Rainouts prevented Inverness First Baptist Blue (4-0) from facing its three closest pursuers during the regular season of the Citrus County Church Softball League. But Blue will have a chance to show its title was no fluke when a double-elimination men's tournament begins Saturday at Whispering Pines Park in Inverness.
Blue faces Fort Cooper Baptist (4-1) about 4:30 p.m. in the last of four opening-round games. Other matchups include St. Scholastica (1-5) vs. Main Street Baptist (2-4) at noon, Beverly Hills First Baptist (1-4) against Inverness Church of God (5-1) at 1:30 p.m., and Inverness First Assembly of God (3-2) tangling with Inverness First Baptist Gray (2-5) at 3 p.m.
Last weekend, Blue clubbed Gray 19-6. Blue's Robert Dupler went 4-for-4 with four RBI and received support from Mark Swander, Rick Hibbard and Doug Dodd, who combined for eight hits and nine runs.
Beverly Hills split two games, beating Main Street Baptist 10-8 before falling 21-1 to Church of God. Beverly Hills' Carl Swander knocked in Phil Horn with the winning run against Main Street. Thom Hibbard and Bart Brand scored twice for Main Street. Tracy Reynolds and Greg Eadler combined for 12 RBI to power Church of God, and pitcher John Pisetti was 4-for-4 with four runs.
Fort Cooper Baptist, playing with just nine, trailed St. Scholastica 4-0 after an inning but finally took the lead in the sixth when Cory Williamson knocked in Robert Griggs. Fort Cooper then erupted for 11 runs in the seventh for a 16-5 win. Joe Eckstein of St. Scholastica went 3-for-3.
The women's league heads into its final two weeks with a showdown Saturday between Inverness Church of God (6-1) and Inverness First Baptist (5-2). The teams have split two games this season.
Church of God broke up a one-run game with First Assembly (2-4) by scoring four times in the sixth. Trudee Reynolds drove in four runs while Angie Terry counted two doubles among her four hits and Lawanda Key scored three runs. Brook Banta and Cindy Garza scored twice for First Assembly.
Inverness First Baptist's women posted a 12-3 victory over Main Street (0-6). Karen Rogers, Becky Smith and Joan Davis all scored three times for First Baptist while teammates Kathy Andrews and Diane Bywater batted in eight runs between them. Mary Robinson, Sharon Cordwell and Robin Hibbard all scored for Main Street in the first inning.