• Spenard Builders Supply runs out of steam after staging incredible comeback against Growlers
By Sean Pearson
It was the perfect set-up for a city softball Cinderella story.
After picking up a loss on Saturday, Spenard Builders Supply fought their way up the losers’ bracket to win a spot against the Growlers in Sunday’s semifinal game of the 2013 City League Softball Tournament at Jack Gist Field. The winner was to face the undefeated Riptide team in the championship finals of the two-day event.
Understandably exhausted, SBS struggled in the final innings of semifinal play, finding themselves down three runs in the bottom of the seventh and final inning of play.
The Growlers picked up two outs fairly quickly, and looked to be on their way to play for the title game. With power hitter Scott Owens stepping up to the plate, the Homer Brewing Company team chose to intentionally walk him for fear that he would hit a home run. The next SBS batter, Star Chow, could choose to hit or take a free walk to first base, thanks to a league rule that allows women the option of taking a walk when a man walks.
That left the bases loaded, and David Drake at the plate for SBS.
He didn’t disappoint.
“I have to say, they best moment in the whole tournament was David’s walk-off grand slam home run to beat the Growlers,” said league organizer and Kharacters/Cafe Cups player Jessica Marx. “David was certainly the hero.”
After a surprisingly short break between games, SBS took to the dugout once again. But hours and hours of playing ball throughout the consolation bracket left the team a little less than fresh and energized.
“That was a lot of games in a short amount of time,” said Spenard pitcher Josh Fraley. “I think we were all pretty exhausted by then.”
The Riptide, however, showed no mercy.
Best Western bats came out swinging, and they were able to put some runs up on the board early in the game. SBS held their ground for a little while, but eventually succumbed to the undertow of the Riptide’s consistent defensive play and continued hitting. By the time the dust cleared, the ‘Tide had washed out SBS 16-1.
“All in all, I think things went very well,” Marx said about the tourney. “Except for that last one, there were really no ‘blowout’ games.”
Marx said the ability of all teams to be relatively competitive not only made for some good action this year, but also bodes well for next year’s season.
Donna McNulty of SBS was named the tournament’s female Most Valuable Player for her stifling defensive performance at third base. The Riptide’s Doug Koch was named male MVP.
“Doug not only hits consistently well, but plays an amazing shortstop,” Marx said. “He was well-deserving of the title.”
According to Marx, Mike Werts and Ryjil Christianson were both awarded the Barney Ryan Award. This is an award the Beluga Lake Lodge team gives out every year to honor people who demonstrate a love of the game and ultimate sportsmanship. Werts is shortstop for Kharacters/Cups, and Ryjil plays left center for the B’lodge. Marx said both players outstanding athletes and great teammates.
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