Hambones do it again!

The Hambones pose for their fourth straight championship photo. - Photos by Jeff Brady

R.O. bats can’t prevent ’Bones ‘4-peat’ in finale

By JEFF BRADY
The Hambones, stung by an earlier defeat at the hands of a talented Red Onion team, came back in the loser’s round and won the right to face the R.O. on championship night. And the ‘Bones won the night, taking a double-header to claim its fourth straight Skagway Softball Association Co-ed League title.
The Hambones welcomed back shortstop Mark Jennings, and he rifled a triple to start the night. “Dirty” Nora Kell also doubled, leading the ‘Bones to a 6-0 lead. The R.O. got two back in the bottom of the first on a double by Ryan Day and a single by pitcher Jeremy Butzlaff.
The Hambones added another run in the second inning, and padded the lead in the fifth inning with a double by Mitchell Snyder and a triple by Josh “Sauce” Coughran to go up 10-3.
At this point, the R.O. batters started swinging for the fences, all long balls came up short on this windy championship night. Danny “Franchise” Tadic scored following a double for the Onion’s only other run of the game, and the Hambones added two more in the seventh to win, 12-3.
Batting first in the finale, the Red Onion announced they were ready to rumble. Day doubled, and singles by Kari Sharnberg, Tadic, Tina “Ichiro” Cyr, and Ben Seale gave the R.O. a 3-0 lead.
The scored stayed this way until the bottom of the second when Kell knocked in Snyder. But despite loading up the bases, the Hambones couldn’t get more than one run, as Butzlaff made a diving stab from the mound to end the inning.
One admiring wag in the crowd commented, “My sex life is way better since I started pitching softball.”

Rod “Ringer” Fairbanks, in his ancient but lucky Mets sweatshirt, delivers his high spinner for the Hambones.

It was indeed a pitcher’s duel. Rod “Ringer” Fairbanks, brought back from semi-retirement, pitched a great game, as many of the R.O. batters couldn’t hit his spinners and flied out.
“We pulled the cagey veteran out of retirement,” said Hambones manager John L. O’Daniel. “This game was all about Rod.”
Fairbanks also delivered from the plate. In the bottom of the fourth, after Coughran led off with a double and Kell singled, Fairbanks knocked in a run and then scored on a Jennings single. Savannah Ames then gave the ‘Bones the lead with a line drive over the R.O. outfielders, scoring two for a 5-3 lead. It could have been more if not for a great play at third to get her out.

Kristin Wilkinson can’t quite beat out a throw to Hambone first baseman Cindy O’Daniel.

The R.O. followed up a great double play to end the fifth with a run on a Tadic double in the sixth to cut the lead to 5-4. But the Hambones answered big in the bottom of the inning, going on a 5-run tear behind Tom Selmer’s inside-the-park home run.
It was the only homer of the night, as the R.O. bats couldn’t get the big ones they needed in their final at-bat. Final score, 10-4.
“We were just one hit short all night,” lamented R.O. manager Wade Brown.