As the first batter swung, the battle was on to show who was the best during the intramural softball all-star game June 20 at the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center softball field. The American League, who played their games on Monday and Wednesday during the season, crushed the National League, who played their games on Tuesday and Thursday, by a final score of 19-4.
The game started with the AL coach thinking they had the better talent.
â€œWeâ€™re going to win, plain and simple,â€ said Patrick Smith, 56th Security Forces Squadron, before the game. â€œI donâ€™t know what the score will be, but weâ€™re going to win by 15.â€ And, it was just as he said.
The AL team led off by scoring four runs in the first inning. On the defensive side, AL was able to hold the NL team scoreless.
With good players on both sides of the field, four runs is nothing when it comes to softball, Patrick Smith said. â€œWe knew we had to keep hitting and play good defense.â€
During the second inning, both teams played tough defense and the game went into the third inning with the AL leading 5-0.
The AL started the third with back-to-back homeruns. It didnâ€™t stop there. The AL scored three more runs before Joseph Rivera, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron, hit a three-run homer to end the top half of the inning.
â€œWe knew we could hit and score runs with the team we had,â€ Smith said. â€œIâ€™m glad we did it early so we didnâ€™t have to chase them.â€
The NL was able to get on the board when Vernon Smith, 56th Medical Support Squadron, hit a runner in on a double in the bottom half of the third, making the score 13-1.
Tyler Rawlings, 56th Fighter Wing Command Post, started off the fourth inning for AL with a double, but the next three batters popped out to close the at-bat.
Scott Harris, 756th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, came close to adding another run for NL when he hit the ball into deep left center. Unfortunately for Harris, the ball was caught at the warning tracks.
In the top of the fifth, the AL scored four more runs to make it 17-1.
Demetric Peeler, Army Recruiting, hit a triple as the lead-off hitter for the NL. The next batter was thrown out at first, but Peeler scored as the throw was made.
In the sixth inning, Mario Huerta, 56th SFS, added another two runs for the AL by hitting another double.
With the bases loaded, George Martinez, Army recruiter, hit a single into shallow center and scored two runs for the NL to make the score 19-4 before going into the final inning.
Michael Dicicco, 56th SFS, led off the seventh inning with a double, but was left on second as his team hit three consecutive pop flies that were caught.
In the bottom of the seventh, the farthest an NL base runner reached was second base.
â€œThroughout the game we were never able to put enough hits together in an inning,â€ said Brendan Smith, 56th Medical Support Squadron and NL team member. â€œWe always left runners stranded on first and second.â€
All of the players agreed that the all-star game was an enjoyable experience.
â€œIt was fun to come out here and compete with the best intramural players,â€ Brendan Smith said. â€œI hope they have it (the all-star game) next season so we can come out and be more competitive.â€