TORII STATION, Okinawa — Four days after the rain-delayed tournament began, the Kadena Falcons captured the women’s title in the 20th Typhoon Classic Softball Tournament, but needed two games to beat Yard Busters in the championship round.
Kadena lost the first game 14-7 before pounding Yard Busters 23-4 in the second game.
“It feels really good,” coach Al Lozano said. “They were a bit down, not being able to finish over the weekend, but we came back and the girls played really well.”
Pitcher Marcy Erickson fielded five hard shots for outs and hit an inside-the-park home run, and Taisha Bland added two inside-the-park homers for Kadena.
It was the fifth tournament title of the season for the Falcons, who waited out heavy rain on Sunday and Monday to complete the women’s tournament..
Coach Al Lozano also had to make do without starting second baseman Katherine Braun, who helped the All-Armed Forces women’s team win the Amateur Softball Association’s West Regional championship last weekend at Lancaster, Calif., along with three other players due to duty.
He moved third baseman Renee Cullen to second, outfielder Shannon Thomas to first base and used first baseman Carrie English on the mound most of the weekend until giving way to Erickson for the finals.
“The girls did well. It worked out well,” Lozano said.
The final two men’s games must wait until Sept. 19, due to military commitments this week at Kadena.
Four from Pacific named to All-Air Force teamFour players from Pacific Air Forces bases were selected to the All-Air Force men’s softball team, Air Force Sports officials at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, announced on Tuesday.
Jim Flagg, Kurt Tom and Chadd Malin of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, got the nod, as did Chris Bast of Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. Tom, Flagg and Malin play for the American Legion open team on Okinawa.
They, with 11 others, will attempt to defend their title in the All-Armed Forces tournament, scheduled for Sept. 16-21 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
One All-Air Force player, Chris Markey, has made the team the past three years from three different bases: in 2004 from Ramstein Air Base, Germany; in 2005 from Osan Air Base, South Korea; and this year from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
Meanwhile, the All-Armed Forces women’s softball team won the Amateur Softball Association west regionals over Labor Day weekend at Lancaster, Calif., and will play Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in the ASA Hooters Championship Series at Oklahoma City.