Sharper Image Takes Slow-Pitch Championship Title

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Famed thoroughbred Silky Sullivan would have been proud of the come-from-behind charge that Sharper Image put on in local mens softball tournament play.

Years ago, Silky would fall far behind the pack and then put on a late burst of speed that usually resulted in a first-place finish.

Sharper Image, a mens recreation slow-pitch softball team, did just that after struggling to a regular season seventh-place finish in the town of Payson's 22-team men's league.

Due to the team's less than formidable showing, not many expected them to hang around long in the postseason tournament.

Regular season champion Hogan and Associates played the role of tournament favorites. But Sharper Image fooled almost everyone with its tournament performance.

Sharper Image battled through the early rounds of the tournament undefeated. One of the victims along the way was Hogan and Associates.

In the championship finale Monday night, Hogan avenged the earlier loss by defeating Sharper Image.

Because both teams had one loss, an "if" game was played Monday night to determine the recreational tournament champion.

In a showdown for all the gold in Payson, Sharper Image and Hogan were deadknotted 8-8 at end of the regulation seven innings of play.

In the eighth, Hogan failed to score in the top of the frame. The bottom of the inning saw Sharper Image load the bases with no outs.

In dramatic fashion, a sacrifice fly to centerfield scored the winning run.

Town recreation coordinator Teddy Pettet, who oversees softball play, said that one of the most intriguing things about the winning team is that it had no players from the town's competitive league. Most of the recreation teams had a handful of players who also participated in the competitive division.

Former Payson High School student-athlete Brett Carnes, owner of Sharper Image Glasswork, sponsored and played on the team.

In the competitive division, State Farm won both the regular season and tournament championships.

In women's play, Payson Athletic Club/Payson Physical Therapy won the title.

Middle school diamond play

A middle school/junior high girls fast-pitch softball tournament has opening for teams. The tournament will be played on weekends throughout the month of November in Phoenix.

To enter a team or for more information, call (480) 451-4942.

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