Just when things appeared bleak for the All-Air Force women’s softball team, Candace Graham of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, came through.

The first-time All-Air Force player singled and scored the winning run on a dash to home plate after an errant throw, rallying Air Force past Army 26-25 on Thursday in the All-Armed Forces women’s softball tournament.

Air Force and Army are tied for first place with 5-1 records after two days of play.

“It was a crazy game,” said Air Force assistant coach Danny Acosta of Kwangju Air Base, South Korea.

It also set up what might be a winner-take-all “true championship game,” All-Army assistant coach Claudia Berwager said. Defending champion Army faced Air Force in Friday’s tournament finale.

Before a boisterous crowd at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Army led 8-0 before Air Force got its first hit. Air Force then strung together several singles and doubles, while getting further assitance from Army’s defense, to seize a 21-13 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Kim Sinclair of Camp Casey, South Korea, went 3-for-4 for Army, which took a 25-24 lead in the top of the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth, All-Air Force shortstop Cheryl Trapnell of RAF Mildenhall, England, stepped into the batter’s box with runners on first and second.

The 15-time All-Armed Forces and 11-time Amateur Softball Association All-American ripped a deep drive to right-center field, scoring Eileen Hendee with the tying run. The throw home was off line, and Graham “took a chance,” Acosta said. She slid in under the tag with the winning run.

Osan’s Markey selected to All-Air Force men’s softball teamThe lone Pacific Air Forces player selected to the All-Air Force men’s softball tryout camp also has made the team for the second straight year from an overseas base.

Chris Markey, currently assigned as a dental technician at Osan Air Base, South Korea, made the team for the first time last year while stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He’s due to transfer to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 2006.

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