TELLURIDE – Telluride’s women softball players retired their gloves last week, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival providing a nearly two-week break for the teams. The hiatus will allow ample time for resting sore arms and icing hamstrings; many players are also hoping the long break will help cool the heels of two of the hardest to beat teams.
In the A league, longtime league challengers Mountain Limo continue to fell their competition indiscriminately, building a seemingly impenetrable barrier between themselves and the rest of the A league. And keeping all other contenders at arm’s length in the B league are the ladies of the Last Dollar, who have floated through this early season without a hiccup in their perfect record.
Utilizing their unmatched experience as the league’s most veteran team, Mountain Limo has reemerged this year as the A league’s most unbeatable squad. The Limo Drivers took a backseat to the Darkside last summer, falling to the newer team in a bonus end-of-season tournament which decided the ultimate victor after three teams (Mountain Limo, Darkside and ASAP Slammers) ended the regular season in a three-way tie for first place.
No such heated competition has emerged in the A league this season, however, as the four other top-tier squads continue to hunt for a weak spot in Mountain Limo’s armor.
The closest any team has come to touching Mountain Limo so far this summer was when Darkside of Las Montañas climbed to an early lead against the Drivers in last Thursday night’s match-up. DLM is comprised of a mix of players from last year’s A league trophy-winning Darkside, as well as 2007’s B league winning Las Montañas. It seemed early on in the Thursday match that this hodgepodge squad could very well come up with the correct code to access Mountain Limo’s game secrets, but in the end Mountain Limo once again slammed the door on their rivals.
DLM climbed to a seven run lead early on, thanks to a leadoff homerun by “Miss Speedy” Paula Eaton. The in-the-park DLM homeruns didn’t end there, either; in the first four innings, clean-up batter Meghan Massey as well as big hitters Kristin Milord and Sherry Brieske all knocked in homeruns, adding to DLM’s lead.
Mountain Limo, notorious for strong batting, took longer than usual to warm up to DLM pitcher Brieske’s lobs, but when they did, Limo hitters gave DLM outfielders a workout. Amy Smith and Darcy Levtzow both caught DLM centerfielders off guard, slamming huge hits to the fence to keep the score tight.
Las Montañas batter Stacey Plunkett knocked Limo centerfielders out with a big hit in the fifth inning, scoring runners with her double. Yet a lapse in DLM’s defense in the final innings gave Mountain Limo just the opening they needed to once again nail their competition.
A questionable call at second base marked the beginning of the end for DLM, as what appeared to be a good tag-out by second basewoman Kelly Kirby of a Limo runner was awarded in the Limo’s favor. Aggressive running and a flurry of homeplate slides assured that Mountain Limo wouldn’t be letting DLM disrupt their undefeated record; and thanks to a huge sixth inning at bats, Mountain Limo once again walked off with the win, 17-12.
“It was ‘Mountain Limbo’ for a while there,” DLM third basewoman Susan Heard said following her team’s hard-fought match on Thursday.
Town Park was also the scene of a killing Thursday night, when B league brutes Last Dollar simply couldn’t stop rounding the bases against the Telluride Tomboys. Last Dollar right fielder Lisa Chism attributed her team’s huge victory to relentless base hits, nearly all of which were unmanageable for Tomboy fielders. The final score left the Tomboys crying “Mercy!” as Last Dollar climbed to an astounding 40-run lead.
The Buck was coming off a big win the week prior against the B league’s only other contenders, The Spank. Currently ranked second in the B league, the Spank still couldn’t handle the hot Last Dollar, getting burned at the plate and scoring only one run to The Buck’s two dozen or so.
“The Buck whupped us major … but, as always, we kept a cheerful attitude and just had some fun,” said Spank manager CC Rocque of her team’s loss to the seemingly impossible to beat Buck.
Saturday’s A league games boasted no surprises, with undefeated Mountain Limo continuing their league reign by beating TREB Curves. Meanwhile, second-ranked Darkside of Las Montañas fought to a 16-7 victory against the Bubble Lounge, and the third-ranked ASAP Slammers won both their matches, dropping a Mercy Rule bomb on the as-yet-winless Bubble Lounge then going on to beat TREB Curves.
Women’s softball will be on vacation until Thursday, June 26. Men’s softball games scheduled for Monday were cancelled due to Bluegrass Festival setup, and have been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 2. Men’s softball action is also on hold until after Bluegrass, games resuming on Wednesday, June 25.