By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Teams favored to meet in the VI Softball Baseball Association Atoms-Astros Softball League Championships Series, opened their respective weekend best of three playoff series with victories.
Action started off with 2017 Women’s champions That’s Ya Problem, trimming the Lady Hawks, 9-8 in their encounter. Chevaughnne Richardson was the winning pitcher, Javlyn Frett took the loss. Kaynesha Stoutt and Akira Phillip were That’s Ya Problem’s top hitters, both going 2-for3. Stoutt scored twice and Phillip had 2 RBI’s. Gertrude Thomas tripled in three at bats and drove in two, for Lady hawks.
In Sunday’s other women’s matchup, league leaders Synergy whipped the West End Warriors, 25-3, as winning hurler Debbie Ridgeway fired a one-hitter. West End Warriors’ Daphne Smith took the loss. Claury Scatliffe was a double short of hitting for the cycle as part of a 3-for-4 night. She scored four times and finished with 2 RBI’s. Marisa Malone went 2-for-4, scored once and drove in one. Makeda Fahie had a 2-for-3 game and scored twice.
On the men’s side, new comers Storm’s bats came alive with Jayque Hopkins hitting a grand slam, KJ Thomas adding a 3-run triple and Neville “Sheep” Smith scattering three hits while fanning 13, as they silenced the Los Macarrecios, 8-2. Yevris Rodriguez was the losing hurler. Michael Vanerpool went 3-for4 and Kye Rymer was 2-for-4 and both scored a run.
“With every playoff game, you always try to get on top of your opponent for the first one and we sent out best out there—sent the best pitching, sent the best fielding, best batting—and we’re up one and that’s how we wanted to start,” manager Allen “Woodrow” Smith said. “The good thing is, Jayque and KJ Thompson, that’s my bottom of the lineup. If they come through, I could always depend on the top of the order for a hit every now and then and give me some runs. Once the bottom clicks in—7-9—we’re going to give the other team trouble.”
Opening weekend wrapped up with Demoi “Ben Up’ Hodge returning to the lineup from playing Collegiate baseball and lined a 3-run homer to right center, to cement Power Outage’s 16-5 explosion over the Albion’s Hot Shots. Jamal “Lefty” Allen, was the winning pitcher and Andrew Stoutt was tagged with the loss. Hodge went 1-for-4, scored a run and drove in three. Raffael Rabsatt’s lone hit in four at bats, was a 3-run triple. He scored once and had 5 RBI’s and scored three times.
Stoutt was 2-for-2, with a double and triple for the Hot Shots. He finished with three runs batted in.
“The offense was excellent tonight. The team played very well,” Coach Roy Barry noted. “In the first inning, we had a few miscues but outside of that, they pulled it together and they played an excellent game tonight.”