Story by Mark Graeve, Lead Off Hitter and OA Roving Reporter
It’s a good thing our game didn’t start until 9:30 this week. The late start allowed me time to find enough players to field a team. After cobbling together a lineup, we took the field against Suburban Rotary for the second time this season. This team is a pretty even match for us, and they are nice people, so this shaped up to be a fun game, and it was.
After a scoreless first inning, both teams tallied single runs in the second. Suburban Rotary took a one run lead in the third inning and led 4-2 after four innings. In the fifth inning, we scored one run and were primed to score a couple more. Unfortunately, I brought that to a screeching halt with a boneheaded base running error, so we still trailed 4-3 after five.
We did manage to tie the game in the sixth, but we gave up two runs in the top of the seventh. That meant we needed to score two runs in our half of the inning to force the game into extra innings. Our right-center fielder Rob led off the inning with a solid single. Once on base, Rob made things miserable for Suburban. Using aggressive base running, Rob forced them into multiple errors and scored the first run of the inning. When our catcher, Annie, scored the tying run later in the inning we had new life. On to extra innings.
In the top half of the eighth, Suburban Rotary loaded the bases with two outs. Then, with the go ahead run only sixty feet away, their batter hitting a sinking line drive into shallow left field. I got a good break on the ball as soon as it was hit and managed to catch it about three inches above the ground. We got out of the inning with the score stilled tied. Now we had our chance to put the game away in the bottom of the eighth.
In slow pitch softball, there are many rules designed to make the games go more quickly. When games go into extra innings, that means each inning starts with a runner on second base. In our half of the eighth, our shortstop, Scott was the runner at second. Our first batter was retired without advancing the runner. Our next batter, Chad reached safely and advanced Scott to third base. With one out, our left-center fielder, Amy hit a ground ball on the infield. When Suburban threw the ball to second to force Chad out, Scott raced home. He scored without a play, and we all dog piled in the middle of the field. Okay, there was no dog pile, but it was an exciting finish to a great game.
Final Score: Omaha Atheists 7—Suburban Rotary 6
Next up: A rematch with Hit It & Quit It (July 27th @7:30)