Softball victors earn bragging rights
Four Aspen softball teams emerged victorious following tournament play in all divisions of the Aspen Recreation Department’s summer softball league over the weekend.
More than 400 players participated on 33 different teams, with the top finishers receiving plaques and small awards – and, more importantly, bragging rights until the annual rite of summer in Aspen resumes again next June.
This year the divisional tournaments – for the coed competitive, coed recreational, men’s competitive and men’s recreational leagues – were scheduled for one or two days this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In past seasons, playoffs have been played on week nights over a couple weeks.
The format lended itself to all-day socializing, though it also tested teams’ endurance on the diamond, especially those teams who played through driving rains on Saturday and other sporadic bouts of inclement weather.
“The sportsmanship in the tournament was phenomenal and everybody seemed to have fun,” said Chance Dennison, recreation supervisor for the Aspen Rec Department and also a player on the Garretson’s coed rec team. “The weekend tournament format went really well. It was long and it was hard on the players, but overall people liked the social scene of it; everyone stuck around to watch.”
All the tournaments were played in double-elimination format, except for the coed recreational league, which played single-elimination.
In the men’s competitive division, perennial powerhouse and number three seed Little Annie’s prevailed as the champions, beating their neighboring rivals and number two seed O’Leary’s. A total of seven teams competed in the tournament.
The Molly Gibson Lodge team, a number five seed in the men’s recreation division, bested the number six seed team Aspen Fly to win the divisional tournament. Eleven teams participated in the tournament on Friday and Sunday.
In the coed competitive division, the top-seeded Skico Sluggers beat Keelty Construction, the number four seed, in the finals. Five teams participated in the tournament on Saturday.
In the coed recreational league, number one seeded Maxfield’s beat the sixth-seeded Aspen Times for the league title. Twelve teams competed in the tournament on Saturday.
“We were down a few teams this year,” Dennison said of the annual league, “but all the leagues were pretty well filled.”
“And the enthusiasm was really there this year, and in the terms of competitiveness, in the men’s recreation league especially, I saw a lot of good softball. A lot of those teams could play in the men’s competitive division, which was real strong this year as well.”
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Aspen teachers and school officials have come to an agreement regarding reopening in-person education Monday.