Games of the week
Baseball and softballBitburg, Rota, AFNORTH at Alconbury Friday and Saturday Only in DODDS-Europe. Four programs from four different European nations converge in the United Kingdom this weekend for two days of small-school baseball and softball that might bring some measure of order to the notoriously unpredictable Division II/III standings. Representing Germany in the event is Bitburg, a program looking to claw its way further up the baseball and softball leaderboards. Both have taken wins and losses on the season; the Baron baseball team won three of four divisional games last weekend. AFNORTH joins the fray from nearby Netherlands. The Lions opened their DODDS-Europe campaigns last weekend with losses to Wiesbaden. From distant Spain comes Rota, the perennial enigma limited by geography to an annual handful of regular-season DODDS-Europe games. This weekend holds the entirety of the Admirals’ official schedule until the European tournament next month. Host Alconbury welcomes the three visitors to its particular slice of English countryside. The Dragon baseball team is coming off a pair of wins over Division I SHAPE; the softball squad has won five straight, including last weekend’s pair of shutouts over Baumholder.
TrackWiesbaden, Ramstein, Patch, Frankfurt at Black Forest Academy Saturday The small southwestern German town of Kandern will serve as the center of the DODDS-Europe track and field universe on Saturday. Defending Division I boys and girls team champion Ramstein headlines a five-team meet that also features both of the programs the Royals unseated for those titles last spring. The Wiesbaden boys and Patch girls won team crowns in 2013 before Ramstein supplanted each in 2014. The three Division I powers will be joined Saturday by the host Falcons and non-DODDS entry Frankfurt International. Ramstein appears to have the inside track again, having claimed sizeable team victories over the season’s first two Saturdays in meets that included the likes of Kaiserslautern and Wiesbaden. But this weekend marks the Royals’ first run-in with Patch, which has also swept the team titles across its first two meets. Ramstein has stockpiled top finishes and resulting team points behind experienced performers like Denee Lawrence, Madison Morse and John Casey. Patch, meanwhile, has excelled in the middle distance on both sides. Alexander Bowman earned a win Saturday at 800 meters and anchored the Panthers’ winning 4x800 relay unit, while Julia Lockridge also won at 800 meters and took a leg of Patch’s 1,600-meter sprint medley victory.