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By Ed Moreth 

Noodles dominate softball tourney


August 2, 2018

Ed Moreth

HARD HIT – Nick Posselt of the Noxon Limp Noodles smashes a ball to left field for a double. Noxon claimed a14-12 victory against Kyndra's Corner of Missoula.

The Noxon Limp Noodles looked as though they had it in the bag as the undefeated team went into the championship matchup against Missoula's The Other Team, which had worked its way back up from the loser's bracket Sunday at the Wild Horse Showdown Softball Tournament in Plains.

Ten teams participated in the two-day tourney at Amundson Sports Complex, sponsored by the Wildhorse Sports Association (WSA). Plains had three teams – The Printery, Off in the Woods and Lei Out (comprised of Plains and Thompson Falls) – in the competition. Missoula filled three teams – Baum Squad, Kyndra's Corner and the Super Heroes in Town. Plains resident Kim Earhart and his daughter, Mel, played for The Super Heroes. Mission Valley had one team, The Ranch, and the team Major Left Bench was comprised of Spokane players. Kyle Errecart of Plains played for the Ranch. The Other Team was filled with players from Missoula, Superior, St. Regis, and Coeur d'Alene.

"The level of competition at the tournament this year was phenomenal. Many games were decided based on only a point or two, and the championship was not an exception," said Kim Bergstrom, who coordinated the tournament with Cory Ovitt, who pitched for The Printery.

Each team paid $250 to participate. The money raised goes to pay for maintenance and improvements to the Amundson Sports Complex, which is operated by the WSA, a nonprofit organization that broke ground on the 27 acres of the old Plains Airport in 2012. Since then, the group has created four ball fields, two soccer fields, and a pedestrian walking/running trail. The complex has been funded with government grants and donations. No taxpayer money has been used, said Bergstrom, a former WSA board member.

This is the fourth year for the coed tournament and it's the most teams to participate since it started, said Ovitt. Last year, only six teams competed. Noxon participated in three out of the four years and won each time.

This was the first year that the tournament included a Home Run Derby for women. Fifteen women paid $10 for five swings at the fence. Only two women cleared the fence. Deanna Byers of Missoula won with two homers and took home $150 in prizes from Stud's Building & Home, Gambles Hardware and The Circle. Seventeen men took part and finished with a three-way tie of two apiece by Tanner Ovitt and Kyle Brown, both of Plains, and Taylor Sharette of Missoula, who won the "bat-off" with two homers and $150 in cash.

The event started Saturday morning with pool play to determine a seeding order for the tournament, which began Saturday afternoon. By the end of the first day, which went until nearly 9 p.m., Lei Out and Off in the Woods were knocked out of the tournament. Major Left Bench and The Ranch were next to go Sunday morning. The Other Team and Kyndra's Corner faced off in the loser's bracket Sunday; Kyndra's Corner was defeated and knocked out of the contest, followed by The Printery, which was bumped by the Super Heroes, which lost to Limp Noodles.

The Other Team worked its way from the loser's bracket to the championship game against the undefeated Limp Noodles. Because the Other Team had one loss, they would have to beat the Noxon players twice.

Ed Moreth

OVER THE PLATE – Jase Miller of the Lei Out whips in a strike against an Out of the Woods batter. Lei Out claimed a 5-4 victory.

The championship game began with two runs by The Other Team in the first inning. By the top of the fifth, Noxon was trailing by four runs. In the bottom of the fifth, Limp Noodles cut the deficit in half. They held the Missoula team in the top of the sixth. In the bottom, Nick Posselt of the Limp Noodles hit a double RBI to take his team within one run, followed by a run that tied the game. Noxon nabbed three quick outs in the top of the seventh. In their last at bat, with players on second and third and two outs, Noxon's Brett Damaskos smashed the ball to right field for an RBI and the win.

"I'm glad we won; I didn't want to play a second game," said Noxon pitcher Chad Peterson.

The tournament went well, said Ovitt. The Home Run Derby went a little long and heavy rain delayed games Saturday evening. The fifth annual tournament is planned for next July. Ovitt said the only way it would have been better this year would have been his team winning.


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