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Rec league softball is fun and games

"Pitcher Lani Bryan tosses some underhand heat on her way to a win at Saturday's tournament.Matt Johnson / staff photosSoftball, in both the wet and dry versions, was about the only things on the minds of most of the hundreds of people who swarmed the South Whidbey Community Park Saturday and Sunday.More than 20 co-ed and mens softball teams playing in the Players Choice league made the park their weekend home while playing in the seventh annual Island Classic tournament. Although the weekend started with mostly sunny weather on the first day of play, the teams got their first chance in nearly a month to put their rain-day hitting, catching, and base running skills to work Sunday when a steady downpour put a literal damper on the championship games in three divisions of recreational ball.South Whidbey was as well represented in the tournament as any other place in the state, fielding three co-ed teams: the Islanders, the Building Source Outcasts, and Sluggo's. In the early games, it seemed that at least one of those teams would win a championship.In the 11-team Co-Ed E division, the Outcasts climbed through the standings to make it to the final against Lynnwood's R Gang, a team that is scheduled to move up to Co-Ed D next year. R Gang proved themselves worthy of the promotion by trouncing the Outcasts 18-3.Still, the Outcasts' performance along with a third place finish by the Islanders kept South Whidbey's pride intact. Islanders manager Joe Lehman said he was happy with his team's 2-2 finish. The team played well enough to be respectable, but not too well to scare off visiting teams.We were a good host team, he said.In the consolation bracket, Sluggo's - which normally plays in the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation co-ed rec league - compiled a 1-3 record on their way to third place. Ahead of them, a Lakeshore team won the consolation bracket by crushing an Oregon team 21-9.In the Men's E division, the Oak Harbor Free Agents beat a Lynnwood team 19-8 for the championship. In the Men's E Rec division, Lynnwood's ASAP Pest was tops after a 19-9 win over the Everett Rockers.Lehman said Sunday's rain did not discourage any of the teams from playing full games. He said several team managers told him that the fields at the community park are so well kept that they will come back next year, rain, shine, or both. "

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