The newfangled idea for the annual Antiques vs. Classics softball game was a team of alumni from Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé against “everyone else.” But since only three in the latter category showed up, the matchup was again mostly former JDHS players pitting their skills against each other.
The outcome was nonetheless both novel and dramatic, as the fourth annual JDHS Softball Alumni Game on Sunday at Melvin Park was the closest scoring ever with the Antiques, who initially fell behind 4-0, taking the lead and then holding off a last-inning rally by the Classics to win 6-5.
“It was a close game. It was a fun game,” said Lexie Razor, JDHS’ softball coach and an organizer of the alumni game, during which she played right field for the Classics. “There were a lot of girls, a lot of women, we struck out on some change-ups. The change-ups got us a couple times. We knew they were coming and they’re hard to hit.”
A total of 18 JDHS alumni and three other players showed up for the fast-pitch game, which Razor said was the first featuring an open invitation to the public to participate.
“Usually it’s always just been JD vs. JD,” she said. “But for several years people have been asking me to open it up for others. And so I tried it this year.”
Among the non-JDHS players who participated were a mother who played with her daughter who just graduated from JDHS, plus another woman who saw the announcement online and has been playing slow-pitch softball since moving to Juneau last year.
But that meant there weren’t many reserve players, so the only two pitchers who showed up played the entire game and there was some other shuffling of positions.
“We rotate a lot, and we had a couple of people try and play catcher that hadn’t done that before,” Razor said, adding organizers of the game provided the necessary equipment for the participants.
The game got off to a lopsided start as the Classics scored one run in the first and third innings, and two more in the top of the fourth inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead. But the Antiques stormed back to tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
The Antiques then took the lead by scoring two more runs in the fifth inning. The Classics would score one run in the top of the seventh and final inning, and had a tying run on base, but were unable to score again.
The game is a fundraiser for the JDHS softball team, helping to pay for expenses such as new equipment and travel.