News: Base teams battle during 2011 One-Pitch Softball Tournament
Story by Lance Cpl. Charles Clark
IWAKUNI, Japan - Iwakuni beat Torii 10-9 during the One Pitch Softball Tournament championship round here July 30.
Iwakuni, Torii and MALS-12 Marauders played a round-robin game before a double elimination to determine the winner.
All of the games played used the one pitch method, which starts the batter with two strikes and three runs.
This style of game is meant to keep the players moving and always on their toes, said Matthew W. Barker, intramural sports coordinator.
A round-robin game is played with each team facing against each other team one time.
The round-robin game was meant to get the teams warmed up and ready for the double elimination tournament, said Barker.
During the round-robin game, Iwakuni came out on top and went into the tournament as the favorite.
“We come out here as the base team, as Goliaths,” said Anthony Baker, Iwakuni shortstop. “Today, the Goliaths still stand.”
The Marauders’ and Torii players stepped out of their dugouts for the first game.
Torii pulled ahead in the second inning when Wade J. Armstrong, Torii third baseman, and Roy L. Clayton Jr., Torii center fielder, stomped across home plate after a few base runs, which brought the score to 2-0.
By the end of the fourth inning, Brian J. Rupple, Marauders first baseman and Joseph Whitfield, Marauders right center fielder, scored one run each to tie the game.
Paul A. Torres, Torii left fielder, won the game for his team after he smashed the ball for a home run.
The Torii players only had a few minutes rest before they faced Iwakuni.
By the bottom of the second inning, Torii was ahead with a 6-0 lead.
Peter A. Lawson, Iwakuni extra hitter, put three points on the board after a home run with two bases loaded.
Iwakuni scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Torii squeezed ahead for the victory when Torres again ran across home plate at
the start of the fifth inning, which gave Torii the 9-8 win.
“Torii came out and beat us at first, which provided great experience for us,” Baker said. “We have a great foundation. All we need to work on is minor tweaks with each player. This tournament helped show us what we will be working on during upcoming practices.”
Iwakuni and the Marauders were both against the ropes when they battled it out during the third game.
The Marauders’ players exploded into the lead right off the bat when they put eight runs on the board during the first inning.
The Marauders made 15 runs during the game but the Iwakuni players pulled together and scored 19 points, which eliminated the
With the Marauders out of the picture, the semi-finals had Iwakuni facing Torii again.
Armstrong scored the first run for Torii during the second inning. He scored another point during the fourth inning after Torres and Joseph P. Beall, Torii extra hitter, which gave Torii a 4-0 lead.
Bryn M. Forstner, Iwakuni short stop, and Keith A. Applegate, Iwakuni backup pitcher, closed the gap when they scored two points in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Forstner and Jamie L. Mohn, Iwakuni pitcher, tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth inning when Mohn smashed a home run with Forstner on second base. Baker and Dylan J. Swetlic, Iwakuni first baseman, gained the lead for Iwakuni 6-4 in the seventh inning with two runs.
Iwakuni’s outfielders kept Torii’s batters from scoring any runs for the rest of the game.
Both teams entered the championship game on equal ground.
Avanti Anderson, Iwakuni right center fielder, and Applegate scored one run each when their team was up to bat, which gave Iwakuni the lead.
Wylie L. Rakestraw, Torii second baseman, put the first point on the board for his team at the bottom of the first inning.
By the bottom of the fourth inning, Iwakuni maintained its lead 6-5.
Iwakuni was able to run home four more points during the fifth inning furthering its lead 10-5.
Torii scored four points, which closed the gap 10-9, by the time Clayton stepped up to bat.
Armstrong and Beall were on first and second base respectively when Clayton hammered the ball.
Armstrong and Beall took off running as Clayton neared first base.
The ball soared over the pitcher, but Baker leaped up with his open glove and snatched the ball out the air, which ensured the win for
“You hear the sound of the ball come off the bat and you only have time to react,” said Baker of his catch. “All the practice and previous experiences put you in a position where you either make the play or you don’t.”
The Torii players enjoyed the competitiveness of the other teams throughout the entire tournament.
“We played excellent today,” said Rakestraw. “We did the best we could against the other two teams and came close to winning. Today was a good day for us.”
Although the tournament was small, bigger events for the softball teams are on the horizon.
“The next tournament we have here will be huge,” Barker said. “This was pretty much practice for the base teams.”
Ten Japanese teams are slated to compete during the next scheduled softball tournament here Aug. 28.