It is a cruel but telling nickname, to say the least, but it’s apparently well earned.
“All season long we’ve had close games — we’re calling ourselves the last inning losers,” said Bounty Hunters captain Sue Milligan, who, according to Milligan, is captain because she is the bossiest one on her team.
“We get to the last inning and then we let our guard down and get beat.”
“It was the beer,” said teammate Larry Organ, giving his two cents’ worth.
The nickname was just that, a nickname, Wednesday as the division four Bounty Hunters (1-1) took a 21-6 win over the Double “J” Deviants (0-2) on field one of the Pepsi Softball Centre.
Holding the Deviants to just three runs in the second, and three more in the fourth, and serving them two three-up-three-down innings along the way, the Hunters’ winning run came in during their four-run second that put them up 10-3 by the end of the inning.
With a pair of walks loading the bases, Tyler Milligan scored the winning run on a line drive to right field by Jamie Milligan that also brought in Organ.
An out later, with two in scoring position, Kyle Couch-Boehmer put two more on the board with a grounder that broke through the grasp of the Deviants’ pitcher.
However, some of the Hunters’ winning chemistry may have come from a modification of the fielding.
“We decided to change up where everyone was playing tonight,” said Sue Milligan. “Plus, a couple of our players who haven’t played before, like Wanda (Organ) — from start to finish she’s kind of amazing … And our bats were good tonight.”
Down by 15 runs, the Deviants failed to bring in five runs to avoid the 15-run mercy rule, ending the game after the fifth inning.
“It was pretty rough today,” said Deviants captain Shaun Einarson, who went 1-for-2 at the plate. “They were just hitting holes on us and we weren’t hitting the sticks.”
Needing only three loses to be ousted, the Deviants will try to avoid elimination Saturday, facing a team yet to be determined.
Seeing that half of the Hunters’ roster has never played softball before this season, their true strength may lie in family ties.
“We’re a family team; we’ve got … four different families playing,” said Sue.
“They weren’t that enthused to play with us to begin with,” she said, speaking of the youngsters on the team. “They love it now. They can’t wait to come out.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org