Rug Sox and Honeys win playoff openers

Rug Sox catcher Marisa Estrella tags out Shady Lady Nicole Leblond at the plate. — Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Softball League double-elimination playoff tournament got underway with a twin bill Tuesday night at Veterans Park. With the top-seeded Mama’s Girls and second-place Creamers earning an opening night bye, the action began with the defending champion Rug Sox taking on the Shady Ladies.

The Sox put up an eight spot in the first inning, and held off the scrappy Shadies, 11-6. Jen Ingraham led off the home half of the first inning with an inside-the-park home run, and the Rug Sox were off and running, with Mariah Duarte, Katherine Clark, Amy Landers, Miranda Tokarz, and Sue Stephenson all hitting singles in the big rally.

The Shadies clawed their way back, thanks to some stellar defense and a three-run sixth. Third baseman Nicole Leblond and shortstop Katie Chapman made shoestring grabs in the infield, and pitcher Katie Davey snared a comebacker, while Heather Gibson, Sue Sanford, and Chapman all singled and scored to cut the Sox lead to 10-6 entering the seventh inning.

Amy Landers of the Sox, along with Shadies Katie Chapman and Collette Jordan, all were 3 for 3 at the plate.

In the nightcap, Emily deBettencourt drilled a three-run homer in the second inning as the Honeys overturned an early 2-1 deficit and powered past the Snaps, 15-3. Elissa Decosta tripled and batted 5 for 5 for the Honeys.

The playoffs continue on July 26 with the Rug Sox taking on the Creamers at the West Tisbury School, while the Mama’s Girls play the Honeys on Field B at Veterans Park. Both games begin at 6:15 pm.