Three games into the 2016 Chautauqua softball season and the Sharpe Field faithful were still waiting for their first close game of the summer.
But on Tuesday evening, the Hot Chauts and Moms delivered a classic.
Jen Tarr’s walkoff in the final inning saw the Hot Chauts take a 9-8 nailbiter in the first game of the season for both teams, after the Moms came back from three down and erased a potential game-winning run with a play at the plate.
“It was a tie game and we needed one run in,” Tarr said. “It was pretty tough, but we made it.”
The contest was a back-and-forth affair, as neither team managed to pull away until the final inning. Despite some sharp defense from the Moms, who advanced all the way to the championship game last season, the Hot Chauts’ sluggers proved too much.
Carrie Zachry of the Moms was pleased with her team’s effort, despite the loss.
“We had a rocky start, but we are getting into our groove and are hoping to have a fun season,” Zachry said. “We are glad that Chautauqua softball is back in swing and are ready to have a great time.”
The Batgirls took down the Belles 12-5 in the first game of Tuesday night’s doubleheader, led by do-it-all pitcher Lauren McElree.
McElree pitched the whole game for the Batgirls, but did most of her damage at the plate, where she finished a triple shy of the cycle and mashed a grand slam.
“It’s honestly what they pitch. I play fast-pitch in the school year, so I just kind of use that,” she said.
With McElree batting cleanup, the Batgirls also got a solid contribution from Heather Jahrling, who batted 3-3 on the afternoon.
Despite her softball background, McElree said that the Chautauqua league presented different challenges that forced her to change her game.
“It’s so different, because you’ve got to drop your arm a little bit to get it up,” she said. “If you don’t, then it’s just a pop-up and you’re done.”