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June 10, 2011

Leisure

Softball competition fosters good will

Story & photos by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services

Eight singles in the sixth inning led to seven runs scored by the Fort McCoy softball team in a 14-10 victory May 22 against the Angelini’s Pizzeria and Ristorante team of Sparta.
PHOTO: A batter from the Fort McCoy team connects with the ball. Photo by Tom Michele
A batter from the Fort McCoy team connects with the ball.
PHOTO: Fort McCoy pitcher and team manager Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser unfurls a pitch. Photo by Tom Michele
Fort McCoy pitcher and team manager Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser unfurls a pitch.
PHOTO: The umpire keeps a close watch on the activities as a Fort McCoy batter prepares to take a swing. Photo by Tom Michele
The umpire keeps a close watch on the activities as a Fort McCoy batter prepares to take a swing.
PHOTO: Lt. Col. Rob Humphrey (left) and Tony Angelini (right) present the trophy to Col. David E. Chesser and the Fort McCoy team. Photo by Tom Michele
Lt. Col. Rob Humphrey (left) and Tony Angelini (right) present the trophy to Col. David E. Chesser and the Fort McCoy team at the conclusion of the game.

It was the third time the teams battled in a Chicago-style softball game, the latest game played at McCoy’s Constitution Park. Army won the first two contests. A fourth match-up at Sparta’s Memorial Field is being planned for September.

The Chicago-style game uses a 16-inch softball, softer than a normal softball. Fielders do not wear gloves of any kind.

“They need help with their umpires,” Tony Angelini said jokingly after the game. He quickly shifted his comments to articulate why the games are important, “to build a better relationship between Sparta and Fort McCoy. The most important thing is to have fun playing the game.” Along with being the team manager, Angelini also is the owner and operator of the pizzeria-ristorante.

Col. David E. Chesser, garrison commander and manager of the McCoy team, echoed Angelini’s thoughts, saying, “These games foster improved relationships between the post and Sparta. The Army recognizes that the quality of life and readiness of our Soldiers and their Families is greatly impacted by the support they receive from the local townships. Thus, it’s in our best interest to sustain positive relationships with the surrounding communities. We’re always looking for ways to improve that relationship.”

That was evident in that, after most people had left the ball park, Chesser used his jumper cables and truck to jump start Angelini’s family van that had a dead battery.

Angelini donated the traveling trophy for the event, in the name of Mario Angelini, the coach’s six-year-old son who is battling autism.

Angelini’s scored the first run in the game and led 3-2 halfway through the third inning.

McCoy took the lead in the bottom of the third inning for good on a walk to Manny Salema followed by Darrin Stallworth “poking” the ball to the outfield fence and sprinting around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. McCoy led 4-3 at this point, and never looked back.

Fort McCoy’s roster included Sgt. Ira Leslie, Sgt. Nick Respecio, Sgt. Manny Salema, Command Sgt. Maj. Joel Rothbauer, Sgt. Jaques Joseph, Master Sgt. Darrin Stallworth, Master Sgt. Doug Hyde, Master Sgt. Scott Penkova, Col. David E. Chesser, Spc. Nathan Kalstad and Sgt. 1st Class George Everts.

Angelini’s roster included Dave Harman, Jeff Ames, George DeAlba, Nick Irsuto, Steve Gorsche, Trevor Jones, Dale Steffen, Ryan Roberts, Matt Johnson and Tony Angelini.

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