By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
Airport Bar defeated Kim’s Barrel Inn, 19-7, on Monday night at Moore Barn Memorial to claim its second straight championship in the “Buddy Berry” Coed Softball League.
The victory put the exclamation point on a perfect 14-0 season for Tony and Christine Almanza’s talented softball
Winning pitcher James Marthaler mused, “Way back in May, our goal was to go undefeated and win the championship shirts, and we did it.”
Airport Bar went 12-0 in the regular season and posted a 2-0 record in the league tournament. Airport’s manager Meg Lee added, “Abby Rottier is a perfect example of how our team hung together all season. In the second inning of tonight’s game, Abby injured her leg sliding into third and had to be carried off the field. But she iced it down and went back out there for two more innings hopping around on one foot. She finally came out but sure didn’t want to.”
Indeed, Airport Bar had to overcome a rash of injuries this season. Shortstop Josh Swan pulled a hamstring back in May. Leftfielder Tyler Mader suffered a broken nose when he lost a flyball in the sun. Pitcher James Marthaler missed four games with a non-sports leg injury. Abby Rottier got beaned while running to first in August.
“We were dropping like flies; almost half of the team missed some games this season.” Kyle Krieger said.
Monday night’s title game started out fine for Kim’s Barrel Inn as the visitors took an early 2-0 lead. Morgan Oppor and Nic Dulmes scored after Jazmin Soto walked and Megan Pollack singled to right. Unfortunately for KBI, Airport Bar then came to bat in the bottom of the first.
And the hitting clinic began. Abby Rottier was safe on an error, Adam Lee tripled, Meg Lee reached on another error, Tyler Mader singled, Sue Gruba walked, James Marthaler singled, Kim Schmitz walked, Kyle Krieger singled, Rottier tripled, Adam Lee doubled, and Meg Lee singled. Nine big runs crossed the plate and it was 9-2 after one.
KBI firstbaseman Jack Mortimer said, “It seemed like Airport did that all year. They were always coming up with one huge rally.”
The Barrel scored one run in the top of the second when Megan Wiczek singled, advanced to second on Jake Mortimer’s walk, and scored on Danielle Hoover’s RBI single. But Airport was at it again in the bottom of the second as they pushed across five more runs.
The big hits were singles by Sue Gruba, Marthaler, Josh Swan, and Kyle Krieger. Krieger’s second of four hits in the game drove in a pair of runners. 14-3 after two.
Kim’s Barrel Inn finally got something going with three runs in the third. Their rally included singles by Nic Dulmes, shortstop Josh Barnes, and Megan Pollack and doubles by Jazmin Soto and Jake Mortimer. The rally was snuffed out when Danielle Hoover lined out to Meg Lee at second.
Airport Bar was stymied in the third and led 14-6 after three. KBI’s outfielder Morgan Oppor commented, “That’s the thing about Airport. They have some power, but they also hit a lot of doubles and triples. They can go small-ball, too.”
KBI notched its final run of the game in the fourth inning when Kevin Hurd doubled, moved to third on Morgan Oppor’s single, and came home on a sacrifice fly by Nic Dulmes. The Airport defense held KBI to a mere three hits over the last three innings.
The winners picked up one more run in the fourth on Josh Swan’s line-drive homer to left, and they tallied two more in both the fifth and sixth. The key hits were two singles by Adam Lee, Sue Gruba’s single, Tyler Mader’s triple, and Kyle Krieger’s double.
Plate umpire Jesse Higgins said, “Airport just keeps attacking. They have excellent hitters up and down the lineup, and they’re always taking the extra base.”
And the stats prove Higgins’ observation to be true. KBI had 15 hits (11 singles and four doubles) plus two walks. Airport, meanwhile, had 20 hits including three doubles, three triples, a homer, and four walks.
Chad Newby, Doug’s bar manager and league head honcho, commented, “I’d like to compliment all the teams for a great season. Several of the games could’ve gone either way. We also lucked out as not a single game got rained out. I’d also like to thank our umpires Jesse Higgins, Barry Fecteau, Flipper Lowery, Codi Tokarski, Bobby Sullivan, and Codi Klismith for a job well done.”
And thus it was that another chapter closed on a fine Co-Ed softball season at historic Moore Barn Memorial Park. And the season had it all. Two-inch singles, speedy triples, great catches, a chipmunk in the dugout, infield flies, errors, walks, long home runs, national anthems, pinch-runners, die-hard fans, base-runners running the wrong way, sun in your eyes, and you name it.
KIM’S BARREL INN BATTING STATS: Kevin Hurd: single, double, run; Morgan Oppor: single, double, run; Nic Dulmes: two singles, two runs; Jazmin Soto: walk, double, run; Josh Barnes: single, run; Megan Pollack: three singles (and did a dice trick at the league party); Megan Wiczek: two singles, run; Jake Mortimer: walk, double; Danielle Hoover: single.
AIRPORT BAR BATTING STATS: Abby Rottier: triple, two runs; Adam Lee: triple, double, two singles, two runs; Meg Lee: single, walk, run; Tyler Mader: single, double, triple, three runs; Sue Gruba: walk, two singles, run; James Marthaler: winning pitcher, two singles, two runs; Steffanie Jackson: walk, run; Michael Jackson, Reggie Jackson, Phil Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Stonewall Jackson did not play; Josh Swan: two singles, solo homer in fifth, four runs; Kim Schmitz: walk, run; Kyle Krieger: three singles, double, two runs.
Time of Game: One hour + three minutes.