Pitas Meatsticks takes town league softball title

I ain’t ever heard nuthin’ ‘bout no chi-square test

By Than Acuff

That makes 12 titles for the Pitas franchise between the two leagues. Pitas Meatsticks alone has gone from repeat, to three-peat, to four-peat, to five-peat, to Meat-peat and after winning this latest title, the Pitas franchise is now on the cusp of a Baker’s Dozen.

How weird would it be if Pitas is still winning titles when their first title win shows up in the 20 Years Ago column? 

Not as weird as a duckbilled platypus, that’s for sure. It’s like God just threw that one together. That is if you believe animals were created by God.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 

There is something wrong with having a player in the post-season who has not played the required number of games during the regular season. Rumors of malfeasance circulated prior to the game but hey, some people say “if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.” You know which people say that? People who use the word “ain’t,” and there is something wrong with that.

Turns out there was no cheatin’ going on, it was chalked up to a clerical error. Fact is that the Parks and Rec staff spends countless hours inputting thousands of softball stats and things get missed. In the end, it had no bearing on the outcome of the Tuesday/Thursday softball league finals between Pitas Meatsticks and Elevate on Tuesday, August 8. It came down to one team playing better than the other.

Elevate and Pitas Meatsticks took Gothic Field with some history between them. They had met in the championship game two times prior with each team winning once. They also faced each other twice during the regular season this year and split those games as well.

That said, Elevate was the favorite on paper as they had given up the least amount of runs of any team in the league this season and, as the saying goes, “if you ain’t defensin’, you ain’t winnin.’”

I mean, defense wins titles.

Also, Elevate had the largest point differential coming in at +97, so if you plug those numbers, and others, into your standard chi-square test, Elevate emerges victorious. For those of you who don’t know, a chi-square test is a statistical hypothesis test used in the analysis of contingency tables when the sample sizes are large.

I thought chi was something someone ordered at Camp 4. Turns out this chi is pronounced ki and the Camp 4 chi is spelled chai. I ain’t ever heard that before.

Only problem was that in this application, the chi-square test did not account for the contingency of Elevate missing some key players for the game.

Elevate did appear to shrug off the setbacks to score a quick three runs to open the game, starting off with a walk and RBI base hit by Abby McGee. CJ Hoover’s triple to deep left field scored another run, and Robbie Holleran looked to hit an RBI single when his grounder up the middle smacked off Drew Stichter’s foot. Except, Mallory Zimmerman was another one of those contingencies unaccounted for by the chi-square test as she grabbed the redirected ball out of the air to fire to first for the out. The run still scored, but when a base-running miscue led to a toss out at third by the Pitas defense, Elevate’s opening surge was stopped at three runs.

Pitas Meatsticks soon erased that lead as they responded with three runs in the bottom of the first. Scott Sanders and Stichter each singled and then scored on hits from Rhett Yarbrough and Emily Crooks, and Thomas McLean tied the game with an RBI double to left field.

Elevate bats were silenced in the top of the second and the door was open for Pitas to start building a lead, except Elevate’s defense was equally stingy. It started when Pitas’s leadoff batter stroked a line drive to the gap in right center bound for extra bases. But Holleran did what Holleran does, which is defy physics by sprinting full tilt and laying out fully for the shoestring grab.

Elevate denied the next two hitters and the two teams poked at each other exchanging a modicum of runs over the next two and a half innings. Elevate generated three runs off solo shots from Hoover and Jared Martin and an RBI double from Holleran.

Pitas Meatsticks responded with three runs compliments of a solo home run by Spencer Nowell, a single by Elaina Adams and then a two-run shot by Stichter, and they were all tied up 6-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. 

Defense may win titles, but you still need to score runs, and that’s what Pitas did in the bottom of the sixth, only not how they used to. Rather than small hits followed by big bats, they kept their swings even and scored nine runs off 10 base hits.

Yarbrough and Crooks started it off with a double and a single, and Mike Yeager scored Yarbrough with a single. Heather Cooper then singled to load the bases and Nowell was primed for a grand slam, but instead knocked a two RBI single up the middle.

Scott Sanders then stepped to the plate with the green light to go yard, but came up a foot short hitting an RBI double high off the netting. Both Heather Duryea and Zimmerman then each connected for two RBI doubles and Yarbrough returned to the plate to hit an RBI single for a 15-6 Pitas lead before Elevate finally stopped the bleeding.

There was still a chance for Elevate to pull out a miracle in the top of the seventh inning and climb back into the game, but nine runs are a lot to score against the Pitas defense. While Hoover did connect for a two-run home run, that was that and the Pitas Meatsticks sealed another title for the franchise.

Go figure, defense does win titles, and some offense.

I ain’t surprised.

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