LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS —
The 59th Medical Operations Squadron coed softball team finished their perfect season Sept. 26 with a 14-11 win over the 149th Air National Guard, making them the coed softball base champions.
"It was a total team effort," said Med Ops head coach and pitcher Jason Stroude. "It seemed like every game someone new stepped up and made plays.
"The ladies were a crucial part to our coed team this year. There were a few games where they carried our team to a win. I am greatly appreciative of the commitment by all my players," Mr. Stroude added.
Med Ops left-center fielder Ashley Granberry earned the first run of the game in the first inning along with pitcher Jason Stroude.
Shortstop Rudy Zapata put ANG on the scoreboard, cutting Med Ops lead to 2-1 after the first inning.
The second and third inning, however, proved fruitless for Med Ops as they went three-and-out in both innings.
In the second inning, ANG first baseman Sylvia Webster scored a run after batting a single, and in the third inning Zapata was once again the only ANG player to touch home plate.
Stroude put Med Ops right back in the game at the top of the fourth inning, hitting the ball deep into left field, giving him his first home run of the night. Extra hitter Jennifer Webb also scored in the inning.
"I made it a point to do whatever was necessary to help my team win the game, and it just happens that I got some good pitches to drive and I hit them hard," Stroude said. "I felt if I didn't bring my A game then I was letting my team down."
ANG responded in the bottom of the fourth with a run scored by Webster, and the teams were tied 4-4 more than halfway through the game.
Med Ops tried to give themselves some cushion at the top of the fifth inning, and scored three runs led by third baseman Navan Morgan. Catcher Tommy Taylor and extra hitter Brandon Alvar also scored in the inning.
ANG center fielder Oscar Macias responded with a run scored at the bottom of the fifth, but Stroude powered the team further ahead, scoring another home run in the top of the sixth inning.
Webster and pitcher Ralph Chavez cut the Med Ops lead to one at the bottom of the sixth inning, bringing the score to 8-7 to begin the seventh and final inning of play.
Med Ops bats got hot in the seventh inning, however, scoring six runs and blowing a close game wide open. The scoring barrage began with right centerfielder Jon Runyan. Pinch hitter Carla Cusack scored next, and she was followed by right fielder Karen Leroy, short stop Tristan Granberry, Ashley Granberry and Stroude.
While the 149th ANG came back with four runs scored by left fielder Jaqueline Hudock, Macias, right fielder Marie Hamilton, and Diaz, it was not enough to overcome the huge deficit.
"This is an entirely new team from the one I was on last year when we won it all with some late-game heroics," Stroude said. "It was an amazing feeling after all the work our players did to get to that game and then finally win. It was a total team effort this year, I couldn't be happier for my team."