On the Diamond: Out of the air | AspenTimes.com

On the Diamond: Out of the air

Jon Maletz

Things really didn’t look good Monday.As I stood and tossed the softball around with sports editor Nate Peterson, my watch read 5:32. There were more dogs on the field than Aspen Times players. The umpire politely reminded us for a second time that our 15 minutes before a forfeit was dwindling.Five minutes came and went. I was about ready to pack the gloves back into the equipment bag when Peterson pointed in the direction of the high school parking lot, looking a lot like a ship captain who had just spotted land. Our team – at least a few members – was on the horizon. While the group of players that showed included only about a third who actually worked at the Times (I spent the first few minutes introducing myself in the dugout), we were able to field a team. It’s a good thing sales rep John Keck has so many friends, or we’d surely be in trouble. McStorlie’s was kind enough to let us play with just three ladies.Despite the slow start, we strung together a few hits in the top half of the first and pulled ahead by a run. That lead vanished rather quickly once we were in the field and balls started flying with reckless abandon.While our offensive production was meager by rec league standards, our defense kept us close. We even strung together consecutive 1-2-3 innings, thanks in large part to the strong pitching of Mr. Joel Stonington. Abigail Eagye flashed the leather at second base as well. Keck made an acrobatic play in front of second, then tossed the ball over his shoulder to Eagye, who managed to snag the ball and keep her foot on the base. And later, Eagye gloved a fly ball and completed a double play when it was determined the runner on third had left early. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Eagye’s exploits on the field are as important to the paper as her coverage of Monday council meetings. And did I mention she made all these plays in sandals and a skirt – that’s dedication. We managed to stay close, tying McStorlie’s at three in the late innings. A few fielding miscues, however, led to a four-run inning that all but sealed our fate. The late-inning heroics the Times previously experienced against Keelty Construction (we scored seven runs in our last at-bat to force extra innings) never materialized; we went in order in the final inning. It was a sour ending to an otherwise well-played contest. We have one final game next week to end a winless streak that has seemingly lasted a month. I’m hoping Keck knows a few ringers.

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