Tensions and morale remained high despite the low temperatures at the Monday night intramural softball game as Alpha Sigma Phi took on Sigma Phi Epsilon.
The two competing fraternities drew large numbers of fans. Chants and loud cheers echoed across the Intramurals field before the game started.
Excellent fielding and few errors resulted in the game remaining scoreless for the first two innings. The crowd was restless as average-placed hits were matched by superior fielding.
Sig Ep scored the first run of the night during the bottom of the third inning. A ball was hit and caught by the Alpha Sigma Phi left center-fielder allowing the runner on third just enough time to tag up and score the first run for Sig Ep.
Sig Ep team captain Zach Bonenberger said the fraternity looks forward to this game very year.
“Alpha Sigma Phi always has a good team and we always bring our A-game against them, and I think it was our adrenaline and drive to win that gave us the advantage,” Bonenberger said.
Alpha Sigma Phi rallied in the top of the fourth to score two runs. A well-placed ball into center field allowed Alpha Sigma Phi to score one run and a line drive down the third baseline into the outfield gave Alpha Sigma Phi a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning.
“The biggest challenge mentally was not getting down when they scored those two runs and just staying focused in the game,” Bonenberger said.
Sig Ep gained momentum as the night progressed. A combination of well-placed hits and multiple errors by Alpha Sigma Phi’s defense gave Sig Ep the advantage.
“I definitely think the turning point in the game was when Ray made the extra effort to get to second on that ‘bloop’ fly-ball,” Bonenberger said. “It really hyped us up.”
Sig Ep rallied in the bottom of the fourth inning and scored four runs to take a 5-2 lead.
According to Bonenberger, the young Sig Ep team, worked as a well-oiled machine regardless of experience.
“Compared to other teams we are pretty young; we don’t have a lot of upper classmen,” Bonenberger said. “We really had to work during the season to figure out what we were going to have. We only have three or four returning players and compared to other teams we are very inexperienced.”
Despite frigid temperatures and ice-cold bleachers, spectators remained glued to the game.
Great defensive plays by Sig Ep shut down the Alpha Sigma Phi offense and resulted in a scoreless top of the fifth inning.
A combination of errors and well-placed hits during the bottom of the fifth inning resulted in Sig Ep widening the gap 9-2.
“We are not playing in the play-offs,” said Bonenberger. “It was our last game and a good way to go out.”
Alpha Sigma Phi was unable to score runs in the top of the sixth. The game concluded after the top of the sixth inning. Sig Ep won 9-2.
The men’s and women’s championship games will be played on Monday night at 8p.m. and 9p.m.
Laura Kovarik, Staff Writer