Pukin Dogs take care of Jefferson City in blowout

Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Danny Meadows scores on a slide at home plate.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) Pukin Dogs picked up six runs in their first turn at-bat and then cruised to an 11-1 mercy-run win over USS Jefferson City (SSN 759) May 12 in an Afloat Division intramural softball game at Hickam Softball Complex, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The win preserved the Pukin Dogs’ perfect record at 4-0, while Jefferson City dropped its third game in four tries.

While the Pukin Dogs were carving up the field with their bats, pitcher Damage Controlman 1st Class Josh Hooper was equally impressive from the rubber, as he used a variety of pit ches, including a knuckleball, to keep Jefferson City off balance in the batter’s box.

Hooper gave up a one-out single in the first and then set Jefferson City down in order for two consecutive innings, before allowing one run in the top of the fourth inning.

“When it comes to softball, all you got to do is put the ball where you would swing at it,” Hooper said. “Overall our defense is ridiculous. All I do is make them swing and our defense makes the play.”

With Hooper keeping the Jefferson City bats at bay, the Pukin Dogs went to work immediately to give their pitcher a cushion.

Leadoff hitter Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Trevor Carey started off the bottom of the frame by hitting a double and then proceeded to circle the bases for the first run on a throwing error by Jefferson City.

Then with the bases loaded and no outs, Hooper helped his own cause by delivering a hit that drove in two runs to make it 3-0.

After both runners advanced to second and third on another throwing error, Lt. Josh Allen smashed a triple to drive in both runners and increase the lead to 5-0.

Two batters later, Allen got chased home on a single by Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) 3rd Class Emmanuel Duncan for a 6-0 advantage after one inning.

“We practice twice a week and get a lot of hitting in,” Hooper said about the team’s ability to string hits together. “We just really focus on driving the ball. We have some people that can leave the yard, but it’s not the home runs that win games. It’s the hard hit drives that get through the infield quickly.”

After a one, two, three inning by Hooper in the top of the second inning, the Pukin Dogs’ bats were at it again in the bottom of the frame.

This time the rally started after two outs were already recorded.

Hooper picked up his third RBI of the game on a single and then, after a double by Allen, Chief Gunner’s Mate Julio Felizmedina banged a double that drove in two runs to put the Pukin Dogs up by a score of 10-0.

Hooper finally gave up a run in the top of fourth, but in the bottom of the frame, he got it right back.

With Hooper batting from the left side, Jefferson City used a shift to try and cool down his hot hitting.

Instead of smashing the ball into the teeth of the shift, Hooper went to the opposite field to drive in Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Danny Meadows with an RBI double.

“They put a hard shift on to my right and I was able to spray it over to left field,” Hooper explained. “When they put that hard shift on, I was able to shift my feet, open up and send it down the left-field line.”

With the team off to another good start, Hooper expressed that he would like nothing more than to get another shot in the playoffs.

After falling to the eventual champs Hawaii Air National Guard (HIANG) in the postseason last year, Hooper said he’d like to get the opportunity to face them again.

“We want to see them (HIANG) again,” he stated. “Those guys left a bad taste in our mouth.”

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Category: Sports