By Ted Waddell
LIBERTY August 13, 2004 The members of the Stingers softball team lived up to the Stingem logo embroidered on their uniform jerseys Monday evening as they stung Ratner & Son Paving 12-2 on the sandy field in back of the local elementary school.
Going into the Liberty Slow Pitch Softball League playoffs, both teams had a 13-7 record. And heading into Monday nights game, Stingers held a 2-1 advantage over Ratner & Son Paving in their best-of-five game opening round playoff series.
Stingers, which is sponsored by the Liberty Pub, started to buzz toward victory in the top of the second inning by sending four runners across the plate.
They scored one run in the third and added two more in the fourth frame to take a 7-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Stingers racked up five runs in their big inning of the game. The key hit was a bases clearing triple by Frank Scuderi.
Ratner & Son Paving got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh as Jack Moylan scored on a triple by Mitch Juron.
Ricky Rat Nichols pitched for Stingers, while Dave Dibble anchored the mound for Ratner & Son Paving.
The opposing pitchers proved they rated high on the reaction scale and helped their own causes by snapping up line drive shots that left an opposing players bat and quickly traveled right back to the source of the pitch.
Big hitters for the winning team were Scuderi, who was 3-for-3, including a three-run triple; Rob Sze, who recorded four RBI; Mike Mulligan, who was 2-for-3, and Aaron Bertholf, who had a two-run double.
They played good, and we didnt play up to our expectations, said James Ratner, player/coach of Ratner & Son Paving.
We didnt hit the ball
thats about it, he added. Youve got to hit the ball in softball.
Dan Ricco, player/coach of Stingers, took to the field in style, sporting a gold and diamond New York Yankees earring in his left earlobe.
It was a good game, he said. Our defense was good, we hit the ball and played good as a team... thats the bottom line.
Note: With the Monday nights victory over Ratner & Son Paving, Stingers won the series, 3-1.
Stingers advances to the semifinals against the Amazing Bombers.