Welcome back to another edition of Playing the Field. In this month’s column, we will tackle Charlotte’s Roller derby, Rugby and bowling teams, as well as some of the South’s biggest softball tournaments. So, without further adieu, let’s get to the teams!
The Charlotte Roller Girls All-Stars (CLTRG for short) competed in the Southern Discomfort Tournament in Columbia, S.C., from April 26-27. This event brought in teams from Washington D.C., New Jersey, Brandywine/Chester County, Rochester, N.Y., Nashville, Cape Fear, Charlottesville, and Kalamazoo, Mich. The impressive field of teams provided a formidable challenge for the ladies from Charlotte. On day one, Charlotte faced off against the Garden State Rollergirls, who in their only bout this season, routed Long Island 301-66. Sadly, Charlotte endured the same fate, although not by nearly the lopsided score, losing to the Garden State team 188-72.
On day two, CLTRG took on the Brandywine team who also lost the day before to a solid Nashville team. These two evenly-matched teams battled hard, with Charlotte taking a slim halftime lead. However, in the second half, Brandywine stormed back and won the bout 171-145.
CLTRG looks to bounce back this month when they resume their regular schedule with matches against the Blue Ridge Roller Girls and the Hard Knox Roller Girls.
For times and locations, as well as more information, visit their updated website at charlotterollergirls.com.
On Easter weekend, New South Softball hosted their annual Southern Shootout in Birmingham, Ala. It is the longest-running LGBT softball tournament in North America and brings in teams from all over the country. In the two divisions, C and D, 45 teams came to compete for the championship.
In the C division, two teams were undefeated after round-robin play. The Orlando Bombers and The DC Allstars were both 2-0 and they were also the teams that met in the final. The Allstars relied on the slick fielding and defense, while the Orlando Bombers came into the game with the most runs scored out of any teams, even though they played two less games than the Allstars, who had to go through the losers bracket to make it to the final. Most sports writers, analysts and commentators will tell you, “defense wins Championships.” On that day, it was true. DC was able to quell the red-hot bats of the Bombers and were able to take the title, 18-10.
In the D division, the tournament favorites, Carolina Showtime, were ousted in a late inning rally by A/S/L from Atlanta and had to settle for third place. In the final, A/S/L took on the Tampa Panthers. This championship was especially well-contested. Both teams were solid defensively and struggled hitting after two long days of playing softball. However, A/S/L was able to get two very big back-to-back triples in the fifth inning to blow the game open and were able to hold onto the lead until the end, winning 12-7.
The next major softball tournament will be the Big Peach Tournament held in Atlanta, Ga., during Memorial Day weekend. For more information on the event, go to their website at hslbigpeach.org.
The Charlotte Rainbowlers league finished up their fourth quarter this past April 7th. Winning this final leg of the season was the Dragon Balls team, followed by The Pickup Squad, The Rammers and Modern Family in that order. Congratulations goes out to those teams on their stellar season.
The league starts back up on Aug. 25 with an informational session at Centennial Lanes on South Blvd. If you would like to join or support their league, check them out on Facebook under the Charlotte Rainbowlers.
The Charlotte Royals finished their regular season this month with four matches on back-to-back weekends. First, the Royals hosted a mini-tournament at Tuskaseegee Park between themselves, the Charleston Blockade and the Nashville Grizzlies. The Royals were coming off two losses to Table Rock and UNCC and were looking to build some much-needed momentum towards the Bingham Cup in August.
The day started with a touching tribute to one the team’s founders, Allen McCarthy, on the pitch, just like he would have wanted. All three teams, each who had members that had played against or with Allen, paid tribute to him and applauded as his partner Grayson Tucker spread some of his ashes at midfield.
Allen’s friends, family and all others who attended the games were treated to an exceptional showing by the Royals, who were clearly inspired by the ceremony. Charlotte beat Nashville and Charleston a combined 150-0, marking their 3rd and 4th shutouts of the season, respectively.
The following weekend, the Royals traveled to Nashville to compete in the last mini-tournament of the season against the Grizzlies and the Atlanta Bucks. The back-to-back weekends of play were grueling in the hot summer weather, but Charlotte was able to stay focused and continue their winning ways, beating both teams a combined 96-0. Two more shutouts for the team, that in the early days when Allen McCarthy first founded the team, were on the other side of those scoreless games. The whole team beamed with pride afterward, knowing how proud he would have been to see how far they have come.
Keep up with the Royals by visiting their website at charlotteroyals.org. : :