MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Monday's softball games called for hard hitting, strong defense and good pitching as the league's top teams battled it out for one more win at Felix Field.
Undefeated Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School proved to be the better team against Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 by winning on grounds of the 10-run-rule, 17-7. Tanks 1 gave Headquarters Battalion (Religious Ministries Directorate) a run for their money, only to come up short in the eighth inning.
"Headquarters Battalion didn't win the game; we just lost it," said Steven Santana, Tanks 1 coach. "Errors we normally don't expect to make we committed and that killed us. I made five errors that surely caused six runs, but what can you do?"
The Tanks 1 and RMD match-up kicked off at 6:45 p.m. with RMD scoring three runs at the top of the first inning and Tanks 1 ending the inning scoreless.
RMD picked up the pace in the second inning scoring four runs taking the lead 7-0.
Tanks 1 rallied two runs and trailed by five at the bottom of the second inning. Tanks 1 didn’t score again until the top of the fourth inning when they scored five runs, providing strong defense and preventing RMD from scoring any runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Tanks 1 scored another two runs in the seventh inning taking the lead with a score of 9-7, which could’ve been a potential Tanks 1 victory.
While Tanks 1 was holding on by a thread at the top of the seventh inning with only a two-run lead over RMD, Christopher J. Willenbecher, Tanks 1 pitcher, walked a run in and closed the gap by only one run.
With a score of 9-8, bases loaded and two outs, Tanks 1 shortstop Michael T. DeBolt fielded an effortless grounder and threw the ball to third baseman Mark S. Sauza in hopes of a forced out that could’ve sealed Tanks 1 win over RMD.
Shortly after DeBolt relayed the infield grounder to Sauza, Sauza inadvertently dropped the ball allowing RMD to score a run to tie the game at 9-9.
RMD’s strong defense didn’t allow Tanks 1 any runs, which pushed the game into the eighth inning.
RMD took advantage of their opportunity to win the game with solid base hits bringing in 11 runs. Tanks 1 only scored three runs in their last at-bats for an RMD win with a score of 20-12.
“We had the game won in the seventh inning, but that third base play is what really lost us the game,” said Willenbecher. “We played really good and it was a tough game, but we had them.”
This just shows that whoever applies the fundamental of softball wins games, said Santana.
For Tanks 1, this second loss of the season was a hard one to swallow, but for RMD it was just another easy win that improved their record to 13-0.
“I knew we were going to win,” said Randall J. Johnson, catcher for RMD. “I knew we were going to blow them away.”
Although RMD players expected another win, Dave W. Horn, RMD second baseman admitted Tanks 1 was the toughest team they have played against so far.
“I wish more games were as competitive as this one,” said Horn. “We were missing a few key players, but what can you do other than come out here and win?”
Also on Monday, undefeated teams MCCES and MWSS-374 battled it out to keep their perfect records, but MCCES came out on top with a victory on grounds of the 10-run-rule, 17-7; PMO lost to Tanks 2 with a score of 4-1, upping Tanks 2’s record to 6-6; fifth-place 3/7 defeated 3/11, 12-2.
Hospital did their best with 16 runs batted in but came up short losing to HQBN (BP), 29-16, and MCCES (OMTS) beat TTECG by only one run, 12-11.