|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.
A Fort McCoy runner is out at
home during a softball challenge game between the installation
and Sparta. (Photo by Rob
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.
A Fort McCoy batter sizes up a
pitch before swinging and sending it on the way to the Sparta
outfield. (Photo by Rob
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.