Pacific sports briefs: Four from PACAF trying out for softball team
Jamie Thompson remembers too well the heartbreak she felt Sept. 19 when her All-Air Force women’s softball team lost 36-24 to All-Army, and so lost a third opportunity to claim a gold medal like the ones it won the previous two years in the All-Armed Forces tournament.
It’s an outcome Thompson hopes to reverse, starting with the All-Air Force tryout camp Aug. 1-21 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
“Last year, it hurt to lose to Army, knowing that we were the better team,” said Thompson, a senior airman assigned to the 35th Civil Engineering Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan.
Thompson, four-time All-Air Force, was named All-Armed Forces in 2004. This year, she heads to the All-Air Force women’s camp with Shannon Thomas and Candace Graham of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa; and Rebecca Tongen, who is transferring from Osan Air Base, South Korea, to McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
They’ll vie for berths on the 15-player All-Air Force team to compete in the All-Armed Forces tournament Aug. 22-27, also at Peterson. The All-Armed Forces team then moves on to the Amateur Softball Association nationals Sept. 2-5 at Killeen, Texas.
Air Force appeared to be in position to make it a three-peat after beating Army 13-9 on Sept. 18, forcing a winner-take-all showdown for the title the next day. Instead, Army rallied from a two-run deficit to take the gold it last had won in 2001.
“Losing to Army, it’s so much a pride thing,” said Thompson, adding that coach William Hardy instills that in his players. “We play like we practice and I know we practice harder than any other branch. Everything we put into practice, then come up short in the final like that. That hurt.”
Thompson is entering her fifth All-Air Force camp and knows there’s a lot of hard work ahead, especially in the wake of such a heartbreaking loss.
“I know what to expect from coach Hardy,” she said. “He has high expectations for us.”
Third soldier chosen for All-Army women’s hoop camp
A third soldier assigned to a Pacific post was selected Wednesday to attend the All-Army women’s basketball tryout camp, scheduled for Aug. 17-Sept. 9 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.
Pfc. Naseyah McMillan, assigned to the 122nd Signal Battalion at South Korea’s Camp Red Cloud, will join two others chosen for the same honor last week: Laurie Aaron of Suwon Air Base; in South Korea and Evevetta Crawford of Okinawa’s Torii Station.
They’ll vie for berths on the All-Army team that will compete in the All-Armed Forces championships Sept. 10-18 at Ventura County Naval Base, Port Hueneme, Calif.
Selected players on the All-Armed Forces team then move onto the International Military Sports Council (CISM) championships Oct. 1-10, also at Port Hueneme.