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Not only have five Pacific Air Forces players been selected to the All-Air Force women’s softball team, they’ll be spotlighted on ESPN SportsCenter’s “50 States in 50 Days.”

The feature segment, which began July 17 with a visit to Boston’s Fenway Park, stops Wednesday at the site of the All-Armed Forces women’s softball tournament, Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, Colo.

All-Air Force’s game against Navy, scheduled for 4 p.m. MDT on Wednesday, will take center stage on the sports highlight program, which can be seen in Japan and Korea on AFN-Sports live at 7 a.m. Thursday and again at 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and midnight.

“We’ve been trying to get different events, not-so-mainstream sports” on 50 States In 50 Days, said ESPN associate communications manager Dan Quinn by telephone from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

Fifty States in 50 Days has covered everything from Major League Baseball in Boston to blueberry pie-eating contests in Maine.

“Softball is a great American summer pastime. And trying to get 50 events in 50 states in 50 days is quite an undertaking,” Quinn said. “Last year, we spent a week in Kuwait, we wanted to do something patriotic for the troops that are of interest. This [All-Armed Forces softball] is one of them.”

The prospect of being on SportsCenter has the All-Air Force squad “excited,” said the team’s assistant coach Danny Acosta of Kwangju Air Base, South Korea, and Trapnell.

“You should see the vans, the semis they’re setting up for this thing. It’s pretty interesting right now. We’re excited about this. You can see it in everybody,” said Acosta.

Six overseas players, five from PACAF, were named Monday to the All-Air Force team, including the “grande dame” of Air Force softball, Cheryl Trapnell.

Trapnell, a shortstop and a senior master sergeant assigned to RAF Mildenhall, England, has been named All-Armed Forces 15 times and gone on to become a 10-time Amateur Softball Association All-American since 1982, the most decorated player in All-Air Force history. This is her last All-Air Force go-round; she retires on Oct. 1.

“Can you believe that? That’s a trip,” Trapnell said of making her exit from Air Force softball on SportsCenter.

“It’s exciting. … We all called back home and let our families know what was happening.”

The five PACAF selections are:

Five-time All-Air Force player Jamie Thompson of Misawa Air Base, Japan.Two-time All-Air Force player Kazue Dancer, who just left Osan Air Base, South Korea, for an assignment to Izmir Air Base, Turkey.First-timers Mandy Snyder and Candace Graham of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa; and Rebecca Tongen of Osan.Two other team members soon will be assigned to PACAF bases. Kisha McCloud of Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., is to transfer to Osan in October and Katie Blair of Minot Air Force Base, N.D., is to move to Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, in November.

They’ll try to regain the championship they last won in 2003. Air Force finished second to All-Army in September 2004, also at Peterson.

The three-day, triple round-robin All-Armed Forces tournament begins Wednesday and concludes Friday at Peterson. After that, the All-Armed Forces team will be selected and will compete in the ASA national championship Labor Day weekend at Shreveport, La.


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