Batgirls swoop in for unlikely victory against Moms

After the Batgirls lost to the Moms in the women’s softball championship in 2014, Rae Zarou, shortstop for the Batgirls, made a definitive statement that resembled the likes of sporting greats Joe Namath and Muhammad Ali.

“We’ll be looking for some revenge next season,” Zarou said in the Aug. 13, 2014, Daily. “We’re going to win the championship without a doubt.”

It was prophetic.

Fast-forward nearly a year to Thursday, and the two teams were set for a championship rematch at Sharpe Field.

The Moms, who have won seven out of the last eight championships, were poised to add their names to the winner’s plaque yet again, if not for the Batgirls efforts to swoop in and steal a victory.

Zarou was not in the lineup, though — arguably the best player for the Batgirls had left Chautauqua for the summer. Before the game, Lauren McElree and Heather Jahrling, captains for the Batgirls, were trying to fill their depleted roster.

“We’re missing a lot of players because a lot of people went home early,” McElree said before the game. “We’re going to try and put our best people forward, and we’re going to get revenge.”

Mark Altschuler, commissioner for the women’s league, attributes the rivalry to a generational difference between the teams.

“I think the women’s league is fun, but they’re very competitive and very serious athletes,” he said.

The Batgirls led the top of the first inning with a run scored by Mackenzie Carter, but the team was later tied by a Moms’ run in the bottom of the first.

After two runs in the top of the second that put the Batgirls ahead by three runs, they didn’t look back.

Lily Nagle, who replaced Zarou at shortstop for the Batgirls, hit an inside-the-park home run for the Batgirls in the top of the fourth that put them ahead 9-3.

“I usually never hit that hard, so I was super excited, and that got all the girls pumped up,” Nagle said.

After a 1-2-3 inning by the Moms in the bottom of the fourth, the Batgirls took advantage of their defensive momentum heading into the fifth.

Katie Goodell followed Nagle’s inside-the-park homer with one of her own in the top of the fifth, which put the Batgirls ahead 12-3.

The Batgirls would put away the Moms with a 14-4 final score. After the final out, players gathered at the pitcher’s mound to shake hands and congratulate each other. After a team photo, some players from the Batgirls gathered and ran down to Chautauqua Lake to jump in.

“It was the most exciting thing because we’ve never won against the Moms in the championship,” Goodell said. “It’s always a tradition that they win.”

Though the Moms pointed to poor play from all areas of the diamond throughout the evening, captain Kathy Chubb said it was the Batgirls’ faultless performance that most affected the game’s outcome.

“Of course we would like to win, but it’s nice to see a team play really well tonight, and they deserve to win tonight,” Chubb said. “It’s good to see the younger generation stepping up and doing well.”

Just as Zarou made a definitive statement at the end of last season, Chubb offered a few words for next season even if they didn’t contain a promise of a championship.

“We’re hoping to come back a year older and a year stronger,” she said.