NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan — A 2-for-3, four-RBI performance by Domonique Holcomb, Shannon Scott’s home run and complete-game victories by Desirae Seals and Mary Schweers would please Kadena girls softball coach Jesse Costa any time.
Where the Panthers got those victories made it special — at Atsugi’s King and MacArthur fields in the DODDS-Japan tournament. After including just DODDS-Japan’s five teams last May, this year’s tournament welcomed Kadena and Kubasaki of the Okinawa Activities Council.
"The girls are excited to play somebody not wearing green," Costa said of Kubasaki, "and be playing on an installation that’s far from home."
Under a cloudy sky, Kadena beat Yokota in the opener 14-5 behind three RBIs each for Scott and Abbi Shapiro-Kinghorn.
Holcomb and Seals led Kadena past Robert D. Edgren 11-6, putting the Panthers in Saturday’s semifinal against Nile C. Kinnick.
The Red Devils, who won last year’s tournament and got a first-round bye this year, pasted Kubasaki 15-4 to earn its semifinal berth.
Eight games were played Friday and seven were scheduled Saturday in the double-elimination tournament. The title game was scheduled for 3 p.m.
When teams weren’t on the field, they were spending time scouting unknown entities and seeing how the other half plays, coaches and organizers said. At day’s end, all gathered for a barbeque and icebreaker sponsored by Atsugi’s Teen Center.
"The girls seemed to be having a good time," tournament director Ed Fogell said. The two fields being side by side and near the billets made it an "ideal spot," he said.
But not everyone, apparently, was entirely happy that the tournament included teams from outside Japan.
Some coaches called for a strictly DODDS-Japan tournament followed by an invitational open to teams from outside Japan in future years. Some felt Kadena and Kubasaki, with their large enrollments, had too much of a competitive advantage over Japan’s smaller schools.
"I think they deserve to be here," Robert D. Edgren coach Sarah Richardson said. "But you have an opportunity to win the title, then these huge schools come in with all this talent, it makes it a little harder to get where you need to get."
Zama American coach Veronica Jones saw it this way: "To be the best, you have to beat the best. You want the title, you have to earn it. I have no problem with them being here. It makes the tournament more real. I want more to come. I want as many teams as we can get."
Costa called the tournament a "good first step" toward a Far East tournament. DODDS-Pacific doesn’t include softball on its Far East activities calendar.
Massie, Eagles soar to first victory since ’06 over YokotaMISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — It took him three seasons, but Robert D. Edgren junior Brandon Massie and his Eagles got an elusive victory over Yokota in boys soccer.
Massie scored three goals as Edgren edged the Panthers 4-3.
"It feels great," said Massie, who has 12 goals this season and is Edgren’s career leader with 52. "We’ve been trying to do it for awhile, but would always fall apart, get tired in the second half. This time, we kept hustling, kept our heads and kept it together and did it."
Elsewhere, Kinnick’s girls avenged their school-first loss to Matthew C. Perry by edging the Samurai 3-2 at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.
Freshman Megan Pomeroy scored twice for the Red Devils.
"We almost gave it away," Kinnick coach Nico Hindie said of Perry’s second-half rally. "They came back strong. They’re a tough team. But we hung in there."
Of the March 26 match, Hindie said his girls "wanted to show they could play better than that."
Posting big individual numbers was Osan American’s Derek Becker, who scored a career-high five goals in the Cougars’ 7-2 victory at Korea International. Kinnick’s Jay Pothula racked up two goals and three assists in a 5-1 victory at M.C. Perry.
"He was on fire," coach Shane Hernandez said.
Weather washes out baseball, track on OkinawaCAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — For the fourth time this season, a Kadena-Kubasaki baseball game fell victim to rain. Friday’s game at Chibana Recreation Area was called off, and no makeup date was announced.
Also postponed was the Okinawa Activities Council’s final regular-season track and field meet at Kubasaki’s Mike Petty Stadium. Athletic director Fred Bales said it may be made up Monday or Tuesday. The district finals are scheduled for Saturday at Koza City Stadium.