Jefferson High fastpitch coach Chad Fahnlander had a lot of explaining to do.
And to all his coaching friends, even a few of the newspapers, when it came to the subject of his SPSL North game Monday, he started the same way:
This isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke.
The softball was flying far and true Monday in Auburn as visiting Kentlake won a slugfest – 27-20 – over the defending divisional champions.
In seven innings, 47 total runs were scored. Forty-two hits were recorded. Four of them were home runs, two by both sides.
“I was part of game against Kentlake (in 2010) where it was 27-8,” Fahhnlander said. “There were 40 to 50 mph winds, and it was crazy and the ball was floating because the wind was so drastic.
“Today was great, and it was just one of those days.”
The pitchers were Leilei Robinson, of Kentlake, and Rocky Hale, of Jefferson. Neither was particularly sharp. Neither got much of a break with strike-zone calls, either.
“The strike zone,” Fahnlander said, “was the size of a doughnut hole.”
Kentlake scored in every inning, but trailed 17-15 heading into the top of the sixth inning. The Falcons scored five runs to take the lead for good, then got three consecutive Jefferson outs in the bottom of the inning.
Jefferson looked to return the favor in the top of the seventh by getting two quick outs. But Kentlake exploded for seven runs to take control.
“My wife, she does not follow football much,” Fahnlander said. “But she said, ‘When did you start playing football.?’”