“We won the ice, we’re here to take the dirt”
[ by Than Acuff ]
For the first time ever in local sports, a franchise is looking to take titles in both town league hockey and town league softball.
You may recall this past winter Kochevar’s won the town league hockey title utilizing youth and bravado as their key ingredients for success.
Many of those same players are on the newest addition to the town league softball ranks, the Lords of Dirt, and they’re on a mission.
“We won the ice, we’re here to take the dirt,” exclaimed Lords of Dirt director of communications Mick Osmundson prior to their game against the Rastas Wednesday night.
That confidence carried them through most of their first game of softball but, in the end, the Rastas felt it necessary to remind them that softball requires more than just youth and bravado. Staying power is equally important and the Rastas bided their time throughout the game before making a late game surge to edge out a 13-12 win in extra innings.
The first inning provided some insight into the ability of the Lords of Dirt as they proved adept both on defense and on offense. Highlight worthy efforts by both Robbie Holleran and Davis Collins in the field held the Rastas to one run in the top of the first while hits from Hunter and Isabel Lucas, Jake Sunter and Rachael Finlin in the bottom of the first led to a 4-1 Lords of Dirt lead.
They continued to tack on runs in the bottom of the second inning when Sam Evans stroked a stand-up triple, Katie Mckernan a single and Holleran drove both home with a deep shot to right field for a 6-1 lead. Unfortunately, Holleran’s hubris led to lesson one for the Lords of Dirt as the Rastas executed a near perfect relay from the outfield to deny Holleran’s sprint for home.
Things started to turn in the Rasta’s favor in the top of the fourth when Chase Sprayberry turned a high fly ball to right field into an inside the park home run. Morgan Kelsey then doubled in the top of the fifth and scored on a RBI hit by Ryan Carroll and a hit by Raven Bryson turned into a two RBI double, assisted by some Lords of Dirt defensive chaos. Sprayberry retuned to the plate and knocked a two RBI double and when Lynn Moore dropped a RBI single in shallow right field, the Rastas were on top 8-7.
The Lords of Dirt refused to panic though as RBI hits from Mike Molaison, Isaac Evans and Colin Dill had them back in the lead heading into the seventh inning.
The Rastas responded to tie it up 11-11 in the top of the seventh inning and when the Lords of Dirt left ducks on the pond in their last at bat, the game headed into extra innings.
Patience at the plate and an out of body effort from Sprayberry then sealed the win for the Rastas. A succession of walks helped the Rastas to a 13-11 lead in the top of the eighth and then Sprayberry took one of the hardest hit balls ever off his midsection on the mound. Sprayberry still made the throw to first for the out before collapsing in a heap of hurt. Hunter Lucas did push on Lord of Dirt home to tempt victory, but the Rasta defense turned the final out with the bases loaded for the 13-12 win.