‘Merica Aris Bird
For the Express
The game between Inlet and Raquette has always been that of a huge rivalry, like when Army and Navy play football. Rivalry and the drive to be competitive perspire out of every human at that game. The want and desire to do your best and be the best – that is the spirit of an athlete. The underlying philosophy of the league is to do your best, be competitive, display good sportsmanship and have a good time, hence all teams are sponsored by local bars. When we play Inlet every year, whether it be in Raquette or Inlet, the fan base is extremely impressive; it often reminds me of the movie, “A League of Their Own.” I think I have even heard, “There’s no crying in softball” a few times. It’s “THE” game of the year regardless of the records or what’s at stake. Tuesday, two teams played hard, strategically and competitively. I give a huge kudos to Inlet on their victory and a huge thank you to their team and Screaming Eagle for hosting us so generously after the game. I very truly hope we both advance through semi finals and find ourselves meeting again for the championship game on Aug. 15.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017, the Raquette Lake Mudsliders traveled to Arrowhead Park to play Inlet’s undefeated Hot Screamers. Many teams in the league were awaiting the outcome of this game as it determined who would be the number one seed and who would get to play home for the semi-final game.
Raquette’s batting started the game off with a lot of excitement. Jenifer “JT” Temple nailed a ball to second base which was bobbled and she was able to sprint to first. Lauren “The Fixer” Fix blasted a hard hit ball over the third base woman’s head propelling JT to third. Elaine “EP Co-Captain” Pohl took herself a base and an RBI. Jennifer “Shins” Ernenwein hit a hard ball through short stop for an RBI and earned Raquette a second run. During the bottom of the first inning, Inlet rallied back. Rhonda “Help-us” Jacobs pitched her best sliders and curve balls but Dede Ste-Marie decided it was time to even up the score. She easily slammed a ball over the fence bringing another runner and herself home. Score at the end of the first inning was 2-2.
The second inning, Inlet’s defense was impenetrable and Raquette was unable to slide any runs in. The bottom of the second inning is where Inlet collected four additional runs. Crystal Laporte demonstrated why Pistol is written on the back of her shirt. With the bases loaded, she sailed one over the fence sending everyone home. Raquette had to work diligently to get out of the bottom of the second inning and regroup. Madison “Mad Dawg” Rice grabbed a pop fly, Aris “Co-Captain ‘Merica” Bird hustled down a foul ball for a catch and Lora “Lo Lo” Allen finished the third out. Score 2-6, Inlet.
The rest of the game was played very close; Inlet was only able to gather one more run the remainder of the game. During the bottom of the third inning Shins decided in catching a fly ball, she should bobble it a few times to keep the excitement alive before finally holding it down in her glove for an out. Lauren Fix who had the game of her life, collected a double play by fielding a ball, tagging second and catapulting a ball to Lo Lo at first.
During the bottom of the fourth, Jenifer Temple caught an out and Lauren “The Fixer” Fix made an incredible play, leaping through the air, stopping a hard hit ball and tossing to second base for an out. She collected two additional outs for the team in the fifth and sixth innings. Mary Blanchard, Lora Allen and Madison also collected outs.
With the last opportunity for Raquette to bat and catch up to Inlet, the score was 2-7 and Sandy “Strippy” Tetreault” NASCARED her way to first base. Lauren Fix stepped up to the plate and secretly planned a personal batting practice; she sent hard hit balls foul, just shy of the fence a couple of times as a warm-up. On her final swing of the game – her practice paid off as she slammed the ball over the fence for her second home run of the season. Raquette collected two more runs. Final score of the game 7-4.
Raquette Lake is tied with the Black Widows for second place in the league, but because the Widows tangled up the Mudsliders in their web with head to head competition, Mudsliders will be pushed to third in the league.
Raquette will travel to North Creek to play at the Ski Bowl on the lower field with a fence at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8. This is the second time in 10 years that Raquette has made the play-offs. We really hope to see you there!