as we all know, “it’s not the dread upon your head, but the love inna your heart, that mek ya Rastaman.”
With that said, the Rasta Hairnets showed their love for the game of softball in the opening round of the Wednesday league playoffs winning 8-1 over KBUT on Wednesday, July 21 at Pitsker Field.
Much like the Hares the week prior, if the Rastas can play like they did that night in every playoff game, they have a legitimate shot at the Wednesday league title, if the Rainbow Unicorns weren’t in the Wednesday league that is, or so I’ve heard. But we will find those elusive Unicorns later when I see them in the Wednesday league title game.
But before we go there, the Rasta Hairnets were good that particular evening while KBUT was not as good. They were not their usual selves, missing a few key players and perhaps distracted by the current pledge/membership summer drive going on right now and the Hairnets made the most of it.
The Hairnets were slow and steady in their offensive attack through the first two innings as KBUT’s defense proved “butt tight.” Thomas McLean and Emily Crooks combined for hits to score the Hairnets’ first run and then Chase Sprayberry and Hannah Valian each tapped hits for a second Hairnet run in the bottom of the second inning.
Meanwhile, the KBUT bats proved nearly non-existent until Lizzie Plotkin led off the top of the third with a big effort to reach first on an infield grounder. Sonny Burgess and Will Dujardin followed with singles to then load the bases priming the KBUT pump for some runs. Unfortunately for them, the next batter knocked a grounder up the middle and Sprayberry scooped it up on the mound and turned immediately to initiate a 1-6-3 double play stopping KBUT in its tracks.
The Rasta defense sparked some Hairnet offense as they stepped to the plate in the bottom of the third inning to rack up five more runs. Crooks and RJ Spinella started it off with a couple of hits to score a run, Lynn Moore and Lucas McMullen did the same for a 4-0 Hairnet lead and then Sprayberry drove two more in with a double and Valian finished it off with a RBI single and a 7-0 Hairnet lead.
KBUT looked solid to start once again at the plate in the top of the fourth inning. Phil Dujardin, Heather Heinze and Steve Daniels all knocked base hits and KBUT had two on with one out but soon stumbled once again due in part to the work of Hairnet shortstop Johnny Green. Green chased down a pop up to shallow left to keep the runners in place and then continued his sixth sense defense with a diving grab to rob Austin Davis of a base hit leaving KBUT scoreless once again.
The Hairnets added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when Henry Dixon led off with a single and eventually scored on yet another RBI base hit from Valian.
KBUT made one last charge at the Hairnets in the top of the sixth inning as hits from Burgess and Dujardin and a walk had the bases loaded with no outs. But Green’s sixth sense defense came through once again as he made another leaping grab and fired to second for the double play. KBUT did manage to score during the play but a pop out then ended the inning and the Hairnets shuffled their way through the final inning for the 8-1 win.
By the time you read this, some teams will have lost their second playoff game and therefore eliminated but the post season action continues with “loser’s bracket” semifinals set for Wednesday, August 4, additional semifinal showdowns on Wednesday, August 11 and the championship game set for Wednesday, August 18 at 5 p.m. on Gothic Field.