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Thursday’s Old Town vs. Del Ray softball battle is heating up

Sharp words are being batted around Alexandria, as the fifth annual Del Ray vs. Old Town Softball Battle is intended to settle a few scores.

Thursday’s contest pits a number of Old Town businesses against neighborhood rival Del Ray, and the series is tied at two apiece. Del Ray won the first year, followed by two consecutive Old Town wins, and then Del Ray took back the John Porter cup in a win last year. The cup, which was created by Old Town metal artist Chris Earny, now sits behind the bar of Pork Barrel BBQ, which is owned by Del Ray’s coach Bill Blackburn.

Mayor Justin Wilson will throw out the first pitch at 6 p.m. at Little Simpson Field (426 E. Monroe Avenue), and City Manager Jim Parajon and retired Sheriff Dana Lawhorne will be the umpires.

Chadwicks owner Trae Lamond is the Old Town coach, and says that his team doesn’t need to practice.

“We don’t need to practice to beat Bill and the softies in Del Ray,” Lamond said. “I know they’ve probably been brushing up on their yoga. We’ve been eating steak and bullets and gunpowder and we’re ready to win.”

Blackburn is questioning whether the former sheriff is a fair umpire after being spotted eating at Chadwicks on Mother’s Day with his family.

“I have some people in Old Town who said they saw Trae Lamond treat Dana Lawhorne to a Mother’s Day brunch,” Blackburn said. “I don’t know if Dana paid, but I question the integrity of an umpire who’s eating at a participating restaurant. I don’t know if anything improper happened, but knowing Trae I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Lawhorne confirmed to ALXnow that he took his wife and family to Chadwicks, but insists that he got no special treatment.

“I will confirm that my family was at Chadwicks on Mother’s Day,” Lawhorne said. “But anybody who knows Linda (Lawhorne’s wife) knows that she would never allow me to not pay. By the way, if anyone thinks Bill Blackburn would ever offer me a free meal doesn’t know Bill very well. Bill wouldn’t comp his own mom on Mother’s Day.”

Lawhorne added, “You can always count on me to be fair and impartial, but you can also count on me throwing Bill Blackburn out of the game if he so much as raises an eyebrow in my direction. And don’t worry about my eyesight, either. This time I’ll remember to bring my glasses.”

Lamond said that Lawhorne must’ve paid for his meal with coupons, and that he is a “100% Del Ray guy,” and that “Bill knows it, I know it, everyone knows it.”

Proceeds from the game will benefit Alexandria Little League. The event will include food trucks, raffles to Old Town and Del Ray businesses and is sponsored by Yates Automotive, the Port City Brewing Company and Simpson Development Company.