Ho'okele Staff | May 26, 2012
The 120th Fighter Wing Det. 1 (120 FW Det. 1) scored two runs in the last inning to erase a one-run deficit May 22 and defeat the Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 303 Killer Bees, 13-12, in an intramural softball Gold Division game at Millican Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The Fighter Wing fought back after falling behind three times to outlast the Killer Bees in a sixth-inning thriller that capped off a quartet of games that were played at Millican Field.
“After last week (a 24-2 loss to Kunia), to come out with a win, it feels good,” said Senior Airman Casey Lalonde, who drove in the game-winning run with a single. It wasn’t easy. They (Killer Bees) did a good job of coming back into the game. They kept on chipping away and they didn’t give up. It made for a fun game.”
Although both teams entered the matchup tied for last place with 1-6 records, the squads fought tooth and nail to claw their way up from the cellar.
The Killer Bees drew blood first when pitcher Builder 2nd Class Fabian Flores crushed a pitch off of Lalonde that went past the outfield and rolled to the center-field fence for a tworun, inside-the-park homer in the top of the first.
Lalonde, though, stung the Killer Bees while at-bat in the bottom of the first, when he pumped a two-run double with two outs to tie the score after one frame.
In the top of the second, the Killer Bees took their second lead of the game after Construction, Equipment Operator Striker Seaman Danna Colemanutu led off and reached third base on two infield throwing errors by the 120.
She later scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly for a 3-2 advantage.
Once again, the Bees’ lead was short-lived as the 120 immediately responded with a huge rally to move back out in front.
In the bottom of the second, the 120 bats came alive as the team delivered seven singles and batted around the order to drive in a total of seven runs.
Staff Sgt. Dave Scott came up with a clutch tworun single in the second to keep the rally going and was followed by Lalonde, who stroked a single to drive in Scott for his third RBI of the game.
Down but not out, the Killer Bees began their uphill climb by getting back four runs in the top of the third.
The rally was started after one out with Flores crushing his second inside-the-park homer to spark the team’s comeback.
While the 120 added a single run in the bottom of the third, the Killer Bees raised the ceiling again by putting up another four runs to take an 11-10 lead.
The big hit in the inning was provided by Builder 1st Class David Combs, who clubbed a deep shot over the left-field fence to drive in three runs.
The 120 came back to tie the score in the bottom of the fifth, but the Killer Bees scratched out a one-run lead after Combs connected for a triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly.
In the last inning, Senior Airman Zach Olson got things started for the 120 by hitting a leadoff double.
After Staff Sgt. James Steffenson drew a walk to put men on first and second with no outs, the 120 tied the game on a sacrifice by Scott before Lalonde sliced a single to drive in Steffenson with the game winner.
“When I got up to the plate, the ump said to me, ‘No pressure. Don’t choke,’” Lalonde said. “I knew James was on third, and I knew he’d get home no matter how I hit it.”
Flores, who jacked two homers in a losing cause, said while the team dropped its eighth game of the season, he is extremely pleased at the way the Killer Bees fought back.
“It’s the determination of the players because this team has come a long way,” Flores said. “They (teammates) put their hearts into this game, and it was a good game for us. You see other teams and the way they built their team up and that’s what we want.”
Lalonde said that while this will probably be the first and only time that the 120 would play in the joint base league, he and his teammates are here to enjoy playing, but it’s also satisfying to win.
“We’re just playing for fun because we love the game,” he stated. “After a long day at work, we love to be here and play some softball.”