News: San Francisco military, community showdown in softball tourney
Story by Sgt. Michael Cifuentes
SAN FRANCISCO - Some of the Bay Area’s finest stepped up to the plate in San Francisco Fleet Week’s Interagency Softball Competition Oct. 4.
Four teams faced off in single-elimination, tournament-style games beginning with the Navy Recruiting District San Francisco team taking on the TRX team, derived from the suspension training creators who’s workout bands systems are currently used by the Marine Corps and professional athletes worldwide.
The Navy recruiting team, who have one Marine on their roster playing in the outfield, disbanded the TRX’s chances in advancing when they beat them 13-2.
Douglas Gutierrez, an administration clerk with Marine Corps Recruiting Station San Francisco who played left center field, said the competition was mostly to get out with fellow service members and law enforcement personnel to have a good time.
“Any time you can play ball is a good time,” said Gutierrez, who’s from Palmdale, Calif. “The games show camaraderie. It shows how we can all get together no matter what branch you’re in. It shows how competitive we are.”
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department took the field next against the home team, the U.S. Coast Guard San Francisco Sector. The winner of that game determined who the Navy recruiting team would face at the end of the day.
The Coast Guardsmen detained a lead from the Sheriff’s Dept. right off the bat and ended the game 20-1.
Roy Olson said their team came out prepared and ready, as they play in tournaments throughout the year.
“It was good morale for everybody,” said Olson, an operations specialist who was also a slugger of the game.
He said even though his team came out to win, it’s important to get know some of the other men and women in uniform – local and military.
Mike Dennis, the scorekeeper of the softball games who is with the Navy League of San Francisco, Oakland Council, said Fleet Week has become an emergency preparedness, first responder –type of event, and the goal of the softball competition was to introduce military disaster relief responders to the local Bay Area emergency responders.
“Have them get together like this as a way to get them to bond, build morale and work towards that goal,” Dennis said.
The Coast Guard team played the Navy recruiting team for the day’s final matchup. The game began tight with both teams within one run from each other after the first two innings. But it was the Coast Guard who sank the Navy recruiters in the end, beating them 13-5.
Dan McKenna, the assistant chief recruiter at Navy Recruiting District San Francisco said it’s always great when you’re mixing the military with local communities.
“With the military being collocated where the civilians are, it’s always nice to expand that relationship, build those bonds and connect with the community so we can all become one for the same cause,” said McKenna, a native of St. Louis.
The competition continues Oct. 5 at Moscone Field in San Francisco, where the Coast Guard victors will play the victor’s of a separate San Francisco interagency tournament.