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NEWS | May 31, 2007

WOMEN'S INTRAMURAL SOFTBALL: 37th MSG rallies for late win

By Raymond V. Whelan 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office

The 37th Mission Support Group preserved their undefeated status in the base women's intramural softball league with a two-run rally during their last at-bat earlier this week.

The 37th MSG beat the 59th Surgical Operations Group by a slim 4-3 after seven innings May 30 at Walters Field Diamond 1. MSG was 4-0 and in first place after the game.

"We finally got through their infield," said Dorie San Miguel, the MSG coach and pitcher.

Surgery was short-handed throughout the contest. The "Scrubs" only had eight players on the field with no right fielder. Nevertheless, they established a 3-2 lead during their first at-bat.

Scrubs first baseman Megan Wharton singled. Shortstop Jessica Hildebrand reached base on a fielder's choice. With two out, second baseman Cynthia Moreno (who later switched to third base) singled to drive in Wharton and Hildebrand. Third baseman Melissa Garcia (who later moved to the pitcher's mound) singled and scored later on an infield error.

MSG scored twice during the bottom of the first inning. Both right fielder Tiffany O'Brien and third baseman Estella Engle walked. O'Brien scored on a single by left fielder Jennifer Webb. Engle scored on a single by San Miguel.

Surgery maintained a 3-2 lead through the next six innings, as their sharp infield held MSG to only one hit from the second inning through the sixth.

During the fourth inning, with MSG first baseman Tonya Harris on first base and one out, Garcia caught a line drive by extra hitter Hope Flores, and Garcia made a quick throw to Wharton at first base to force out Harris.

Surgery executed another double play with nobody out during the sixth. MSG had Webb on first base. San Miguel slapped the ball at Hildebrand, and Hildebrand flipped the ball to Moreno to wipe out Webb at second. Moreno whipped the ball to Wharton, putting out San Miguel at first.

The inning ended for MSG after Garcia hopped toward the right side of the mound and stopped a hard line drive by second baseman Sylvia Webster.

Yet, after Surgery went scoreless during the top of the seventh, MSG found a way to win. Right-center fielder Susan Mullinax started the MSG seventh with a groundout.

Then, the sharp Surgery defense vanished.

Harris smacked a single to center field, and she made it to third base on an outfield error.

Flores tapped a short grounder, and Harris sprinted across home plate on an infield error to tie the game at 3. O'Brien reached first base on a fielder's choice, and Flores ran to second on yet another infield error.

Engle came up next and smacked the ball down the first base line, just inches beyond the outstretched glove of Wharton, and that gave Flores plenty of time to scoot around the bases and score the game-winning run.

It was a tough loss for Surgery, who saw their record fall to 0-4 after they outhit MSG 7 to 5.

"It just got away from us," Garcia said. "We had a few bloopers, and that was it."

Also during women's league action Wednesday, the 59th Clinical Support beat the Texas Cryptologic Center by forfeit.

Clinical Support arrived at Diamond 1 with 16 players ready to take the field, even though they lost 27-0 to MSG on May 23.

"They have a good attitude," said Elizabeth Morales, the Clinical coach.

TCC, the defending women's champion, had only seven people ready to play by game time, while league rules require each team to start each game with at least eight players.

Clinical beat TCC 4-3 during a practice session after the forfeit.