By John Benton
This past weekend in Effingham, Ill., included rain, muddy fields, hardworking ground crew and a few softball games between local Terre Haute rivals. In the end, local Terre Haute teams finished 1-2-3 in the 13-team affair.
Budweiser captured its first tourney title in what has proved to be a difficult 2009 season. As the 2008 ASA Class “C” state champions, the Budweiser team has struggled through the 2009 season with only an Avon round-robin tourney win. Competing largely in the NSA Men’s Class “C” division this season, Budweiser has found victories hard to come by.
In Effingham, the Budweiser squad reeled off five consecutive wins to grab the tourney title and the right to advance to the ISA (Independent Softball Association) state tournament later this season. Budweiser recorded wins over Ad Hatters 19-7, Jackson 12-6, DBS 22-11, Outkast 18-6 and Crawlworks 23-0.
Offensively, the Budweiser team was led by Rick Robins with a 16-for-23 performance. Also contributing was Brad Pierce who stroked four home runs during tourney play and Ryan Carter was 9 for 15 with four walks and a home run.
Also playing for the Budweiser team were the following: Darren Buck, Clay Huffman, Ryan Nicholson, Kevin Kull, Gary Potter, Kyle Knapp and Chad Wilguess.
For local softballers, the tourney proved interesting due to the fact it was the first time during the 2009 season that Terre Haute’s three traveling teams actually met on the playing field. Tourney play featured games between Budweiser, Outkast and Crawlworks. This time, Budweiser came out on top with a 18-6 win over Outkast and a 23-0 win over Crawlworks.
The Crawlworks team, which has enjoyed considerable success during the 2009 season, continued to make a good showing. Dropping a tough opening round game by a 12-1 score, the Crawlworks team won six consecutive games before falling to Budweiser in the championship game.
Noteworthy was their first win, a 11-10 victory over T-Town which featured Randy Winkler’s two-out walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Following that narrow victory, the Crawlworks team reeled off five more wins in convincing fashion.
Outkast, much to their credit, performed well without a full roster. Coming off a Friday night round-robin tourney win in Avon, the Outkast team finished third while missing several key players during tourney play.
All three local teams are expected to participate in the upcoming ASA state tournaments.
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Being old school with regard to local softball affairs, I remember the days when several women’s slow pitch softball leagues were in action. The Brazil women’s softball league featured nearly 20 teams participating in league play.
Terre Haute’s Memorial Park has a league and the Glenn Civic Center had a strong women’s program and hosted several state and regional tournaments. Unfortunately, with the advent of coed softball, the popularity of the women’s slow pitch game has waned.
One women’s league that refuses to suffer from declining numbers is the Montezuma women’s league. This season will see teams from Tangier, Montezuma, Cayuga, Clinton, Rockville and Bloomingdale competing for the coveted league crown.
Games are scheduled for the Montezuma facility each Sunday through Sept. 20. Games begin at 1 p.m. and conclude with a 5:30 p.m. contest. The public is encouraged to support this long-lived women’s program.
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With the end of July fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking fall softball. Both local Y programs will be offering adult fall league softball. Below you can find the contact names and numbers for both the Terre Haute Family Y and Brazil YMCA adult softball programs.
Interested parties can enroll in the Terre Haute Family Y program by calling Elle Hightower at (812) 239-9039. Those interested in participation in the Brazil YMCA program can contact Debbie Plummer at (812) 442-6761.