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    NMOTC Sailor Wins Gold in Softball with Women’s All-Navy Softball Team

    NMOTC Sailor Wins Gold in Softball with Women’s All-Navy Softball Team

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew R Herbst | Naval Aircrewman (Avionics) 1st Class Haley Stallings, a member of the women’s...... read more read more

    NMOTC Sailor Wins Gold in Softball with Women’s All-Navy Softball Team

    “We all came to win the gold, and as a team, we did just that! We will never forget that moment in our military careers!”

    Naval Aircrewman (Avionics) 1st Class Haley Stallings, a member of the women’s All-Navy softball team, won gold with her team in the Armed Forces cup. This is the first gold for the Navy women’s team since 1985.

    Stallings is currently stationed at Aviation Survival Training Center (ASTC) Pensacola where she serves as an aviation survival instructor and the operations leading petty officer (LPO). ASTC Pensacola is a training site under the Naval Survival Training Institute (NSTI), one of six detachments of the Navy Medicine Operational Training Command (NMOTC).

    Introduced to softball early in her childhood, Stallings’ journey to gold started long before her military career.

    “I have been playing softball since I was about 10,” said Stallings. “I was the only child in my household and I loved playing sports with the neighborhood kids. I begged my mom to sign me up for softball and I have had a love for it ever since. After high school, I joined the military and when I got to my first command I started playing slow pitch with my squadron.”

    But pursuing such a passion while on arduous sea duty is not an easy task.

    “The first six years of my career, I spent stationed at Tinker Air Force Base flying in the E6-B Mercury, accumulating almost 1600 flight hours and deployed 719 days,” said Stallings. “There was hardly any time to play ball. The 2021 season was my first year on the Navy team.”

    Now stationed at ASTC Pensacola, Stallings still faces challenges in her softball career.

    “Being the ASTC pool operations LPO during COVID-19 is a challenge in itself already,” said Stallings. “In order to get temporary additional duty (TAD) to play softball, I found it most challenging to insure manning for pool operations was covered. I had full confidence in my operations staff to insure manning was covered but COVID-19 was still unpredictable for us. Thankfully my Sailors and staff members go above and beyond every day to ensure all students are properly and thoroughly trained. I could not have done it without their support.”

    With such a victory for the Navy under her belt, thanks to personal dedication and shipmate support, Stallings will be able to continue her career in the future.

    “I am going to continue playing with my civilian teams, preparing for next year’s All-Navy team,” said Stallings. “I felt very honored to have had the opportunity to represent the Navy and I have so much gratitude for my chain of command for allowing me the opportunity to bring the gold medal back home to NAS Pensacola, along with several individuals who went out of their way to help me get there.

    The tournament, especially the final deciding game, proved to be emotionally riveting and a true sportsman’s spectacle, with Stallings scoring 32 runs.

    "We came to win it all, and we kept that momentum through the whole tournament, whether we were on the field or in the dugout,” said Stallings. “The last inning in the championship was a nerve-racking one because we were up by several runs but they were slowly coming back one hit at time. In the last inning, we batted first, so the Air Force had a last chance to settle the score. We had 2 outs, with the score at Navy 20, Air Force 17. A line drive was hit to our shortstop, Val Proulx, who made the third out, and ultimately, the winning catch.”

    This moment marked the first gold for the All-Navy women’s softball team since 1985, an overdue victory worthy of celebration.

    “The moment Val caught that ball, we all ran to the circle yelling and cheering each other on,” said Stallings. “There were tears, laughter and scratchy voices from yelling so much. It was such an incredible moment that I am so proud to have been a part of.”

    This year’s milestone gold did not come easily to the Navy team. It took hard work and consistent practice to best the other branches in the tournament.

    “We had put in so much work, practicing twice a day for two and a half weeks and it all paid off,” said Stallings. “We couldn’t have done it without each other becoming so close, and our coaches’, Gabe Cisneros and Santiago Martinez, dedication to this team, even though we may have been difficult at times.”

    Link to view the Armed Forces Sports article



    Date Taken: 09.09.2021
    Date Posted: 09.09.2021 09:13
    Story ID: 404772
    Location: US

    Web Views: 258
    Downloads: 0