The royal blue team turned three double plays on defense against navy blue.
They made every out count.
Royal blue edged navy, 17-16 on Thursday at field 2 in Brahan Spring Park. By winning this semifinal, they advanced to the spring season championship game scheduled July 19 for the 55-and-over Rockets league in Huntsville Senior Softball.
Their final opponent would be defending champion red, which beat gray 22-16 in Thursday’s second semifinal. The summer season is scheduled to start July 22.
“I think our defense held up,” royal blue player/coach Bob Thomson said. “And we finally got some offense going.”
Mike Keyser went 5-for-5 with two doubles, two runs batted in and five runs scored for royal blue (11-8). Jerry Bevel had four hits and three RBIs. Derrick Santiago had three hits with two doubles and three RBIs. Mark Wilbourn, Pete Mitchell and Thomson had three hits apiece. Jim Smelser and Stan Sillivant added two hits apiece. Mitchell pitched all seven innings for the win.
Royal blue turned double plays in the second, fourth and sixth innings. Navy blue had the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh when the game ended on a 6-5 force play.
Booger Clark smashed a home run and two doubles for navy blue (12-6), which was the tournament’s top seed. Darnell Ford went 4-for-4 with a double, four runs batted in and two runs scored. Vince Smith went 4-for-4 with two doubles, one RBI and three runs. Jerry Cowan, player/coach Larry Guthrie and Mike Panko had three hits apiece. Bill Hartsell, David Stumbaugh and Gary Wilkison added two hits apiece. Cowan took the loss in the circle.
“It was a good game, back and forth,” Guthrie said. “They just made a good play at the end.”