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Doc Ford’s takes summer softball league championship

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Jul 20, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Doc Ford's Sea Dogs won the 2021 summer Co-Ed Softball League tournament on June 14.

Doc Ford’s Sea Dogs has claimed the 2021 summer Co-Ed Softball League championship title.

The season-ending tournament took place on July 14 at the Sanibel Ball Fields at the Sanibel Recreation Center. Sanibel Carts was scheduled to go up against Whitney’s Bait & Tackle at 6:30 p.m., with the winner of the game to face off against Doc Ford’s at 7:40 p.m. for the championship.

Fitness Contracts and Athletics Coordinator Connor Russell reported that due to scheduling issues and multiple rain outs at the end of the season, some Sanibel Carts players had left for vacation and such.

“Unfortunately, the first game was forfeit due to one team not having enough players,” he said.

However, both teams were still given the opportunity to take a couple of hits at bat.

PHOTO PROVIDED Whitney’s Bait and Tackle took second place in the tournament.

“So they got to take the field for a little while,” Russell said.

Because of the forfeit, Whitney’s moved on to play against Doc Ford’s for the title.

“We were able to put on a championship game for the most part,” he said.

The teams were able to get in two full innings before the weather forced the game to be called early. Russell reported that the lightning system went off and they had to pull everyone off of the field.

“We did have to cancel it due to the weather,” he said.

By the end of the second inning, Whitney’s was ahead of Doc Ford’s 7-2. Russell reported that it appeared Doc Ford’s was starting to make a comeback though as it ended with bases loaded.

“They were both playing really good,” he said. “A lot of good hits.”

The championship was decided by the current standings at the time of the weather cancellation.

“Both teams knew we’d have to go off the standings if we ran into weather,” Russell said.

Heading into the tourney, the standings were Doc Ford’s (6-2), Whitney’s (5-3) and Sanibel Carts (1-7). As such, Doc Ford’s won the championship title, with Whitney’s in second and Sanibel Carts in third.

“We just really wanted to get them out there for the last game,” he said, adding that organizers knew they could not postpone the tournament any longer as more players would not be present to participate.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out exactly like we wanted,” Russell added, referring to the weather not holding out. “But, we were just excited to get them out there and not end the season with an email.”

The summer league was the first season back since the start of the pandemic.

“This season was us trying to provide something for people to do,” he said. “Trying to give people the opportunity to play again.”

Russell thanked the three participating teams, which also served as sponsors.

“For coming out and making what we could out of the season,” he said. “It was a lot of fun watching them play and getting back into the groove of things.”

The fall Co-Ed Softball League will begin in October, with the first game set for Oct. 6.

“Registration will open in September,” Russell said.

A coach’s meeting is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 25. The registration fee is $520 per team and covers between nine and 15 players. A minimum of nine players is required to field a team.

“Hopefully, we can have a much bigger season come October,” he said.

For more information, contact Russell at 239-472-0345.