Great White Grill cooks up the competition, zaps Sanctuary Island Electric in finale
It’s all about bragging rights. And that’s what the Great White Grill got last Wednesday night at the Sanibel Softball playoff tournament.
In an epic four-hour long saga of blood, sweat and tears, the top four ranked teams in of the Sanibel Softball League laid it all out on the line. When the dust finally settled it was the fourth place team – the Great White Grill – standing tall over the top three ranked teams in a spectacular upset.
Round 1: Great White Grill vs. Doc Ford’s Wrecking Crew
In the first match of the evening, the first place Doc Ford’s Wrecking Crew played the fourth place Great White Grill. Great White entered the game with a winning “dry spell” – they hadn’t won a single game since April after leading the league for almost the entire season, at one point holding an 8-1 record before falling to 9-4.
On the flip side, the Wrecking Crew had the hottest win streak of five straight games.
In a pre-game team meeting, Captain Joe Ramsey urged his team on with a stirring, Braveheart-like speech: “Everyone thinks we’re chokes. But we’re going to be like Warren G. and we’re going to Regulate.”
The game was intense. The Wrecking Crew’s demolishing ball was going wild in the beginning of the game. They held the lead for the first five innings until Great White Grill heated up the fryer and let it sizzle, scoring 11 runs in the fifth and sixth innings. The final score was 13-8 in favor of Great White.
Round 2: Sanctuary Island Electric vs. Bailey’s Baggers
Bailey’s Baggers knew everybody was aiming for them when they entered the tournament. Both Sanctuary Island Electric and Great White Grill resented the fact that Bailey’s amazingly beat them out for 2nd place overall in the regular season – by only .003 percent. But the Baggers came prepared and brought a secret weapon, Sam Bailey, as a special guest team manager.
And it looked like the plan would have worked, too, if it hadn’t been for those “meddling kids” on Sanctuary Island Electric.
Down by two runs entering the fifth inning, Sanctuary Electric began pumping out the volts in order to stay alive. Players Ray Walker, Travis Brindise and Todd Hayes all made electrifying plays both in the field and at bat. Soon, the deficit turned around as Sanctuary scored 11 unanswered runs to win the game, 14-5.
“It was fun while it lasted. I just wish we could have ‘bagged’ one more win,” said Bailey’s player Greg Gleason.
The Finals: Sanctuary Island Electric vs. Great White Grill
And so the finale to the tournament hosted the third place and fourth place teams. The end of the juggernaut approached. Both teams having endured almost three hours of softball already in the night, had one more left to go in this gauntlet of endurance.
Great White, the mighty predator on the field, took an early lead and didn’t let it up the entire game. Sanctuary Electric got a spark of runs in the third inning, narrowing Great White’s lead to just one run. Great White kept the pressure up though and, by the last inning, they were winning by nine runs.
Sanctuary Electric, with the season on the line, had one last long shot to win in the bottom of the seventh. They scored three runs before they got their first out. After their fourth run, the bases were loaded and they still only had one out. One good hit here might clear the bases and narrow that lead to one run. Unfortunately for Sanctuary Electric, the shark-like reflexes of shortstop Steve Brunner and the golden glove of first basemen “The Raider” John Nader led to a double play that short-circuited Sanctuary Electric’s sudden surge and ended the game.
The final score: Great White – 19, Sanctuary Electric – 14.