The South Routt women on the Bonfiglio's/Pisa's of Oak Creek team were concerned there would be no adult women's league this summer, so they signed up for the coed league.
When a total of four women's teams came forward to play summer ball, Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation telephoned captain Charlene Regan to give her a heads up that women's softball officially would be played in Steamboat.
Wednesday, Bonfiglio's/ Pisa's of Oak Creek won the women's title for the second-straight season, defeating B&K/DeVault Sena 9-3 in the final.
Regan said the two teams were evenly matched and it wasn't until the sixth inning that the championship team established a more comfortable lead.
"It was more defense than offense," Regan said. "Usually we're hitting the ball better. Instead no one got past second base on both teams. It was a very defensive game."
Next Wednesday, in honor of the championship, Pisa's is throwing a party for the team.
Twice a week -- once for women's night and once for coed night -- its members drove from as far away as Yampa to play slow-pitch softball in Steamboat.
For Regan, it was easy to put together a team. The same women have been a part of Steamboat's league for four years.
However, the Steamboat league that once had eight teams struggled to find four this summer, threatening the future of the women-only league, adult softball coordinator Kit Rice said.
The other two women's teams were Peak Excavating and Alpine Oral & Facial/Orthodontic Specialist.
In an effort to encourage women to participate, Parks and Rec shortened the softball season by several weeks, allowing women more time away from the softball field, which was met with positive responses.
"Now we're done and have the whole month of August off," Regan said. "It's better for everyone. We encourage women to play because it is a short season and you get two games a night."
Regan spoke on behalf of those interested in keeping the women's league alive, especially Rosa DeVault, a longtime sponsor and participant in the league.
Wednesday night was the first time the 71-year-old got on the field all season, as she continues to recover from colon surgery. DeVault coached first base, and her teammates on B&K/DeVault Sena were just as pleased to see her as the women from Bonfiglio's/Pisa's of Oak Creek.
DeVault said she would be back to playing next season.
"I think it's a shame that more women don't come out and play women's softball," DeVault said. "They aren't out there for blood, in other words. To me it's fun and relaxing, and the girls are fun to play against, too. I still can't give it up."
DeVault remembers when an A and B league existed. Now, she said, women have either stopped playing or gone off to join coed teams.
The women from Bonfiglio's/ Pisa's of Oak Creek have elected to do both, though committing to softball two nights a week is tough for some.
But it is important, Regan said, to keep the women's league alive.
"Every team we played, we cheered each other on," Regan said. "It's completely different than the coed league we play in. There is really great sportsmanship. Everyone was relaxed."
--To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208
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