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Softball Scene

June 23, 2007

Softball Scene: lot has changed in slow-pitch softball in 20 years

TERRE HAUTE — Before writing this column, I would like to offer a disclaimer. When mentioning the Clabber Girl men’s slow pitch softball team, I want readers to be aware of the fact that I’m serving as team manager this season. When reporting the outcomes of their games, I’ll try to maintain a certain degree of objectivity.

Now on to the issue at hand.

After being out of the game — other than being a casual observer and umpire, I have returned to a manager’s role for the first time in almost 20 years. I’ve quickly found out there have been big changes in the slow-pitch game.

The Clabber Girl team ventured to Bloomington last weekend for the prestigious Bloomington Invitational Tournament. While the results were disappointing to a degree, they were also an indication of tremendous changes that have taken place.

The Clabber Girl team managed to tally 47 runs on 52 hits, seven walks and 11 home runs, while losing two straight games. The team dropped games to Bedford’s Propane Direct 31-28 and Bloomington’s DDI squad 21-19.

The tournament’s eventual winner, Wildman Uniforms/Freedom recorded wins by the following scores: 25-0, 30-0, 29-15, 32-13 and 24-19. They averaged 28 runs per game.

In comparison, scores from state tournament games in the late 1970s and early 1980s show how much scoring has increased. A local team, Platolene/Famoso’s Pizza team won two state championships and two second-place finishes during that period. In comparing their scores for the 1979 ASA Class “A” state finals, the 1980 USSSA Class “B” state finals and the 1982 ASA Class “A” state finals, the offensive changes will be clear.

In compiling a 14-3 record in three state finals tournaments, the Platolene 500/Famoso’s Pizza team averaged 11 runs per game. That 11-run average would have resulted in an 0-30 record in the Bloomington Invitational last weekend as every winning team tallied in excess of 11 runs each game.

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