780th MI shuts out 32nd IS in Division II softball final

Intramural Softball

That's a big 25-0 “Donkey Smash” for the 780th MI’s “Swamp Donkeys” moments after claiming the softball title Tuesday evening on Donahue Field. (Photo by Phil Grout)

After rain and lightning storms repeatedly cancelled Fort Meade’s intramural softball games, the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade and the 32nd Intelligence Squadron finally made it to the Division II championship round.

Under clear skies Tuesday evening on Donahue Field, the 780th’s Swamp Donkeys shut out the 32nd’s Blue Knights 25-0.

“This win was well overdue,” Spc. Eric Robbins of the 780th said after the victory.

The 23-year-old resident of Freedom Barracks had a very simple strategy to win the game.

“I just stayed loose and ready,” Robbins said.

Last week, the 780th defeated the 32nd, 21-6, in the first game of the three-game series. Both teams played in Tuesday’s doubleheader to determine the champion.

The first game was tight. Both the 780th and the Blue Knights were neck-in-neck in the bottom of the third inning with a score of 4-4.

At the top of the fourth inning. the Blue Knights started to pull away, making it hard for the 780th to come back.

The Blue Knights won 12-9.

Blue Knights third baseman Airman 1st Class Jared Academia makes the out on 780th MI runner Staff Sgt. “Big Mac” Jacob McCormack who kicks up the dust on his belly slide. The 780th went on to win the Division II softball title. (Photo by Phil Grout)

“We didn’t really prepare ourselves for the first game,” said Spc. Tyler Marden, head coach of the 780th.

However, the 780th redeemed themselves in the second game while hitting almost everything thrown their way.

By the end of the first inning, the team was up 12-0.

The 780th finished strong, defeating the Blue Knights 25-0 to gain the title.

“The second game was pretty cool,” Marden said.

The 22-year-old was proud of the way his team came together to win the championship.

“We got off to a good start and played really good defense while leaving them scoreless,” Marden said.

Spc. Brooke Mellors, head coach of the Blue Knights, showed good sportsmanship over the loss.

“We shut down mentally, but we didn’t expect to make it this far,” he said. “So it’s still very exciting.”

Beth Downs, sports specialist for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, was happy with the games as well as the turnout.

“The games went very well,” she said. “We had a nice crowd from not only family, but support from leadership as well.”

At the end of the second game, both teams received trophies. The 780th was awarded a gold tournament trophy, while the Blue Knights were honored with a silver runner-up trophy.

The 780th also received championship beverage holders alongside their trophy created by the Arts & Crafts Center.

“I always said I wanted to play on a championship team, and now I’m here and it feels great,” said Sgt. 1st Class Abraham Rodriguez of the 780th MI.

Editor’s note: The Division I intramural softball championship is rescheduled for Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. on Donahue Field.

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