Softball champions crowned: Sho-nuf wins

2 Aug 2007 | Mr. Jamie Cameron

Sho-nuf added another Camp Lejeune Women’s Intramural Softball Championship to its bulging trophy case July 26 with an exciting 8-7 victory over the upstart Extreme team.

The game featured sparkling defense and clutch hitting from both sides. Sho-nuf and Extreme finished the regular summer league standings in first and second place respectively, so it was only fitting the two squads meet in the championship tilt.

“We didn’t want to play two games,” said an exuberant Pam Henderson, Sho-nuf’s head coach after the winning run came across the plate. “I told my girls not to try to hit it over the fence — hit it hard and hit it on the ground, and they came through when they needed to.”

Since women’s softball has been played at Camp Lejeune, Sho-nuf has held a stranglehold on the championship. No one could say with certainty just how many titles the team has won, but the players could easily count how many they haven’t — two.

They weren’t about to allow the number to run to three, at least, not this time around.

Team Extreme came into the championship with just two regular season losses and a fearless attitude. The women scored three runs in the top of the first inning with two outs, thanks largely to a line-drive double by Stevielyn Sweeney that scored two.

Extreme held onto the 3-0 lead with great defense in the bottom of the first after allowing singles to the first two Sho-nuf batters, but could not keep the potent Sho-nuf offense off the board in the second.

Jackie Watkins hit a run-scoring double to centerfield to get things rolling for the defending champs and the lead was cut to 3-2 by the end of the second inning.

Showing they would not go down without a fight, the Extreme line-up roared back with three more runs in their half of the third to stake their claim to the largest lead either team would hold in the game at 6-2.

By the top of the fifth, however, Sho-nuf had the lead trimmed to 7-6 and pitcher Mary Blair put the Extreme batters down in order.

Blair helped out her own cause in Sho-nuf’s half of the inning with a lead-off double, but Extreme head coach Everett Dockett called for two intentional walks that resulted in tag-outs and kept Sho-nuf one run back.

With Extreme looking to extend its one-run advantage in the sixth and runners on first and second, Sho-nuf shortstop Susan Havard ended the threat with an unassisted double play.

Extreme looked to have the Sho-nuf line-up under wraps in the bottom of the inning, with a runner on first and two outs, but second baseman Ivy White scorched a double, advancing the runner to third. Karen Burroughs picked up the game-tying RBI with a single and the squads were knotted at 7-7 going into the final frame.

With the title on the line in the seventh inning, Sho-nuf’s defense tightened up and, with another great infield play by Havard, the mighty Sho-nuf bats came up with three outs to give. It was obvious this was a team that performed well under pressure as Sho-nuf cranked out three singles, including Carolyn Harrison’s game-winner, to lay claim to yet another title.

“Normally we’re way ahead, but not this time,” said Coach Harrison. “This is the best Extreme team we have ever faced. They really gave us a run for our money.”

After losing such a tight game, Extreme’s Coach Dockett had nothing but praise for his side. “We played a helluva defense and I’m proud of them,” he said.

Dockett also had a warning for Sho-nuf and all of the intramural softball teams playing in future seasons. “[Extreme’s roster was] all rookies and a lot of them will be back for next season.”

Stayed tuned for the next installment of a budding rivalry.