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GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — Same location, same results.

Returning to the complex where they won Army Europe softball championships two Sundays ago, the Stuttgart men and SHAPE women collected U.S. Forces Europe championships Saturday.

SHAPE’s women downed U.S. Air Forces in Europe champion Lakenheath 7-6 to claim their title; Stuttgart subdued Army Europe runner-up Grafenwöhr 22-19 in the if-necessary game of the two-team men’s field.

SHAPE women 7, Lakenheath 6: Three-run, inside-the-park-home runs by Mickey Mourning and Kate Massa made the difference.

"I hadn’t been hitting well all tournament," Mourning, the SHAPE shortstop, said about her first-inning homer which rolled to the fence. "It felt good."

Massa singled and scored SHAPE’s first run of the inning on a throwing error by Lakenheath shortstop Megan Johnson, who was selected the tournament MVP. Mourning’s homer gave SHAPE a 4-0 lead before the Lady Eagles came to bat.

Massa then made it 7-0 with her shot to the fence in the top of the fifth. Like Mourning, Massa, had been in a batting slump.

"I’ve been struggling all tournament," she said. "This one makes it worth all those outs I made."

Lakenheath, the only Air Force team to show for this event when mission requirements kept the USAFE champion and runner-up men, Aviano and Spangdahlem, and women’s runner-up Aviano at home, answered Massa’s shot with a five-run fifth. The outburst took advantage of two SHAPE errors, a passed ball and a run-scoring double by Jennifer Duggan.

Lakenheath added its sixth run in the sixth on Christy McMillan’s leadoff triple and an RBI single by April Taylor. Winning pitcher Jenette Blamer, however, held Lakenheath to a harmless infield single in retiring the side in the final inning.

"This was a treat," Massa said. "It’s nice because a lot of us are leaving."

Stuttgart men 22, Grafenwöhr 19: Army-Europe champion Stuttgart scored five runs in the seventh and limited heavy-hitting Grafenwöhr to just two runs in the bottom of the frame to earn its title.

Stuttgart, which clubbed Grafenwöhr 41-16 in the Army Europe title game here two weeks ago, was taken to the if-necessary game Saturday when the hosts hammered out a 27-25 victory in Saturday’s first game.

"Softball is all about hitting," Graf shortstop James Segrue said after hitting three home runs and three doubles in six first-game at- bats. "If you can’t hit, you can’t play."

Graf nailed down the opening-game victory after intentionally walking Stuttgart’s No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, Chris Powers and Jared Brunette, to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the final inning. Winning pitcher Tim Manooigan, who came on in relief two innings earlier, induced Jimmy Taylor to force a runner at home and Dagoberto Serrano to fly deep to center to end the game.

"They made some good baseball decisions," said Stuttgart’s Powers, who pitched both games. "You’ve got to hand it to them."

Grafenwöhr broke loose for eight first-inning runs in the decider before Stuttgart righted the ship with a four-run second and a seven-run fourth. Stuttgart’s five-run seventh, built around Powers’ second homer of the day, put the game away.

"They gave us a tougher fight this time," said Brunette, the tournament MVP who finished with four hits, three of them home runs, and four intentional walks.

Brunette was disappointed the Air Force champ and runner-up were unable to attend.

"I feel that this year we would have given them a run for their money," he said. "But this is a great complex and Graf’s a great team, so I can’t complain."


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