By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
“It took a hundred phone calls and a fundraiser and some running around, but tonight made it all worthwhile.”
History was made Thursday night at Iverson Park in Stevens Point with the launch of the first women’s softball fall league.
The Portage County Women’s Softball League is believed to be the first of its kind in the area.
Erin Laffe of Stevens Point is the league’s founder. A softball fan and player for several years, Laffe explained: “It’s always a bummer when the summer coed leagues end. I asked around to see if there were any fall leagues for women, because I know the men have one. Nobody could think of any, so I decided to start one myself.”
It was touch and go for a few weeks in organizing the league. The site for the games changed frequently, and Erin was a rookie at this type of venture.
“Drew Lemke was super in helping out,” she said. “I’d also like to thank Michiah Hack, Sarah and Diane Sales Team, Rookie’s Sports Pub, Graffiti’s, Steve and Mary Lane, Barsness Insurance, White Tail Lanes, Doug’s Sports Pub, Kim’s Barrel Inn, Gutter Gods, and Shooter’s.”
She continued: “Everyone was awesome! Sure, there were a few small glitches. like reworking the schedule, changing some rules, but that was to be expected. It didn’t help when one of the light banks blew out, but we survived. And Marcus Flowerette and Corey Blake were terrific umpires, and Codi Klismith did a great job with the scoreboard.”
Two games are in the books as the five-team league got underway. In the league’s first contest, Rough Rookies hammered Post Road Pub, 19-4. PRP scored all of its runs in the first inning thanks to five walks and hits by Alishea Johnson and Wendy Johnston. For you trivia folks, Alishea Johnson had the league’s first hit, a single to left.
Several players came up big at the plate for the winners. Christine Lutzke had three singles and a double; Courtney Erdman smacked three singles and a triple; Katie Platta added three hits; Katie Houston stroked two singles and a double; Cheyenne Zabawa had two singles; Patty Johnson singled and walked, and Kayla Higgins walked three times.
Post Road Pub only managed four hits. Alishea Johnson singled twice; Devin Lehman walked and singled; Wendy Johnston singled, and Susie Alimi walked twice.
The second game was also a blowout as Rookie’s Royals bedazzled Team Biadasz, 14-4. Becky Kurzewski paced the winners with a triple, double, and two singles. Amy Kurzewski chipped in two doubles and a single; Nicole Kirsch came up with three singles and a walk; and Valarie Folan contributed two singles, a double, and a walk. Jaci Seefeldt and Lulieta Alimi each had two singles, and Kara Kurzewski singled and walked twice.
Miranda Yoose led Team Biadasz with three singles while Ashlynn Plaski, Michelle Zick, and Sage Stanchik had two hits each. Melissa Dombrowski walked and singled, and Bria Hahn, Amber Hintz, and Linnea Burke all hit safely.
Graffiti’s had the bye.
“Win or lose, I’m so proud of all the girls,” Laffe said. “This was like a dream come true, Everyone wanted to compete out there, and they all had a lot of fun. That’s what it’s all about.”
Next Week will be a tripleheader. 6:30: Rough Rookies (1-0) vs Team Biadasz (0-1). 7:30: Graffiti’s (0-0) vs Post Road Pub Punishers (0-1). 8:30: Rookie’s Royals (1-0) vs Post Road Pub Punishers.
There is no admission charge for the games.