The Women’s Slow Pitch Softball League on Martha’s Vineyard began eight seasons ago. Thursday, August 23, at Veterans Park, the Honeys defeated the Rug Sox, 10-4, to win their fourth championship. In terms of winning titles, the Honeys are batting an astounding .500. That is simply impressive, in any sport.
The 2012 season was not without adversity. The Honeys overcame a 1-3 start and got through the regular season with a mediocre 5-4 record, including a disastrous 11-6 loss to the Rug Sox on July 10, in which the eventual champs surrendered a 6-2 lead and gave up nine runs in the seventh inning.
Still, there were flashes of brilliance to signal what might happen later. The Honeys were the only team to defeat the defending champion Snaps and did so convincingly, 13-8, on July 3.
Once the playoffs began, the Honeys were unstoppable. They beat the Shady Ladies, Snaps, and Late Fees to clinch a spot in the finals, unbeaten at 3-0, in the double elimination tournament.
That gave the Honeys the advantage of having to win once in two attempts against the Rug Sox, who were 3-1 in tournament play and had to win two straight in the finals.
The Honeys only needed one chance and put on a workmanlike performance to win the title. There were no home runs, no flashy plays. The Honeys won with timely hits, solid defense, and by cashing in on mistakes when the opportunities arose.
The champs got on the board with one run in the first, when Martha Scheffer singled to score Darcie Lee Hanaway.
The teams were scoreless in the next two innings but traded a pair of sparlking double plays.
In the fourth, with Honeys Amy Maciel on third, Kelly Silvia on second, and Hanaway on first, Scheffer lined a shot judged fair over third base and down the left field line. Maciel scored and Silvia came home on a throwing error at second. Katie Hines then got on base and scored Darcie Hanaway to put the Honeys up 4-0.
The Rug Sox loaded the bases in the bottom half of the fourth but came away with only one run, courtesy of a Sam Cleland RBI single to score Sam Cron.
The Honeys padded the lead to 6-1 in the fifth. Ashley Medeiros, the Ag Fair skillet throw champ, lashed a single off of Jen Oliver’s glove to score Hailee McCarthy and Kelly Silvia had an RBI walk to score Grace Robinson.
The Rug Sox cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded, Alyssa Carpenter bounced the ball up the middle. Katie Hines made the out at second and fired home but Katherine Clark knocked the ball loose at the plate and two runs scored.
The Honeys put the game away with one run in the sixth and three in the seventh. Nicole Gazaille singled in Katie Hines in the sixth. Ashley Medeiros and Amy Maciel chalked up RBI singles in the seventh and Kelly Silvia reached on an error to score Medeiros.
The Rug Sox threatened in the seventh by loading the bases but managed just one run on an RBI walk by Elizabeth Clark.
After the final out, as the Honeys celebrated another outstanding season, the beloved Rug Sox, who play with an irrepressible spirit and joy for the game, and who had at least one player from every other team cheering them on throughout the final, rallied at the bench. Champions they were not this time around. But as runners-up, they enjoyed, in every sense, their best season to date.