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Bainbridge’s Island Sounder seniors are raring to ‘Play ball!’ | SENIOR OUTLOOK

It’s spring. Have you grabbed your mitt yet and headed out to Rotary Park to join the Island Sounders softball team?

If you’ve been waiting for more information, here’s what I learned when I asked my senior softball expert, Susan Montez, the classic five W’s for gathering information:

Who: We are the Bainbridge Islanders.

What: Slow-pitch softball team, open to any Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center member age 50 and up. There is a fee (not much) and a medical release form required.

When: We practice Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. We have batting practice, infield-outfield practice and then play a game. If we have enough people, we split into two teams. If fewer people show up, we’ll play with three teams of four, or whatever we’ve got. We try to schedule about half a dozen games, home and away, during the season with Bremerton, Port Townsend and Port Hadlock. After each game there’s a barbecue hosted by the home team.

Where: Our practices and home games are at Rotary Park. We play on the upper field but this year we’ll be moving to the lower field in July, when construction of the new field begins. We occasionally play at Battle Point Park.

Why: It’s softball — what else is there? Good exercise, fresh air, lasting friendships and FUN (we laugh a lot and don’t take ourselves seriously). We have great potlucks and parties during and after the season.

And here’s some additional information Montez provided: “We usually have about 18 to 20 people, men and women, mid-season. We haven’t chosen coaches yet as we’re just getting started. Last year, we probably lost more than we won, but we had fun and there was a great win against the powerhouse Port Townsend team which can be viewed at  www.youtube.com watch?v=TvJymeOw64E. (The Island Sounders are the team with the yellow sleeves.) So, anyone who’s interested, just show up and play!”

As a member of the initial team, this columnist knows a bit of its history.

It came into being in 2003, after a delegation from the Bremerton softball team came to the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center in search of someone to play against.

They supplied us with the official rules for senior slow-pitch softball and loads of encouragement to form a team and start practicing. We were even given a four-point handicap because we would be rookies playing against their more experienced team and be co-ed against their then all-male line-up.

Even with the four-point bonus, we usually lost.

But three years later, on May 9, 2005, softball history was made. On that day, the Island Sounders beat the more seasoned Bremerton team for the first time.

Even the adjusted score, after subtracting our four bonus points, was a clean win of 8–4.

I was never much of an athlete, but I joined the first year’s team to help it get started. Compared to me, Charlie Brown’s Lucy was an all-star, but oh, did I have fun.

Give it a try. You’ll have a ball.

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