Catching Excellence: Chi Eta grabs first Intramural Championship
By: Jake Ryle
Three years of waiting for a championship finally came to a close on Friday, September 9th. Brothers of Chi Eta, and the ladies of Phi Mu teamed up to win the Co-ed softball intramural tournament.
Nick Burnett (2013), a native of Louisville, KY was ecstatic for the opportunity, and mildly surprised, “We knew we had some good guys, but we didn’t know we had this good of a team.”
The cleverly named “Scared Hitless” team consisted of seven Chi Eta brothers: Josh Wiseman (2012), Zack Ryle (2012), Jake Ryle (2012), Luke Gilliam (2012), Nick Burnett (2013), Dallas Wilson (2014) and Jeff Creech (2014).
Due to rain, the tournament was delayed an extra day–but the delay showed no effect on the powerful bats of the team. Scared Hitless rattled off 14 runs to make team Higher Standard, a lower standard–winning 14 to 8. Friday featured a trio of softball games for Scared Hitless with the first coming against a Barnes/Bemis residential hall team. Fiji picked up where they left off as they ten-run ruled their first game, pouring on 11 runs off a smorgasbord of hits.
Star left fielder, Josh Wiseman could only praise Luke on his incredible pitching performance, “You know, not many guys have days like that. His fastball was working. His off-speed was breaking. He reminded me a lot of Nolan Ryan out there on the mound.”
Moving on to the semi-finals later that evening, Fiji/Phi Mu took on Sigma Chi/Chi Omega. Scared Hitless automatically received four runs due to the opposing team not having enough girls to play. They’d tack on 12 more runs in a quick six inning game to win 16 to 3. With the win, the Chi Eta chapter had its first opportunity for winning an intramural championship.
Scared Hitless’ opponent in the championship game literally was a hodgepodge of players. When inquired on how the team was formed, one of their team members stated, “…I just got two of my friends to play, and those two guys brought three girls, and so on.”
Chi Eta’s presence throughout the championship game was quite the opposite of a hodgepodge. There was well over 40 people in the stands-which is quite the turnout for a WKU softball intramural game. Those fans were treated to an offensive showdown. Scared Hitless came out on top by a final score of 9 to 6. Gilliam and Creech both accounted for crucial run producing hits in the game.
“The ball literally looked like a cheeseburger, and I wasn’t even hungry,” Creech said.
Creech may not have been hungry, but for the four Alpha Class brothers on the team–it was a dream come true. Gilliam, a Russellville, KY native, put the moment in words, “When the final out was made, and we knew we had won the championship–it felt like we got the monkey off our back. We’ve waited so long for this moment.”
While many celebrated the success of the softball team–Nashville sophomore, Dallas Wilson, has a few more things in mind, “It felt great to win. It would feel even greater to win in our upcoming intramural sports.”
Chi Eta looks to continue its winning tradition in flag football, dodgeball, badminton, volleyball, pickleball and more.