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Rec Sports Spotlight: Keeping softball 'All in the Family'

Fick's Mechanical Lower B Division co-ed softball summer league champions. Front row, kneeling, form left: Hanna Wike, Mickayla Kumrow, Hannah Morgan, Talara Kumrow, Dawn Brzezicki. Center: Kara Wilhelm. Back row: Rick Kumrow, Dereck Boone, Breanna Boone, Jon Shover, Steve Morgan, Devon Boone.
Fick's Mechanical Lower B Division co-ed softball summer league champions. Front row, kneeling, form left: Hanna Wike, Mickayla Kumrow, Hannah Morgan, Talara Kumrow, Dawn Brzezicki. Center: Kara Wilhelm. Back row: Rick Kumrow, Dereck Boone, Breanna Boone, Jon Shover, Steve Morgan, Devon Boone. (Submitted photo)

Looking back on the season, Talara Kumrow, thinks it was a good omen when her newly formed Fick's Mechanical team got the last open spot in the Carroll County Co-ed Softball League's Lower Division's B League this spring.

Perhaps it was.

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The Co-ed League has an Upper Division for the more competitive teams. The rest are placed in the Lower Division. This season, there were so many lower division teams that the Lower Division had to be split into an A and B league.

Fick's won 12 of 14 regular season games in the Lower B and then swept three more in August's post season championship tournament to win the Lower B League title.

This wasn't some hand-picked team of ringers — far from it. Her husband Rick Kumrow had always wanted to play softball on a team with his wife and two daughters. Rick and Talara had played co-ed softball together for 27 years, the last 13 in the County Co-ed League. They had played for a number of teams over the years.

But with younger daughter Mikayla now old enough, the Kumrows decided this was the year to create a softball team of their own.

The entire thing was composed of brothers, sisters, boyfriends, girlfriends, aunts and fiances. Even the scorekeeper, Talara's 14 year-old niece Hannah Morgan, was family.

Not surprisingly, the Kumrows wanted to name their team, "All in the Family," but that name was already taken. However a friend, Mike Fick who operates the Fick's Mechanical heating and air conditioning firm near Westminster, offered to sponsor them.

Now, they had themselves a team name.

The idea was hopefully to win some games, but the main goal was to enjoy themselves playing as a family. Talara was to be a "team mom" and husband Rick would manage.

However injuries hit hard and got the couple promoted. Talara became manager and Rick had to step into the lineup and pitch. That latter twist of fate turned out to be a fortuitous one because Rick Kumrow would wind up being named the league's postseason tournament MVP.

Talara Fick said that the hopes for the season weren't ambitious ones.

"We were praying that we'd finish in the middle of the league someplace," she recalled thinking.

However, Fick's got off to a good start by winning its first six games.

But then, four players had to go out of town for a wedding, leaving the team with only nine players for a doubleheader. It lost both games.*

Ironically, the losses came to the Blue Ballers, the team Fick's would beat twice in the tournament to take the title. After those defeats, Fick's won its last six games to finish 12-2.

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Not only was this a family unit. The players also were a unit on the field. The team's infield was good defensively, and so was the outfield. And, for the most part, they were good hitters.

Finally, Rick turned out to be a pretty good pitcher. The tournament was held Aug. 7 at the Carroll County Sports Complex.

Fick's opened against Almost Serious and had its toughest game of the tournament right there. It built up a 5-1 lead after four innings. But Almost Serious scored four runs of its own in the top of the fifth to tie the game 5-5.

In the bottom of the fifth though, Rick Kumrow singled in two runs to break the tie and make the score 7-5. The time limit ended the game at that point, and Fick's got a 7-5 win.

Derek Boone had two doubles and a pair of RBI for the winners. Steve Morgan added two hits and two RBIs.

Game 2 was against the Blue Ballers, and Fick's blasted them 18-9. The local team erupted for seven runs in the first inning and six more in the second.

Devon Boone and a double, triple and four RBI. Brianna Boone was 4-for-4 with three RBIs. Mickayla Kumrow had two hits and scored two runs, and John Shover had a pair of doubles.

Dawn Brzezicki and Hannah Wike were each 3-for-4 in the game for Fick's.

The Ballers then won two games to climb out of the consolation bracket and face Fick's again. It had to win twice to take the league title.

However, Fick's nailed them again 18-9.

This game was a lot closer than the previous one, though. The Ballers were down 6-4 after four innings. And after the top of the sixth inning when they scored four runs, the Blue Ballers trailed 10-9.

At that point, young Mikayla Kumrow made a key defensive play. Playing right field, she snared a well-hit line drive to end the inning with two outs and three runners on base.

Then, Fick's exploded for eight runs in the home half of the sixth, ending the game right there and winning the championship.

Mikayla contributed a hit and a run in the game. Kara Wilhelm had a hit and an RBI in the big inning, and Steve Morgan was 4-for-4 with a double for the game.

Talara Kumrow said that, "we knew we could win it if we played smart."

And it turns out they did exactly that.

She added, "We were excited. To be a new team and to come away with the win ... you don't know what next year will bring, but for this one year, we won it all."

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