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DISA finds leisure in softball

By Jose T. Garza III | JBSA-Lackland Public Affaris | Aug. 7, 2014

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — It is a 95-degree night at the Warhawk Field here, and the wind is gently drifting, after a mostly soggy summer day.

The Defense Information Systems Agency softball team are taking in the slight breeze and enjoying themselves while competing against the 453rd Electronic Warfare Squadron. Even when they give up five runs in the first three innings due to defensive miscues, they shrug it off and smile about it. They would go on to lose the game 12-2 and fall to 1-8 in the JBSA-Lackland intramural softball American League East division standings.

Winning or losing is of no consequence to DISA. When the agency's daily mission consists of providing information systems support for the entire Department of Defense, it is enough just to get out of the office and build camaraderie during 45 minutes of playing softball.

"It is fun and recreational for me" said Coach Terry Armstrong, chief of information assurance. "We do have some folks who are young and competitive, but I still enjoy it. We don't have the greatest team by any means, but we have fun when we play."

So as not to spoil their fun, as an unwritten rule, the team is not allowed to "talk shop" during games, explained pitcher Paul Braudis, director of DISA San Antonio.

"Anytime you can get out and have some fun without any distractions is great," he said.

An hour of leisure time with her co-workers without distractions led second baseman Ashley Potts, a DISA security manager, to join the team.

Hanging out with co-workers and playing sports is the perfect recipe for fun, she said.

"We always mess with each other and talk smack to each other, but it helps us do better because we can show that we can play," explained Potts who manages 250 employees. "Playing softball is a very good stress reliever, even when I can't make contact with the ball all the time. I get excited whenever a game is coming up."

Despite her inexperience, Potts developed a passion for the game throughout the course of the season. Now that she has caught the softball bug, the second baseman said the team can't get rid of her, even if they tried.

"They are going to take me one way or another," laughed Potts.

Braudis hopes more people from the agency, which is located at Port San Antonio, join in on the recreation next year, but it has been difficult for people to show up due to varying schedules.

"We are just trying to get a team together, and if we can get some continuity, we can get better," he said.

DISA want to continue enjoying each other's company beyond softball. The agency plans to participate in JBSA-Lackland's fall bowling league this year and other sports following it.

"We have some really good bowlers here," said Braudis. "We have talked about playing golf and volleyball, so we will explore our options."

CUTLINE: Defense Information Systems Agency first baseman Christopher Quintero, defense connect online tier 3 systems engineer, takes a swing in the fifth inning of the agency's matchup against the 453rd Electronic Warfare Squadron July 21 (Photo by Jose T. Garza III).