KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — The American Legion men and the Kadena Falcons women of Okinawa collected more Pacificwide softball tournament hardware on Wednesday.
Legion crushed Club Red 33-17 to successfully defend its title in the 13th Kadena Klassic and win its ninth tournament in Pacificwide competition. Chris Stevens led the way with eight RBIs.
Kadena rode the timely hitting of All-Air Force infielder Darlene Rayburn and the defensive skills of pitcher Lori Yerger and shortstop Marcy Erickson to its record 20th Pacificwide title, shutting out Yard Busters 2-0.
The tournament was shortened from seven days to five because of forecast bad weather associated with Typhoon Krosa to the southwest.
“It’s nice to be back on Okinawa, nice to be around old teammates,” Stevens said after going 5-for-5 with two home runs and a triple.
Joining Legion’s barrage were Steve Nabor (4-for-5, two homers, triple, six RBIs) and All-Air Force slugger Chadd Malin (three two-run homers).
Legion sent 14 batters to the plate in a 10-run third inning that made it 20-10. Club Red’s Shawn Curtis was 3-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs and Chris Petty, Dan Capps and Carlos Cardoza each had two RBIs.
Wednesday’s biggest winner might have been David DeRemer, Legion’s left-center fielder who also coaches the Kadena women. He won his first Pacificwide tournament title after taking over for Al Lozano as coach in late July.
“Defense got us through the whole tournament,” DeRemer said of Erickson, who started two double plays and made two inning-ending force-out throws, and Yerger, who made two run-saving stops on hits up the middle.
With the wind blowing in from left field, “you have to play good defense,” DeRemer said. “That’s why we were here. That’s why we won.”
Rayburn’s two-out, two-run single in the second inning provided Kadena all the runs it needed. Rayburn’s role in the final came two weeks after she helped Air Force win the All-Armed Forces tournament gold medal at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
“It’s great,” Rayburn said.
Erickson had contemplated giving up softball after Kadena lost to Yard Busters in the Typhoon Classic last month, but changed her mind, and said she was happy she decided to come back.
“I’m happy they took me back,” Erickson said.
Kadena KlassicAt FourDiamonds ComplexKadena Air BaseDouble-elimination playoffs
Monday's gamesGame 1-Club Red, Okinawa, 23, Camp Schwab, Okinawa, 5Game 2-Yellow Box, Okinawa, 18, Area III/Camp Humphreys, South Korea, 11Game 3-Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, 17, Rob Ski ENT, Okinawa, 6Game 4-American Legion, Okinawa, 7, Stros, Okinawa, 0, forfeit
Tuesday's games Game 5-Camp Schwab 14, Stros 3; Stros eliminatedGame 6-Area III/Camp Humphreys 12, Rob Ski ENT 2; Rob Ski ENT eliminatedGame 7-Yellow Box 22, Club Red 13Game 8-American Legion 33, Kadena Air Base 6
Wednesday's games Game 9-Kadena Air Base 20, Camp Schwab 2; Camp Schwab eliminatedGame 10-Club Red 19, Area III/Camp Humphreys 17; Area III/Camp Humphreys eliminatedGame 11-American Legion 20, Yellow Box 7Game 12-Club Red 19, Kadena Air Base 16; Kadena Air Base eliminatedGame 13-Club Red 24, Yellow Box 19; Yellow Box eliminatedGame 14-American Legion 33, Club Red 17; Club Red eliminated
ChampionshipAmerican Legion 33, Club Red 17Club Red..........721 105 1—17American Legion..........73(10) 571 x—33
Monday's gamesGame 1-Yard Busters, Okinawa, 9, Okinawa Typhoons 2Game 2-Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, 13, Camp Kinser Knights, Okinawa, 7
Tuesday's gamesGame 3-Kadena Air Base 11, Yard Busters 0Game 4-Camp Kinser 17, Okinawa Typhoons 5; Okinawa Typhoons eliminated
Wednesday's gamesGame 5-Yard Busters 7, Camp Kinser 6; Camp Kinser eliminatedGame 6-Kadena Air Base 2, Yard Busters 0; Yard Busters eliminated
ChampionshipKadena Air Base 2, Yard Busters 0Kadena Air Base..........020 000 0—2Yard Busters..........000 000 0—0