By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
Some outstanding glovework by center-fielders Jenni Brandt of the Shoe Crew and Abby Rottier of Airport were the highlights of coed softball action at Moore Barn Memorial Monday night.
In game one, the Shoe Crew (2-6) upset Kim’s Barrel Inn (4-4), 10-8, and in the nightcap, Airport Bar remained undefeated (8-0) by sneaking past the Sloppy Swats (4-4), 7-3.
The Crew unveiled their spiffy new black jerseys made by Tom LaBoda which featured “A Boy Named Shoe” Shoe Crew on the front. The Crew jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first with three runs on singles by Melissa Dombrowski, Andy Horst, Jenni Brandt, Joe Kinsella, and Jared Shilka’s double. Shilka also made some great plays at short. All KBI could muster in the first three frames was a double by Nic Dulmes.
Two more runs crossed the plate for the winners in the second inning when Max DeLap, winning pitcher Kyle Norwood, Andy Horst, and Jenni Brandt each singled. They added two more runs in the fourth when Norwood and Horst both doubled. Norwood scored on Horst’s two-bagger and Horst came home when Joe Kinsella hit a sac fly.
The Barrel finally got on the board in the fourth when Jazmin Soto singled and Bobby Sullivan went deep over the centerfield flagpole. The Crew stymied two potential KBI rallies earlier when Jenni Brandt robbed Sullivan on a long flyball in the second and then Brandt made a terrific catch of Danielle Hoover’s wicked liner in the third.
The Crew’s final run (its tenth) came in the seventh when Amber Hintz singled and came around on walks. KBI made it close in the fifth by picking up four markers on Ashlee Leidall’s walk, a double by Nic Dulmes, Danielle Hoover’s single, Jake Mortimer’s triple, and Jazmin Soto’s base hit.
Trailing 10-6 and coming to bat in the bottom of the seventh, Dulmes homered and Jake Mortimer singled and scored but it was too little too late and Morgan Oppor lined out to Jared Shilka to end the battle.
The Crew’s manager Kyle Norwood commented, “If I had to pick the MVP, I’d say it’s either Jared Shilka or Jenni Brandt. They were both awesome in the field and at the plate.
Second baseman Amber Hintz noted, “Jenni was terrific out there in center,” while shortstop Shilka said, “I think it was the new shirts. Amber put ‘Chipmunk’ on hers and it seemed to inspire us.”
The Crew came up with 17 hits while KBI only had 10.
Time of Game; 56 minutes.
SHOE CREW STATS: Kyle Norwood: single, double, walk; Melissa Dombrowski: single, walk; Andy Horst: two singles, double; Jenni Brandt: two singles; (Kyle Norwood said: “Two-thirds of the world is covered by water. The rest is covered by Jenni Brandt”.); Joe Kinsella: two singles; Jared Shilka: 3 singles, double; Amber “Chipmunk” Hintz: two singles; Max DeLap: single, walk.
KIM’S BARREL INN STATS: Nic Dulmes: two doubles, solo homer in seventh; Danielle Hoover: single; Jake Mortimer: triple, single; Jazmin Soto: two singles; Bobby Sullivan: two-run dinger in fourth, single; Morgan Oppor: single; Jack Mortimer: walk; Megan Pollack: walk; Ashlee Leidall: walk.
The second game had some big-time drama. The Sloppy Swats could only manage 10 hits against Airport’s James Marthaler, and nine of them were singles. They only got two runners as far as second base in the first four innings. In the top of the fifth, the Swats seemed primed for a big inning.
Brady Spees belted one in the left-center gap that had “triple” written all over it but Abby Rottier came up with an outstanding diving catch to snare the ball and rob Brady. The Swats did go on to have three runners cross the plate thanks to two walks and singles by Jake Roy, Rachel Graves and Pat Scheele.
Airport celebrated right-fielder Adam Lee’s 25th birthday with a run in the first courtesy of singles by Abby Rottier, Adam Lee, and Kyle Brooks. They added a couple more in the second stanza on singles by Kim Schmitz, Kyle Krieger, Rottier, and Lee. Airport’s fourth run came in the third when Kyle Brooks doubled and raced in on Marthaler’s single.
The Swats Pat Scheele noted, “It really was a defensive battle. We pulled off a couple of double plays, but their centerfielder (Rottier), gal at third (Stefanie Jackson), and shortstop (Josh Swan) caught everything we hit.”
Then came the drama. Airport led, 4-3. It was still 4-3 after the Swats batted in the top of the sixth. Then came the fun. Airport at bat … up by one … two outs … Swan on first … Kim Schmitz up … Kim lined one right down the third-base line (right in the sun). The umpire called it a fair ball. Some say it was about a foot fair. But Swat’s third-baseman Nate Pezewski disagreed, and in his
opinion it was foul by a foot. The ump’s call stood, and Swan then scored a big run on Kyle Krieger’s solid single to center. Then Abby Rottier drove in two more insurance runs with a booming triple to left.
Trailing 7-3 in the seventh, the Swats got a couple of runners on but nice plays by Swan and Jackson stemmed the tide.
“I though Cody Tokarski made the right call there,” Base umpire Jesse “The Legend” Higgins said. “That ball looked fair.”
“I thought it dropped right inside the line,” Kim Schmitz added.
When you get right down to it, there’s about 30 million Chinese who could care less if that ball was fair or foul, and Airport escaped with another victory.
SLOPPY SWATS STATS: Jake Roy: three singles; Rachel Graves: two singles; Pat Scheele: single; Tracy Mixa: single; Matt Barden: single (found another pair of sunglasses in dugout); Brady Spees: triple; Nate Pezewski: walk, single; Kelly Barden: walk; good catch at catcher.
AIRPORT BAR: Abby Rottier: two singles, triple; Adam Lee: two singles; 25th birthday); Kyle Brooks: single, double; James Marthaler: two singles; Kim Schmitz: two singles, walk; Kyle Krieger: two singles.