Fog is Champ: All Night Softball Finals postponed

Fog engulfs the field during the end of All Night Softball. Sunday, September 26, 2021.
(Photo by: Xander Ordinola)
Fog engulfs the field during the end of All Night Softball. Sunday, September 26, 2021. (Photo by: Xander Ordinola)

Last updated October 6, 2021.

Correction: Previously, it was mistakenly reported that the ladies’ All Night Softball finals would feature Homeward Bound and The Lucky 13 2.0. However, the championship game will be played between Homeward Bound and Southern Breeze, who defeated The Lucky 13 2.0 in the semi-finals.

As a thick, nebulous layer of fog swept over the Summit of Softball Complex early Sunday morning after the men’s semi-final matchup between Lo’ Tigres and The Dynasty, Intramurals Director Troy Walker walked out and waved his hands in the air, signaling the postponement of the final two games of All Night Softball. 

It was a bizarre and underwhelming end to a long, remarkable night. 

Walker, who also serves as an associate professor in the School of Physical Education, Health and Wellness, said the decision to postpone the final games of the night ultimately came down to player safety.

“The ball was disappearing in the fog,” he said. “So, for the outfielders, it’s dangerous. And for the infielders, too, because when the ball comes back in, they just can’t see it coming.” 

Players certainly seemed to back Walker’s decision to cancel the remaining games. Calle Turk, senior nursing student and member of Southern Breeze, said the fog was unfortunate, but she was happy to see the end of a demanding night. 

“I am absolutely exhausted,” she said. “My legs hurt so bad. Honestly, I could not even see the outfielders; it was really sketchy.” 

Despite mother nature’s interference, this year’s All Night Softball tournament was — and will continue to be — a fun one.

From the first set of games at 8:30 p.m. and onwards, crowds of hundreds of students, employees and family members gathered to experience the unique excitement of intramural softball. 

The tournament kicked off with a series of upsets. The Bunt Cakes shocked number four seed Slinging Dingers in an eventful 8-6 affair in the first round. At the same time, on the other side of Summit Complex, Baby James pulled off a surprising victory against the notorious Full Senders. 

Cinderella stories are rare in sports, however, and no team knows that better than Just A Fluke. The eighth seed team was inches away from stunning The Dynasty, the favorites to win it all, in the second round. Alas, a late Dynasty run kept Just A Fluke from pulling off one of the biggest comebacks of the night. 

The title of biggest comeback arguably goes to Bat Intentions. The ladies’ team was trailing by four with an inning left, but the players were able to tally enough runs to defeat Pitch Perfect, 7-6, late in the game. 

Another close contender for “best moment” so far might be Felipe Rocha’s walk-off inside the park homer to lift Lo’ Tigres over Ripper Magoos.

Memorable moments like these are what makes All Night Softball more than just a tournament. For many, it is a tradition too special to be ruined by fog. 

While no rescheduling plans have been set in stone, Walker said Southern is considering having the finals on campus a couple weeks from now. Still, however, the tournament’s fate is up in the air.

“I have to go look at a calendar,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on Saturday nights at Southern now, so to fit it in on a Saturday might be hard.”

The two final games to follow will pit Homeward Bound against Southern Breeze in the ladies’ bracket, and The Dynasty against Shake and Bake on the men’s side.

The fog may have swept in Sunday morning, blanketing Summit Complex in an eerie and unsettling way. But, it would take a much stronger force to break one of Southern’s most cherished, long-lasting traditions. All Night Softball, for generations of Southern students, has always been well worth the sleepless hours, the scars and bruises, and the exhaustion. Fog or no fog, it is always a night to remember. 

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