News: Chickens lose their thunder 20-8 against Team Torii
Story by Lance Cpl. Kenneth Trotter
IWAKUNI, Japan - Team Torii was crowned the 2011 intramural softball tournament champion after it defeated the Thunder Chickens 20-8 in a double-elimination softball tournament at the main softball field here July 12.
Torii was the least exhausted of the two teams as the Chickens played four games earlier in the evening to make it to the championship.
Torii hoped to win the first game and therefore avoid the need for a second game. However that was not the case. The Chickens proved they came to win. The team took the first game 14-11.
“We gave it to them by making a lot of mistakes and errors they capitalized on,” said Adam J. Sanders, Torii right fielder. “Hat’s off to those guys for pulling out the win. They had a tough road. They played four games straight to get here.”
Torii let the Chickens win the first game the teams played against each other but quickly corrected that problem during the second game. The Chickens pitched a 1-2-3 inning at the top of the first before bringing two of its runners home at the bottom.
The second inning saw no runners home for either team.
The third inning was where Torii poured it on. Torii used line drives to chip away at the Chickens’ defense, putting runners on base a number of times. It then used its power hitters to hit fly balls to the outfield, bringing its runners home.
The score was 8-2 before Keith Applegate, Torii pitcher, hit a homer to left field, bringing himself and Andrew R. Pepe, Torii relief hitter, home, making the score 10-2. Torii tacked on one more run before the inning ended, bringing the score 11-2.
The Chickens took the plate at the bottom of the third, hoping to make up for their point deficit.
Anthony Baker, Chickens short stop, hit a fly -ball deep to left field, managing a double. Roy D. Whitener, Chickens pitcher, hit a fly-ball
deep to left field to bring Baker home with Bradley B. Blades, Chickens third baseman, on second base. The score was now 11-4 at the end of the third.
When it rains it pours, and Torii continued to pour it on the Chickens in the top of the fourth. Jamie L. Mohn, Torii first baseman, and Applegate both hit homers, bringing four runners home in total.
“We started hitting the ball like we did at the start of the season,” said Wylie Rakestraw, Team Torri coach and second baseman. “The keys to victory were our smart base running and hitting the ball.”
Torii nailed on another run, the score now 16-4.
The bottom of the fourth brought Mike Hicks, Chickens catcher, home from third after a line drive from Justin T. Perez, Chickens leftfielder. The score was 16-5.
Torii scored three more runs at the top of the fifth. The scoreboard flashed 19-5. The stress of playing so many games in one evening took its toll on the Chickens’ players.
The bottom of the sixth saw the Chickens score three more runs.
Torii got just one more run at the top of the sixth to effectively put the final nail in the Chickens’ coffin, the final score 20-8.
The Chickens fought on throughout the second game, their momentum carrying them over from the first game, but the fatigue from playing so many games in one day decreased their play.
“We had momentum,” said Baker. “We had the belief that we could win the championship. When we got to the very last game though, we were wiped out. The last game it showed we were really tired. We never quit fighting. I’m proud of these guys.”
Torii walked away with its head held high as it proved to be the better team of the softball tournament.