Think of Wednesday night's Hailey Coed Softball League All-Star game like an Olympic 200-meter dash final—with one team pulling away like Allyson Felix down the homestretch.
Captain Jimberly Rooney's Aqua All-Stars, trailing 7-5 after four frames, sprinted away with 24 runs in the final five innings to capture a 29-18 win over captain Brad Thompson's White All-Stars at Lions Park.
The Aqua All-Stars wore out three White pitchers—Richard Ulrich, Kenny Nelson and Sean Harrington—while Aqua hurler Mike Beall went the distance for the evening's champs.
On a muggy night touched with a few rain sprinkles, the two teams pounded out 60 hits during 90 minutes of action. The game was a tune-up for the seven-team league tournament this Saturday and Sunday.
The 13 Aqua All-Star players ended up with 35 hits in nine at-bats led by a perfect night at the plate from Bradley Tech/Columbia Paint outfielder Donnie Green (6-for-6, 2 doubles, 3-run HR, 7 RBI).
Meanwhile, the White All-Stars packed more punch with eight homers, compared to just two for the winning Aqua All-Star squad. Big Ben Bainbridge (5-for-5, 8 RBI) of Power Engineers clouted four distant homers on his first four trips—a three-run shot, a two-run tater and two solo round-trippers.
Star infielder Kenny Nelson of Cups & Bras (4-for-5) was the other top slugger with two homers and two doubles for the White All-Stars (25 hits). And the leading female hitter was Aqua's Wendy Hosman (4-for-5, 3 RBI), who belted a pair of extra-base rockets in late innings.
Early on, it looked like a White All-Stars slugging show.
Bainbridge cleared the bases with two long clouts giving the White squad a 7-5 lead after four. Four of those seven White runs were unearned, but Aqua's defense firmed up for the rest of the game.
And Aqua's bats fired up.
The winners batted around with 12 batters in the fifth and sixth innings—scoring 15 runs on 17 hits in those two frames.
In the fifth, Aqua exploded with a two-run homer by infielder Morgan Uhrig (3 hits, 3 runs) and a three-run blast by Donnie Green. They were the only two Aqua homers, but they came at a good time. When the dust settled, Aqua turned its 7-5 deficit into a 13-7 lead.
Lanky Aqua left fielder Joe Molyneux, late for the game because of work obligations, finally showed up, grabbed a bat and made his presence known with a leadoff triple sparking his team's seven-run sixth inning for a 20-10 cushion.
Contributing Aqua All-Star run-scoring hits during its second consecutive bat-around inning were Bryan Burrell (3 hits, 3 runs), Anna Edwards (3 hits, 3 runs, 3 RBI), Mike Beall (2 hits, 4 RBI), Green and Skyler Perry (2 hits, 2 RBI).
Try as they could with five homers in the final four innings, the White All-Stars just couldn't catch the Aqua attack.
Other Aqua hitters were Sue Mulcahy (3 hits, 3 runs), Jamie Stone (2 hits, 4 runs), Dani Stone (3 hits), JonMarie Shaw and Tommy Thompson (double). Jamie Stone led the Aqua defense making excellent plays in the outfield and infield, too.
Leading the White team were Sean Harrington (3 hits, HR, double), Greg Edwards (3 hits, HR, 3 RBI), Richard Ulrich (3 hits), Ryan Stavros (2 hits, 2 runs and Lacey Ellsworth (2 hits). Others on White were Kerry Nilsen, Sara Meyers, Shanell Nelson, Kim Meyers and Katrina Kolman.