Now that the adult rec softball summer season has ended in Edina, the teams who’ll have bragging rights in the offseason are Mercy Rules, the Brew Tang Clams Field Services, Remax Results and Bunny’s.
More than 50 teams played in the various Edina adult leagues this season, under the supervision of director Tiffany Hoffmann.
Following is a synopsis of how the playoffs unfolded in 2017.
Men’s Monday Night
Mercy Rules is a Christian team that dominates the field with a mix of speed and power.
When someone shouts, “Hey, Havlik!” there’s a good chance a few people will turn around.
Nathan Havlik is the player-coach of Mercy Rules, and he has two brothers on the team – Sam and Chris.
Per Christensson, a star outfielder on the team, jokingly refers to himself as “the fourth Havlik brother.”
Like most championship softball teams, Mercy Rules has an outstanding pitcher. His name is Brandon Forar, and he comes with an assortment of pitches, including deliveries from behind the back and between the legs.
Caddyswag Radio challenged Mercy Rules in the championship game and the DJs led 12-9 going into the bottom of the seventh before Mercy Rules pulled it out on Tyler Godin’s walk-off homer.
“I have umpired 179 games this season,” said Umpire in Chief Bob Ralph. “And that’s the most dramatic finish I’ve seen.”
“I had hit one or two inside-the-park homers during the season, but nothing over the fence,” said Godin, shaking his head. “I guess it was my night.”
In Tuesday Co-Rec League softball, Remax Results/Pelletier Group relied on the speed of Izzy Lodge and the power of Chris Peterson.
Lodge, one of five very athletic women on the roster, hit three inside-the-park home runs during the playoffs. On the men’s side, Peterson hit five homers over the fence.
Almost all of the Remax players have outstanding backgrounds in athletics. Katie Lallier and Natalie Spicer played fastpitch softball for Minnesota State University, Mankato.
In the championship game, Remax had to work for it, beating Warning Track Power 12-8.
Men’s 35 & Over
Wednesday night is reserved for 35 & Over Men’s Rec League play at Van Valkenburg Park.
There were 12 teams in the league this year, but almost everyone felt the season would come down to just one game – Bunny’s vs. the Love Handles in the playoff finals.
“We were on the verge of being 10-runned,” said Bunny’s second baseman Brad Carlson, who homered in the top of the eighth inning to key his team’s 23-20 victory.
At one point, the Love Handles led 18-7, but at the end of regulation play, the score was tied 20-20.
Prior to Carlson’s homer, his teammate, shortstop Greg Roth, drilled a homer that was technically the game-winning hit.
Ryan “Big Kansas” Maxon made the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the eighth, when he ran down a long fly ball in the left-field corner.
“These games against the Love Handles are the best games,” said Bunny’s third baseman Bryan Fricke. “They’re just so intense. I’m really happy, but I also feel their pain.”
Men’s Thursday Night
You’ve got to give it to the Brew Tang Clams, who won their second straight Thursday Men’s Rec title.
The Clams are a tall, strong team that can run the bases – a lot like Mercy Rules from the Monday Night League.
Pitcher Chris Belisle is among the best in Edina softball, while teammates Charlie Chapman, Jordan Schultenover and Mark Peterson love to hit it deep.
The toughest playoff game for the Clams was a 15-14 semifinal victory over the Toasted Cheesers. In the finals, the Clams defeated Viking Forest 18-9. Viking Forest made an incredible playoff run after finishing the regular season with a 4-8 record.
In the semifinal round, Viking Forest upset the powerful Motor Boaters 13-9.
Field Services completed a perfect season by beating 143 Social 18-8 in the Thursday Co-Rec playoff championship game.
Phil Schept hit a pair of home runs to stake Field Services to an early 6-0 lead. Then, in the bottom of the fifth inning, Selina Murphy hit an RBI triple to end the game via the 10-run rule.
“Our team has been together for more than 10 years,” said Field Services player coach Sean Walsh. “Everyone on our team can hit, and in some cases the girls hit better than the guys. Except for Phil, of course.”
Field Services and 143 Social dominated play in the Thursday Co-Rec League with 12-0 and 10-2 regular-season records. It was inevitable that they would meet to decide the championship.
Contact John Sherman at [email protected]