What’s in a Name? Don’t Ask Scared Hitless Players

House Softball Team Belies Name by Leading League With 256 Runs So Far This Season

Posted July 7, 2009 at 4:03pm

After just half an inning of play against their House Softball League rivals, the players of Scared Hitless found themselves in the middle of a waking nightmare. They watched in agony during the top of the first as the Elephonkeys’ batters lit up their pitcher for hit after hit, and when their leadoff batter finally stepped to the plate, he was staring straight into the eyes of a monstrous 14-run deficit.

But this game was far from over. For as this team’s opponents now know all too well, the name Scared Hitless is more than a little deceiving.

Scared Hitless battled all the way back that day, and in the bottom of the final inning, the team sealed the dramatic comeback with a walk-off RBI. The final score was 23-22.

Heroic, late-inning comebacks may not be part of this team’s weekly softball routine, but unbridled slugfests are.

Through 11 games, Scared Hitless has logged 256 runs, averaging about 23 per game. That puts the team at the top for runs in the House league. The next highest scoring team, the Destroyers, has logged 154.

“Everyone is hitting the ball, including a lot of our weaker players,— said Henry Kurusz, Scared Hitless’ coach. “We bat through the order at least once a game, it seems like.—

But, as is the case in any sport, a dominant offense doesn’t make a team perfect. While Scared Hitless leads the league far and away in runs scored, the team leads in runs allowed by just as wide a margin.

“We definitely aren’t the most gifted team defensively,— said Adam Wise, a Scared Hitless player. “But we come up with the big hits, and that usually gets us the win.—

Despite the team’s admittedly weak defense, Scared Hitless’ record is a near-perfect 10-1.

Kurusz is pleasantly surprised by the team’s good fortune this year, he said, because the success is more than a little difficult to explain.

“Two years ago, we had only one win the entire season,— he said. “This year, despite the fact that we have the exact same players, we are coming up big every game.—

Kurusz may not know how his players have suddenly found the ability to log astronomical run totals, but he said he can see the improvement in every member of his team.

“For the most part, we are playing a lot of small ball,— he said. “We do have a couple of guys who can really hit it, but other than that, everyone is just getting it done with singles and doubles.—

Wise said he hits the occasional triple or home run, but that the real keys to the team’s success are the chemistry between the players and the casual attitude on the sideline.

“Everybody’s personality is just really great. We are all such fun-loving people,— Wise said. “And we all have this really cohesive relationship now because we know each other pretty well.—

The team admits its biggest tests are yet to come. Although the team’s success has been encouraging, Kurusz said it has come against some of the weaker teams in the league. In the next few weeks, Scared Hitless will begin to face other teams in the top 20. But Kurusz won’t be losing any sleep over the looming contests because he believes a successful season comes from having fun with friends.

“When the games are close, we like to get everyone charged up and go for the win,— he said. “But we are just excited to be rocking out to music with a full cooler, having a great time.—