As discussed in past columns, the decline in local men’s fastpitch action has been precipitous in the last few years. As hard as it is to believe, there are presently no men’s fastpitch leagues available on the local softball scene.
Despite the lack of league play locally, the Elkins Brothers fastpitch team is determined to continue playing the fastpitch variety of softball. To do so, they have to drive approximately 80 miles to Alexandria to play bi-weekly doubleheaders.
Elkins Brothers, formerly known as Howell’s Septic, has been active in fastpitch softball for several decades. One of the prime motivations behind the team’s desire to compete is the memory of the late Ike Elkins.
Ike, a member of the Terre Haute Fastpitch Hall of Fame, was one of the original team members. Starting in the early 1980s, Ike Elkins was a mainstay at the local Terre Haute Fastpitch Stadium.
Plans call for the Elkins Brothers team to participate in Amateur Softball Association state tournament play in Elkhart and Alexandria early in August. Playing for the Elkins Brothers in 2008 are the following players: Rudy Elkins, Scott Elkins, Frank Elkins, Jeff Sell, Mike Lacey, Tim Swank, Jim Swank Jr., Larry Shaffer, Curt Carroll, Walt Kirby, Jason Fields and Scott Ellis.
Good luck to the Elkins Brothers as they attempt to keep the fastpitch flame alive locally.
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• Tourneys near — Any adult women’s teams interested in participating in the ASA state tournament should contact Steve Boone at (317) 902-8243. The women’s Class C, D and E tournaments will be at the Avon Sports Complex at Avon.
Tournament play is scheduled July 18-20; interested teams should contact Steve as soon as possible.
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• Memories — It is with great regret that I note the passing of Colleen Gilbert late last week. For many years, Colleen Gilbert played both fastpitch and slowpitch softball, as well as officiating.
Certainly not one-dimensional, Colleen was also active as a historical re-enactor.
Thanks for the many good memories, Colleen. You will certainly be missed by friends and family alike.
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• DeHart’s update — In last week’s column, I chronicled the efforts of DeHart’s Rentals men’s slowpitch softball team. Their efforts last weekend seem to confirm both their great potential as well as bad luck.
Playing in the prestigious Louisville Invitational, DeHart’s Rentals proved very capable with a fifth-place finish in a very strong field. Unfortunately, they had to face Indiana’s No. 1-ranked team, John Snyder’s from Columbus, while being short-handed. Due to a previous work commitment, DeHart’s Rentals played its final game with nine men and still managed to score 37 runs in a 44-37 loss.
Team sponsor/manager Ryan DeHart hopes this is an indication his team has started to come together as state tourney play approaches.
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• Sources of information — For those interested in keeping in touch with state-wide softball action, as well as a good dose of trash talking, check out Web sites such as www.indianasoftball.com or www.indianansa.com.
Also a good source for organizational information for both youth and adult softball, try www.playnsa.com and also www.Indiana-ASA.org.
See ya at the park.
John Benton can be reached at (812) 877-2566.