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 September 24, 2010

People

Fort McCoy team edges Sparta in second softball challenge game

After breaking out to an early four-run lead in a Sept. 19 softball challenge, Fort McCoy had just enough to hold off the Sparta team at Sparta’s Memorial Park diamond.
PHOTO: A Fort McCoy runner is out at home during a softball challenge game between the installation and Sparta. Photo by Rob Schuette
A Fort McCoy runner is out at home during a softball challenge game between the installation and Sparta. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Fort McCoy’s two runs in the top of the eighth inning made it 13-8 before Sparta scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth and two more in the ninth to make McCoy the winner, 13-12.

Master Sgt. Scott Penkova, the Fort McCoy team captain, said the team overcame errors and 12 runners left on base to prevail. Penkova is with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Fort McCoy.

“Spc. Jason Vasquez, the roving outfielder, made two spectacular diving catches to help thwart the Sparta rallies,” he said “Everybody loved the challenge of the game. They played their hearts out.”

Fort McCoy swept both games in the first year of the challenge.

PHOTO: A Fort McCoy batter sizes up a pitch before swinging and sending it on the way to the Sparta outfield. Photo by Rob Schuette
A Fort McCoy batter sizes up a pitch before swinging and sending it on the way to the Sparta outfield. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Tony Angelini, the Sparta team organizer, noted the closeness of the games — McCoy prevailed 7-4 at Fort McCoy in June — and said the Sparta team just could not get over the hump and get the lead.

“It was great to bring people from Sparta and Fort McCoy together, “he said. “We’re looking forward to the rematch (next year) at Fort McCoy.”

Both team representatives said the game served as an excellent opportunity to support the Army Community Covenant and bring the two communities closer together.

Angelini made a donation to the Sparta Public Library in honor of the game, and also donated a traveling trophy to the winner named in honor of his son, Mario Francesco Angelini.

The elder Angelini had donated money to the Army Emergency Relief program through the Fort McCoy Army Community Service Center during the earlier game at Fort McCoy.

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