Slammers Walk Away With One-Run Win to Become Undefeated in Women’s League
by Martinique Davis
Jun 11, 2009 | 588 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MOUNTAIN LIMO HITTER Kyle Ballode rounded third base  
after slugging a grand slam against Last Dollar during a game Tuesday evening at Town Park. (Photo by <a href="http://tellurideimage.com/"><b>Brett Schreckengost</b></a>)
MOUNTAIN LIMO HITTER Kyle Ballode rounded third base after slugging a grand slam against Last Dollar during a game Tuesday evening at Town Park. (Photo by Brett Schreckengost)
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TELLURIDE – Two of women’s softball’s burgeoning giants butted heads on Tuesday, fighting a tooth-and-nail battle that will go down in the history books as one of 2009’s most exciting games.

The Slammers and Brown Dog, the league’s two remaining undefeated teams as of Tuesday, seemed to know what was at stake come game time – exclusive ownership of the women’s league’s undefeated standing. In response to that challenge, the two teams waged a full-on war on the Bear Creek diamond, complete with controversial calls, incredulous plays, and a contentious grand finale that showcased a bases-loaded walk to take the one-run win.

When the dust settled, the Slammers emerged as the evening’s victors, taking the win 14-13.

“Our team has had its ups and downs since the merger,” said longtime Slammers manager Deb Neiberger, referring to the Slammer’s 2009 season unification with members of the now-defunct Treb Curves. “But now we’re gelling – tonight was proof of that – and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

The Slammers took the early lead Tuesday, knocking three runs ‘round the bases while holding Brown Dog’s strong starting lineup to none. But the ever-fighting Brown Dogs came back in inning two with five runs, to which the Slammers answered with two of their own, ending the inning tied at 5-5.

Two strike-outs in a row from one of the league’s most capable pitchers, Kim Richard, gave the Slammers the mental advantage going into the bottom of the third, during which Slammer batters Rhea Depagter and Marie Williamson smacked a triple apiece to get the ball rolling for their team. By the end of their scoring frenzy, the Slammers breathed a sigh of relief thanks to their comfortable six-run lead.

Their relief was short-lived, however, with Brown Dog stepping up to the plate with a vengeance in the fourth. And that’s when things got interesting.

It all began with Michael Arnold’s incredulous hit, which whizzed past pitcher Richard, skipped through the second baseman’s mitt, tumbled into center field, and then then defied gravity by bouncing out of the grasp of Slammers’ outfielders. The result was a two-RBI homerun for Arnold.

What ensued was a Brown Dog-instigated batting frenzy, during which the team put a total of nine runners over home plate. But, as the fickle nature of this exceptional game would have it, Brown Dog could put only six runs on the scoreboard when all was said and done.

It boiled down to a technical call that has rarely, if ever, been seen in women’s town league softball. After a massive hit from Sherry Brieske, the Brown Dog runner on second hit the dirt while rounding third base; Brown Dog base coach helped her up and she made it home, followed by the runner from first and finally Brieske. But because of the Brown Dog basecoach’s assistance, the umpire called back the three runs scored on Brieske’s hit.

Whether or not the technicality cost Brown Dog the game will never be known, since it effectively altered the course of the game from then on. Instead of a three-run lead, Brown Dog took the field in the fifth inning tied 11-11. Neither team scored in the fifth, but Brown Dog managed to put two runners across the plate in the sixth, regaining a two-run cushion.

Slammer Brigitte (Depagter) Kusuno was the first up for her team at their last at-bats. Kusuno, known as one of the league’s strongest right-field hitters, couldn’t let a little something like, oh, pregnancy stop her from hitting a home run to right field, reducing her team’s deficit to one.

With the win on the line, the next Slammers up to bat did their duty, getting on base and even sending Sara Spencer across the plate as the tying run.

With the bases loaded, Richard – also one of the Slammers’ big hitters – stepped into the batter’s box with one out. Pitcher Michael Arnold let fly three balls in a row. After the third ball, Richard stepped away from the box, scurrying to the fence to converse with her teammates. She was, it was clear, faced with a dilemma: Would she swing at the next pitch, regardless of its accuracy, risking hitting into a double play (the Brown Dog had already posted two of those in the match) but remain true to one of Telluride’s softball league’s implicit decrees, “One shall not walk”? Or would she take the walk, and the win, and face the scorn of town league fans.

Since the winner of the match was revealed above, you, dear reader, know what Richard decided.

Following the match, she defended the walk that gave her team the win; “That’s the way the game is played. I’m a pitcher, so I know that a pitcher’s job is to hit the plate. When you don’t, you risk walking in a run, and maybe even losing a game.”

Women’s and Men’s Softball League Results:

Tuesday, June 9

Women’s

Mtn. Limo 25, Last Dollar 0

Po Girls 13, Chesterson Builders 3

Slammers 14, Brown Dog 13

Chicks & Salsa 27, The Spank 4

Monday, June 8

Men’s A:

Junkyard Dogs 23, Billy Ball 12

Men’s B:

Barley Sippers 20, Warning Track Power 12

Smugglers 16, Floradora /Sothebys 7

Standings as of June 10:

Women’s:

Games OT Runs Run

Team Played Wins Losses Losses Ties Forfeit For Points Diff.

Mtn. Limo 5 4 1 0 0 0 104 4 71

Slammers 5 5 0 0 0 0 103 5 64

Brown Dog 5 4 1 0 0 0 89 4 62

Chicks & Salsa 5 3 2 0 0 0 82 3 30

Po Girls 5 2 3 0 0 0 38 2 -42

Last Dollar 5 0 5 0 0 0 30 0 -46

The Spank 5 2 3 0 0 0 35 2 -48

Chesterson Builders 5 0 5 0 0 0 14 0 -91

Men’s A:

Games OT Runs Run

Team Played Wins Losses Losses Ties Forfeit For Points Diff.

Fat Alley 4 4 0 0 0 0 98 4 52

Team Rehab 5 5 0 0 0 0 86 5 47

Junkyard Dogs 7 4 3 0 0 1 81 4 -6

Shed 4 2 2 0 0 0 40 2 -15

Pac Street Bombers 4 0 4 0 0 0 50 0 -20

Billy Ball 5 1 4 0 0 0 62 1 -25

Last Dollar Tuna Cans 7 1 6 0 0 1 70 1 -33

Men’s B:

Games OT Runs Run

Team Played Wins Losses Losses Ties Forfeit For Points Diff.

Demon Sweat 4 3 1 0 0 0 82 3 49

Smugglers 5 4 0 0 1 0 83 4 37

Telluride Mafia 4 2 1 0 1 0 63 2 24

Warning Track Power 4 1 3 0 0 0 62 1 -10

TVFD Hosers 3 1 1 0 1 0 26 1 -11

Barley Sippers 4 1 2 0 1 0 41 1 -12

Floradora -- Sothebys 4 1 3 0 0 0 41 1 -16

Lizard Loungers 4 2 2 0 0 0 52 2 -28

TW Green 4 1 3 0 0 0 37 1 -33
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