Federated ace blanks Blade Runners 13-0
When it comes to pitching a softball, Federated Insurance’s men’s slowpitch ace is usually a step ahead of the opposition in the Edina 35 & Over League.
With Smolund doing most of the pitching, Federated finished third in the regular-season standings with a 9-3 mark. Only the Love Handles (12-0) and Bunny’s (11-1) held sway over Federated, which is one of the veteran teams in the league.
In his best game of the season Aug. 2 at Van Valkenburg Park, Smolund tossed a shutout to beat the Blade Runners 13-0.
“That’s my first shutout this year,” said Smolund. “I have a great fielding team behind me.”
Third baseman Chris Zinn and shortstop Rick Stone have a knack for gobbling up any ground balls that come their way. Reliable Scott Buss is another reliable defensive player at first base.
“We’re a strong hitting team that fields well,” said player-coach Pete Swanson. “Most importantly, we have a lot of fun.”
As he pitched against the Blade Runners, Smolund found a great rhythm. He had some batters popping up and others topping ground balls to his infielders for easy outs.
Reverend Jon Good, the star player and spokesman for the Blade Runners, isn’t giving up on the season, as his team headed into the league’s Second Division playoffs this week. The retirement of Craig DeBerg has hindered the Blade Runners, but with Ron Hoistad healthy now, the team is in good shape for the playoffs.
The Reverend noted that his team had a franchise-record five straight wins earlier this year and added, “We haven’t done much since.”
Getting back to Rob Smolund and Federated Insurance, Smolund is an athlete for all seasons. In addition to playing softball in the spring and summer, he is an avid golfer. Some of his rivals are amazed that he never drives a car to the field … he always rides his bike.
“I like to stay in shape,” he said.
For cross training, the softball pitcher loves to swim. There isn’t a sport he hasn’t tried, there isn’t a sport in which he doesn’t excel. His Federated teammates will vouch for that.
Contact John Sherman at [email protected]