Craig Parks and Rec softball teams battle it out in league championship tournaments Saturday
Craig Softball Association’s A-league championship game scores from Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park:
(Team — score)
• TCB Contracting — 18
• Ace Painting — 16
• TCB Contracting — 25
• Ace Painting — 20
Craig Softball Association’s B-league championship game score from Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park:
(Team — score)
• Triple M Electric — 15
• Anthony’s — 6
Justin Folley walked to the plate Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park hoping to help lead Triple M Electric’s softball team to a B-league championship.
On the second pitch, Folley planted his foot, swung and watched as the ball sailed into center field and over the fence for a solo homerun.
Folley also had a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth as Triple M Electric pulled away late against Anthony’s to win the Craig Softball Association’s B-league championship, 15-6.
Playing for Triple M Electric is a change for Folley, who coaches the Moffat County High School varsity baseball team as well as the American Legion Post 62 baseball team.
“This is my way of staying in the game, athletic-wise,” he said. “Coaching is a different perspective, and playing softball allows me to get on the field and have fun with my teammates, although I still help coach some of them.”
Folley played two years of baseball at Modesto College, a junior college in California, before transferring to the University of Mary in North Dakota to play his final two years.
After finishing college, Folley began coaching.
In the Craig Softball Association, however, Folley faces some of the players he coached.
“I joined (Triple M Electric) two years ago because it was a good group of people to play ball with on Tuesday’s,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about the philosophy of the game or the discipline, and I also get to play against some of the kids I coached, which is a lot of fun.”
The A- and B-league tournaments began Wednesday and Thursday before concluding Saturday.
Triple M Electric headed into the B-league tournament seeded third and Anthony’s came in seeded fifth.
Anthony’s beat No. 1 Flint Personnel in the second round before falling to Triple M Electric in the semi-finals.
Because the tournament was double-elimination, Anthony’s had to face Flint Personnel again in the consolation finals, again winning and earning a second chance to take on Triple M Electric.
Anthony’s had a 6-3 lead before Folley’s solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth.
In the fifth inning, Triple M Electric put up 11 runs, including a grand slam from Danny Quinn.
Folley, who also played shortstop, said reaction is the biggest thing in slow-pitch softball.
“Compared to baseball, there are shorter bases and the ball comes at you a lot harder,” he said. “You have to be able to read the situations and have good reactions.”
When it comes to hitting, Folley said the best thing to do is wait and not rush the swing.
Coming in as the No. 3 seed, Folley said his team actually had an advantage.
“I think being seeded third benefited us because we had a sort of lax schedule to start and we knew we could win,” he said. “Really, we just wanted to play against good competition and have fun out there.”
In the A-league, TCB Contracting beat Ace Painting for the championship, 25-20, in the third game of the day for the two teams.
In the semi-finals, No. 1 TCB Contracting lost to No. 2 Ace Painting to fall to the consolation bracket.
In the consolation finals, TCB Contracting beat No. 4 Napa/Severson Supply to face Ace Painting in the championship game.
TCB Contracting won the second game, 18-16, to force the winner-take-all game.