Motley Dragons grab first Pacific-wide softball tournament title
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – They’re as motley a group of players as you’d ever see, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and dependents, age ranging from 14 to 42, playing in just their second Pacific-wide tournament.
Yet they click, coach Brandon Richardson said after the Okinawa Dragons captured their first inter-area tournament title, beating Nashville’s Revenge 11-1 in Saturday’s women’s final of the Firecracker Shootout.
“They get along, they gel together and they honestly have a good time,” Richardson said.
They won the tournament both at the plate and in the field, outscoring opponents 112-15 over nine games and never allowing more than four runs. Two of the wins came by shutout.
Leading the way defensively in Saturday’s final was shortstop Macalah Danielsen, starting for the Dragons at age 14 and a veteran of the Johnson County Clippers, a North Carolina traveling team.
She made three putouts and three assists, snagging a line drive with the bases loaded to end a Nashville fourth-inning threat.
“She has the ability to compete at any level,” Richardson said. “When she first came to us, she was timid, but we’re slowly getting her out of that. She can compete and she’s a full-fledged member of the team.”
At the other end of the age spectrum, Kim Beard, the team’s 42-year-old catcher, capped the scoring and ended the game via the 10-run mercy rule with an RBI single in the fifth.
Leading the team at the plate was Kara Majors, the third baseman, who had three hits and drove in three runs.
“She’s one of the most solid, dependable bats on the team,” Richardson said. “In a big situation, she wants to be the one at the plate.”
Majors’ RBI double sparked a five-run first inning and the Dragons never looked back. Seven players drove in runs for the Dragons. Rachel Cortezano’s two-out, bases-loaded single plated Nashville’s lone run in the fourth.