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EX-PRO THINKS IT’S NEAT TO BAT VS. WOMEN’S TEAM

SHARE EX-PRO THINKS IT’S NEAT TO BAT VS. WOMEN’S TEAM

Mickey Mahler didn't care how sore his left arm felt.

The Larry H. Miller Toyota star wanted his turn at the plate.Mahler had just completed two innings of pitching. He had two strikeouts and allowed only two hits.

Still, he had to bat.

And he finally got his chance in the third inning. His RBI single got Miller Toyota on the board, and the Salt Lake City team went on to defeat the Colorado Silver Bullets 7-2 Tuesday at Franklin Quest Field.

"Obviously, I felt bad," Mahler pointed out. "I didn't throw too good. But the main reason I came was just to bat and (get) the experience of playing.

"I batted against Tom Seaver, J. R. Richards and others, but for me to bat against a female in a game, and she's trying to get me out and I'm trying to hit her. What a great experience that was.

"I think it's just great that they can have a female baseball team and get paid for it and have a great experience in doing it. After they had finished their college softball careers, they didn't have a place to play. The Silver Bullets gives them an option. That's just great."

Mahler finished pitching the third inning to get his opportunity to hit, and he retired the side, fanning two and getting a flyout.

The 42-year-old former major leaguer got credit for the win. In winning, Mahler defeated an old teammate's team. He played three seasons, 1977-79, at Atlanta, with Silver Bullet manager Phil Niekro.

"Mick still gave us a look at his old curveball, and he still throws strikes," Niekro said. "I knew we would have trouble with him when he started to get his curveball over.

"That's a thing we have a problem with, because we don't see that kind of curveball. We see pitchers throw hard, hard, hard against us. But nothing like Mick's curveball. These women haven't seen anything like that before."

Miller exploded for three runs in the fourth. Right fielder Brian Lehrman led off with a double and went to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a fielder's choice by Brandon Burt. Tom Montgromery tripled to score Burt. Catcher Chip Ehlers' single scored Montgromery.

Mark Nilson replaced Mahler and worked two innings allowing one hit. Quin Marsh relieved and gave up two in the sixthincluding when Shannon Mitchem scored on his wild pitch. Sports Radio 570 host David Locke came in for Marsh and gave up two walks and an RBI single by Mitchelle McAnany.

Former BYU reliever Jaime Jorge struck out the side in the eighth and gained another in the ninth.

Miller scored three in the seventh inning. Dewayne Dyck walked. Gary Daniels doubled, and both scored on a double by Russ Child. Ryan Brown's single scored Child.

"We just didn't make the plays like we have been making," Niekro pointed out. "We gave them four runs on plays we normally make."

"We played terrible tonight," added Niekro. "It's going to take time for them to realize that defense is just as important as offense."