Patrick Hosken | Staff Writer
Last week, the Arthritics topped the Fashionable Gentlemen, the MOMS took down the Chautauqua Lakers and the Boomerangs beat the Belles. That could only mean one thing: Softball season at Chautauqua has begun.
The two men’s teams shook the dust off Sharpe Field in the season’s opening game Wednesday, with the Arthritics beating the Gents, 16-10.
The Gents, young, agile and mostly barefoot, took an early lead in the first inning. However, the Arthritics, seasoned and some clad in gray jerseys boasting “Better hitting through modern medicine,” answered with a heavy hit of their own, tying it at one in the second.
After a slew of big hits in the third, the Arthritics took a solid lead that carried them through the end of the game. Despite a powerful home run by Gents captain Madden Titus near the end of the inning, the Arthritics held strong.
Up against some quick, tough defense by the Gents throughout the game, the Arthritics’ aggressive offensive helped them cling to their lead.
The final inning proved to be decisive for both teams. The Arthritics nearly gave up their lead after a five-run rush by the Gents but were able to hold on and bring home the win.
Off the field, a dedicated chorus of wives, kids and fans cheered through the game’s seven innings. Cries of “Daddy! Daddy!” filled the bleachers. Spare gloves, bats and a bucket of balls spotted the sidelines.
And it was only the first game of the season.
Thursday’s first women’s matchup pinned the veteran MOMS against the teenaged Lakers, a game that saw the MOMS boast a shutout, winning 11–0.
Decked out in powder blue T-shirts, the MOMS came on strong and scored four runs in the first. The Lakers were a colorful crew but seemed a little rusty and disorganized, allowing the polished MOMS to capitalize and rack up multiple runs per inning.
The second game pitted the Belles against the Boomerangs, with the Boomerangs coming out on top, 15-0.
The speedy Boomerangs wasted no time, scoring nine runs in the first inning alone. The pink-shirted Belles could not keep up with their spritely opponents and ended up not scoring a single run.
As the sun dipped low after the games, players stood with fellow players and families, chatting and smiling. Sharpe Field quieted down, the bucket of balls and scorebook safely stowed away until next time.
League commissioner Andrew Zachry expressed his enthusiasm for what the rest of the season has in store.
“We’re looking forward to a fantastic season,” Zachry said. “We’ve got a lot of guys eager to show what they can do on the field.”
With three spirited games already in the bag, who wouldn’t be excited?