By Darryl Hogan
Softball Beat columnist
Basil’s Angels, able to relax after a tight victory, 4-1 over Long Lake’s Hooters, gathered at Basil & Wicks. The win improved the record for the team with the most delicious after-party, and keeps them in the playoff hunt. The Angels appeared in the championship game last year but have slid in the standings this season after the loss of four prime players. The Basil & Wick’s based team still needs to make up rainouts against the Eagle Bay Tavern team and The Panther House sponsored squad from Chester Town. They hope to climb in the standings in the meantime by winning against Speculator on July 11.
Speculator fell to the veteran Hot Screamers from Matt’s Drafthouse. The Screamers turned in an impressive win, allowing coaches Rick and Bob to rest platinum topped tosser Kyle Hauser. The towel wielding Hauser shined each potential strike, before hiding the glowing neon in the flurry of elbows and knees that is her windup and delivery. Sensing that his petite Satchel Paige might need fewer pitches logged this year to carry her team to a fourth straight championship, the Screamers have introduced new hurler Mackenzie Kelley to the mound.
The last undefeated team in the league, The Screamers have two games to make up like Basil’s. The extended season could prove difficult for the winning, but tattered team. Former all star Crystal Laporte was last seen limping home, clutching her damaged quad. Sources close to the BombERNs say LaPorte was charitably attended to by the BombERNs strength and conditioning unit. No report was given on her status by coaches Rick and Bob.
Speaking of the BombERNs, they lost a heartbreaker to Chester Town’s Panthers 2-1. The final call of the game was controversial due to the absence of foul lines. The by-laws of the league state: “Every attempt should be made to have the field marked with baselines and foul lines. If this is not possible, at the very least a marker should be placed so the umpires have a reference point to make calls”.
Kat Forsell’s mother, one of my “spies” in Raquette Lake’s Tap Room reports that Coach Thibado was overheard saying, “If The Panthers coach could line a field as well as he heckles players, then the game could have gone to extra innings, and a true outcome would be determined.” The embattled coach is likely feeling the pressure of a winless season, which has BombERN Nation calling for his removal. Elaine Pohl even offered Thibado a job washing dishes on The WW Durant after he is fired.
Speaking of The Tap Room, their Fair-Weather-Sliders came up short against The Black Widows. As I outlined last week The Widows are stronger than their record reveals. They proved it by jumping on The Mudsliders early, then padding their lead for an easy 10-1 win over the formally undefeated Raquette Lake team.
The Black Widows have improved to 3-2 on the season, placing them next to the 3-2 Speculator Squad for a third place tie, with a ticket to the playoffs. If they defeat the Panthers on July 11, the Barking Spider Squad will almost guarantee a playoff spot, potentially as the most dangerous team in the league.
The league goes on hiatus for Independence Day, and will return to action on July 11. The league standings appear to be set, however. A betting man would guess Inlet, Raquette, Speculator, and the Black Widows. The other North Creek team, Basil’s Angels, could turn their season around still; “a chip and chair.”
Long Lake and Eagle Bay will look to play spoilers in the final four weeks. In the meantime Chester Town will continue to host exhibition games on their freestyle field, perhaps trying to raise enough funding to supply their field with foul lines.
League Standings: Fair Weather Sliders 3-1, Speculator 3-2, Black Widows 3-2, Hooters 1-3, BombERNs 0-3, Angels (TBD, not enough games), Screamers (TBD, not enough games), Panthers (illegal field, disqualified).
—When Darryl Hogan is not hooked on softball, he’s The Executive Chef of Great Pines.