July 31, 2014 --
In a heated matchup at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Crouch Field, July 23, Paint Shop battled Weapons for the 2014 softball championship title in the final game of the season, winning 5-3.
On championship game day, there were three teams left in the running, Paint Shop, Weapons and Hard Chargers.
In game one of the double header was a play-off, between Hard Charges and Weapons, who each had recorded one loss in the double-elimination tournament.
That loss meant they would have to pump up their efforts in a face-off with more teams to avoid a second loss and stay in the running for the championship.
According to Gene Pender, Weapons’ team coach, his team lost one game earlier in the play-off tournament, dropping them to the loser's bracket.
“We managed to battle our way back up to the championship day,” Pender said. “It’s going to be a long night for (us) tonight.”
Both teams played well with Hard Charges leading for much of the game. The score toggled back-and-forth, until the score tied in the fourth inning, 5-5.
After a two-inning rally, Weapons racked up enough runs to gain and maintain their lead for a final score of 12-8 over Hard Chargers, setting them up for a head-to-head game with Paint Shop for game two of the play-off.
Paint Shop came into the game as the only undefeated team in the tournament play-offs. Their opponent Weapons, had just defeated Hard Chargers in game one.
Weapons scored their first run and pushed their team out in front of Paint Shop in the first inning.
Paint Shop came back in the second inning to grab the lead when three of their runners crossed the plate.
In the remaining innings, solid play gave Paint Shop the advantage it needed to take and hold their lead for the win and the right to claim the installation’s 2014 softball championship.
Paint Shop’s team manager talked about his team, their performance for the entire season and their championship win.
“We all work together every day and this is our relief right here,” Stan Wood, team manager, said. “We came out here, we played all season; we know we had a target on our back. So, we came out here and played (well) together and this is what we predicted. Our regular season record is 10-1.
“We are the regular season champs and the tournament champs,” he said. “We were undefeated in the tournament.”
According to Wood, in Paint Shop’s overall season, the team was undefeated in 14 consecutive games.
Another Paint Shop player shared his opinion about his team and their season's success.
“This is my first championship win,” David Decuir, the team's right fielder, shared. “I joined the team around mid-season and ever since I’ve been on the team, there has been a very close bond. We are all very close friends; we don't ever have animosity and we don't argue with the umpires.
“We just come out and have fun and let the game speak for itself,” he said. “I feel really happy (with our win tonight).”