A Geddy's runner slides into base, above, last week at a MDI Co-Ed Softball League game in Bar Harbor. PHOTOS COURTESY OF CORTLAND BASSETT

MDI Co-Ed adult softball league hits stride

BAR HARBOR — It’s been several seasons since Mount Desert Island’s largest adult softball league expanded to a co-ed format. If the 2018 season is any indicator, it’s safe to say the league has reached fever pitch.

Seven teams around the island are competing for this year’s MDI Co-Ed Softball League title. With the end of July less than a week away, the season is at its peak.

Well over 100 players are competing in the 2018 competition. That growth has resulted in one of its best seasons to date.

“It’s been a really fun year,” said James Allen, who serves as treasurer of the league. “We’ve had a lot of people get involved, and the experience on game days has been really great. It’s a good spot to be in.”

This year marks the fifth year of play for the MDI Co-Ed Softball League. The league originally began as a women’s league, but numbers issues forced an expansion that created the format used today.

The Somes Sounders are in fifth place in league standings. Playoffs begin Aug. 8. The championship game is Aug. 15.

Most games are played in Bar Harbor, but some, including those played Monday, are held on the other side of the island at Tremont Consolidated School. A team has to put a minimum of eight players on the field or risk forfeiting the game.

A key factor in the league’s success in recent years has been its parity. Teams try to incorporate the same number of men and women, and although skill levels might vary, the sheer number of players available has led to a level playing field.

“We try and rotate the lineup like that as best we can,” said the league’s organizer, Jeny Hall. “It’s been harder to get women involved, but we still have a lot of people. A lot of teams have close to 20 players.”

That size has brought about an even deeper talent pool. From pitching prowess to plate power, the league has no shortage of players who can bring something impressive to the table.

“From team to team, I think just about everybody has a few guys who seem like they can hit it out of the skate park,” Allen said. “Others are just unstoppable when it comes to pitching. It’s more about fun and enjoying ourselves, but part of that fun is that we have a lot of good players.”

With the 10-game mark nearing, the standings have started to take shape: Edlund Ironworks was in first place entering Monday’s games with an 8-0 record, GT Outhouse and Pat’s Pizza were tied for second at 6-2 and Geddy’s (4-5), the Roundabouts (4-6), Somes Sounders (2-7) and the Rock Stars (0-8) rounded out the rest of the standings.

When the playoffs start Aug. 8, though, those records will be thrown out the window. The top-ranked team will receive a bye, but aside from that, the road to the Aug. 15 championship game is wide open.

“It’s all one-game elimination, so we’ll all have to be at our best,” said Allen, who has played for league-leading Edlund since the league’s current format was created. “It’s all about winning from here on out.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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