RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Lakenheath opened its best-of-three championship series for the DODDS-Europe Division I softball title by downing Ramstein 8-4 late Friday.
The loss was the first of the season for Ramstein. Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3 will be played Saturday.
Earlier Friday, the Lancers made sure the Lakenheath-Ramstein stranglehold on the European D-I softball championships will continue for at least one more year with a 12-3 romp over Heidelberg that put them in the championships series with Ramstein. Between them, Ramstein, with five titles, and Lakenheath, with four, have won every Big Schools championship since softball became an official DODDS sport in 1999.
In the Heidelberg game, all-Europe infielder Jessica Serd scored four runs for the Lancers, opening a decisive nine-run first inning with the first of her two walks on the day. She also singled and doubled. Ali Parkerson picked up the win, allowing just three hits over five innings. She fanned six and walked just three.
Heidelberg finished its tourney run at 1-2. The Lady Lions were 12-3 for the season.
In the other Division I pool-play game played Friday, Ramstein improved to 17-0 this season with an 11-5 conquest of neighborhood rival Kaiserslautern.
In the other DODDS-Europe championship softball tournaments Friday:
Division II: Bitburg won its third game, 19-0 over Mannheim, to take a 3-0 record into a late game Friday against 2-1 Patch, the top seed in the event. A Bitburg victory would propel the Lady Barons into Saturday’s 2:15 p.m. title game; a loss would likely lead to a three-way tie between Bitburg, Patch and 2-1 Wiesbaden, which downed Patch 9-8 on Friday, for the two title-game berths.
Small schools: Alconbury turned back surprising Hohenfels 5-3 and Incirlik 10-6 Friday to ensure itself of a berth in Saturday’s 2:15 p.m. championship game. In the race to take on the Dragons were 2-1 Rota, the No. 2 seed, and 2-1 Hohenfels. Hohenfels and Rota were scheduled to clash late Friday. Incirlik, which downed Baumholder 11-7 Friday, fell to 2-2 after its loss to Alconbury.
Division IRound robinRamstein 11, Kaiserslautern 5Lakenheath 12, Heidelberg 3Championship series (Best-of-3)Game 1, Lakenheath 8, Ramstein 4
Division II Wiesbaden 9, Patch 8Bitburg 19, Mannheim 0Patch vs. Bitburg, lateWiesbaden vs. Vilseck, late
Small schoolsRound robinIncirlik 11, Baumholder 7Alconbury 5, Hohenfels 3Alconbury vs. Incirlik, lateRota vs. AFNORTH, lateBaumholder vs. AFNORTH, lateRota vs. Hohenfels, late