The theory of 'come rain or shine' was fully tested at the Allen Fields Sports Complex on Saturday (June 18) by the four teams that participated in the softball tournament: Northern Paving, Angel Fire Renegades, Balls Deep (as in how far they are launched out onto the field) and Primos. The early games were played in ideal weather, then came the monsoons.
Everybody in attendance said more-or-less the same thing: “Thank god. We need this rain badly.” Mere precipitation was something the softball players could handle, whereas the welfare of the state of New Mexico depends on a strong monsoon season. League organizer Joe “Jojo” Valdez officiated the games while wearing an Ozark Trail, Frogg Toggs stylized rain suit. The rain varied from a slight refreshing spattering of droplets to a full-on torrential drenching for the players on the field.
The only shelter from the storm was a slightly-tarped soccer goal, but the water dripped through. There were lightning strikes in the distance that seemed to get closer every half hour.
Team B.D. came prepared with a roll of garbage bags, cut so as to make them improvised rain ponchos, for their whole team. The centerfielder for B.D. made an all-time blooper reel play when a line drive was hit through the infield and was zipping along the turf in his direction. The centerfielder was wearing the garbage bag poncho and had his arms tucked inside, holding an umbrella to further protect him from the elements. As the ball rushed toward him, he had to choose between the bodily comfort of being dry or allowing the ball to get past him. He chose the former and let the ball get all the way to the warning track for an easy triple on what would have been nothing more than a single.
The Angel Fire Renegades had a poor showing, going from runner-ups in the previous tournament to a winless showing this time around. Team Primos had a somewhat different roster configuration than their previous tournament team and it led to drastically different results. They won their second championship in a row, but this time, they put on a batting clinic against the opposing teams.
Their first two games were utter beatdowns; 32-7 and 21-1. Johnny “Mr. Automatic” Rodelo refused to not get on base throughout the whole tournament, with the exception of one play where Jojo called one of his balls a foul ball and declared him out. Otherwise, Rodelo would have batted 1.000. The Fresquez brothers (AJ, Nick, and Timmy) provided countless moonshots. It seemed like they were all trying to bat for the cycle.
In the championship game versus B.D., they faced stiff competition for the first few innings. At one point, the game was even at 10 runs apiece. Then, team Primos started to smash line drives through the gaps, down the lines and sometimes over the fences. They doubled their scoring output in one inning. They closed out the championship game on a solid double play from a throw from pitcher to the shortstop and then back around to first base.
As is custom, team Primos won a Michelob Ultra cooler stocked with beer. Additionally, Jojo gave some awards to players he deemed the MVPs: A round of golf at Taos Country Club was awarded to Nick Fresquez; a $20 gift certificate for artisanal libations to be purchased from The Cellar was awarded to Tim Fresquez; and a pair of ZZ Top tickets were awarded to Johnny Rodelo.