On the Diamond: Hard Times heartbreaker | AspenTimes.com

On the Diamond: Hard Times heartbreaker

Coach Wags

“To lose by one run, with only eight players for half the game … that should equal a tie, at least in my book.” Hard Times outfielder Steve “Believe It or Not” Rippy.With that introduction, it was another loss for the Hard Times. The night started good – it was a warm and sunny evening and we were ready to battle the Juice from The Gant. (We’re not sure what the connection is, but hopefully there’s a juice bar we can visit tomorrow to revitalize ourselves.)Of course they had a full squad ready to rumble from the start, whipping the pill around with their bright orange jerseys on, chanting “The Juice is Loose!” “WOW,” I thought, “they came to play!”Little did I know we were going to have – as it always seems – a tough time even fielding a team. With just seconds till a forfeit, the Juice decided to let us play with our so-called squad: seven players total, three short of a full team. It was a decision they almost regretted.The gazelle-like Rippy, the lone outfielder for two innings, tracked down half of the Juice’s first six outs. In fact, they couldn’t muster any runs for those first two innings.And, lo and behold, the Hard Times put up one, then another one, then two, and then another two, to keep ahead of the Juicers 6-4 going into the bottom of the fifth. Then we lost it. The Juice came out blazing and put up three solid runs to take their first lead of the game 7-6. And they didn’t let go.So with a chance at glory and a true winning streak, the Hard Times struck out. But don’t despair, dear fans (we know you’re still out there). We look better every week, so come check us out.And remember, the great thing about the Aspen Co-Ed Recreational Softball League is the camaraderie on and off the field. Back at McStorlie’s, where R.T. Flannigan serves up $1.50 burgers and $1 beers, it’s a little about softball and a lot about suds. Thank God!