For the first time, 14 members of the in Linden played in "a league of their own" for summer softball. They had fun and kept improving, and at the end of the season, they'd beaten one of the better senior teams, said Loose Director Carl Gabrielson.
The plan for the new co-ed softball team was to have a "user friendly" format, and an activity where everyone could have fun. A goal was to allow those who hadn't played softball for 20-30 years, to be comfortable playing, he said.
But the group went beyond that.
"They kept getting better every week," Gabrielson said.
Competing in the Tri-County Senior Softball League, the finished the regular season in second place with an 8-4 record out of four teams. And then, in the playoffs, the team beat the Majestic Ball Busters 7-6 in the semifinals and won the championship 14-12 against the Black Rock Sizzlers.
Gail Ponzetti, one of the players, enjoyed her experience on the team.
"It was fun, and it was really good exercise without knowing you are doing it," Ponzetti said. "And winning didn't hurt, either."
She had played softball in middle school, and some of the other Loose team members also hadn't participated in the game for a long time. They responded to a flyer at the Loose center, advertising a "just for fun" softball team. Ponzetti joined up on the first day.
"We passed out T-shirts and became a team," she said.
They started in May, practicing on Mondays at an elementary school in Linden and playing games on Wednesdays at Tag's Sports Complex in Hartland.
"We learned to play better, and what positions everyone was good at," she said. "It's a lot of fun, and we got better."
It was their first year in the Tri-County Senior Softball League, and the Loose Senior Center team played against three Hartland teams.
Many of the other teams had tryouts to select the best players for their squads, but Loose put everyone in the games who showed up to play, she said.
All of this year's team members have said they'll return next year, Gabrielson said. In addition, there might be a second Loose center team.
"It was very beneficial to the people who played in it," he said.
And there will be some "hardware" on display at the Loose Senior Center.
"We are getting a trophy from the league," Gabrielson said.
Rick Martin coached the team, with Ross Green assisting.