AMXS takes softball title

  • Published
  • By Tyler Hemstreet
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Just one year away from losing several key players to deployments and temporary duty assignments, the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron softball team -- or as their orange jerseys so colorfully illustrate in blue cursive, the "Clowns" -- knew it had to strike while the iron was hot.

And strike it did, defeating the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron team 21-13 in the 2006 Intramural Softball Championship game Sept. 12 at St. Helen Field.

The tournament was a roller coaster ride for the fourth-seeded Clowns.

After a dramatic 8-7 win over the 1st Air Support Operations Group in the first round, coach Claude Jennings knew his team was going to be in for an exciting ride.

"We've always had a great defensive team," he said. "But our offense had been hit or miss."
But the offense didn't fail the Clowns from there on out.

A second round 16-11 win over the 62nd Maintenance Group avenged an earlier loss by the Clowns to the 62nd Maintenance Squadron, one of three they were handed during the regular season. The win proved to be a turning point.

"It was huge," Jennings said of the five run victory over MXS. "That win was what got our offense going."

The elation continued in the semifinals as the Clowns erased any remaining memories of blowing a 14 run lead to APS during the regular season, by holding on and beating them 25-22.

"That was the best game of the tournament," recalled Jennings. "From there on out we were amped."

With momentum on their side, the Clowns cruised by APS in the championship game to claim the trophy.

"It was good to go out on a good note," Jennings said. "I'm really proud of my boys. We haven't had a consistent team in the past, but this year it worked out for us."

For some on the team, playing in the tournament and championship game together meant everything, said Dustin Ponder.

"This was pretty much the first time in two years that I was able to play with those guys," Ponder said. "We all pretty much know each other and those guys are exceptional ballplayers. This was my last season, so beating the team that beat us all last year (APS) was a great end to it all."

As for the championship trophy, Jennings said the team plans on presenting it to the commander at the next commander's call.