Martha’s Vineyard women’s softball puts the fun in the game

League co-commissioner and Rug Sox player Jen Ingraham slugs a ball to center field. - Sam Moore

The Boston Red Sox lost a game the other night to the Los Angeles Angels 21 to 2. It was unwatchable. Last Friday, the Rug Sox of the Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Softball League lost a game to the Snaps 29 to 1, and not a soul left early.

The difference? Fun. Poor David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Xander Bogaerts. Our hearts go out to them. When’s the last time those guys were able to play the game with the spontaneity and joy these women displayed throughout a lopsided affair?

When’s the last time one of them did a somersault at home plate after scoring the run that cut the opponent’s lead to 28 runs, as the Rugs’ Carol Bailey did late in the Mercy Rule game? When’s the last time those big stars spent the entire game engaged in a spirited stream of, evidently, hilarious inside jokes with the umpire that everybody at the park was in on except the reporter? When’s the last time any Major League infielder flubbed a grounder, then laughed aloud and declared, “I’m bound to get the next one,” as several players did during the game?

And when’s the last time a Red Sox, Patriot, Celtic, or Bruin came over to a reporter during a game to explain how many players in the league were temporarily out of action due to a pregnancy, playing while pregnant, or back on the field after giving birth. To that question we know the answer.

These women offer a lot more than a positive attitude and an ability to keep the game in perspective. The Snaps scored 29 runs because they belted the ball all over the place. The Rug Sox, hardly slouches at the plate, hit the ball hard but, more often than not, right at someone. There were outstanding defensive plays, cutoff throws on target, aggressive base running, and much more.

The Rugs took the loss in stride. “The Snaps are a really good team,” injured Rug Sox Jen Ingraham, a league co-commissioner, said. “They’re also a fun team. They’re nice to opponents, and do a lot of things together away from the field. That’s important. Our team is like that too.”

On top of that, the Rugs know they’re still in contention for a top playoff spot in the six-team league.

So enjoy your millions, Red Sox. We love you; we yell and scream for you, and hope you win it all. But for a truly enjoyable, infectiously uplifting evening at the ballpark, you can’t beat the Rug Sox, the Snaps, the Creamers, the Shady Ladies, the Mamas, and the Honeys. They play a good brand of ball, and have a fine time doing it. And you can’t beat the price of parking.

Schedule: Thursday, July 7 at 6 pm (Mama’s Girls vs. Creamers at Veteran’s Park in Tisbury, and Honeys vs Rug Sox, at the West Tisbury School); Tuesday, July 12 (Rug Sox vs. Shady Ladies, and Snaps vs. Creamers at Veteran’s Park at 6 pm, followed by Honeys vs Mama’s Girls at 7:30 pm).

For more league information, go to