Tyndall Airmen bring home softball championship!

Tyndall’s American Legion softball team get together for a group photo during the Freedom Sports Military World Softball Championship. The team won the championship that was hosted in Valdosta, Ga., from Oct. 3 to 5. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Tyndall’s American Legion softball team get together for a group photo during the Freedom Sports Military World Softball Championship. The team won the championship that was hosted in Valdosta, Ga., from Oct. 3 to 5. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- American Legion, the Tyndall Air Force Base Varsity Men's Softball Team, won the inaugural Freedom Sports Military World Softball Championship. 

The tournament was hosted at Freedom Park in Valdosta, Ga., and spanned from Oct. 3 to 5. 

This tournament was designed to give single military installations a platform to compete, where the winner brings bragging rights back to their duty-station. 

The team was comprised of Airmen from Tyndall and represented the American Legion Post #356 out of Lynn Haven, Fla.

Our first game was slated against Team Supreme, early on we jumped out to a seven run lead after the first inning of play.  The subsequent innings were back and forth with each team posting a couple of runs per inning.

Finally, in the sixth inning the bats woke up, and we put the game out of reach. The American Legion team was victorious in seven innings of play winning 20-11.

Our second game was against a stacked Fort Benning squad from Georgia, and this was set up to be a battle down to the very end.  That is exactly what happened as we both played great defense, which then limited the offensive scoring potential that both us teams brought.

Timely hitting, small ball and great defense allowed us to remain unbeaten with a final score of 11-10. 

The third game was a gut check for our Tyndall Airmen, as we fell to the Panhandle Patriots by five runs in the final inning and ended up losing 18-13. 

The next game was against the Rugged Misfits and won by merci-rule in three innings of play, posting a final score of 19-4.  After advancing from the loser's bracket finals, we then moved on to face the Panhandle Patriots once again.

In order for our Airmen to win this championship, we needed to defeat the Patriots twice. We both were battered and bruised and suffered injuries and exhaustion, meanwhile we still geared up for the battle on the field.

The first game started with American Legion using all three of our allotted homeruns in the first inning, which resulted in a lead that would never be given up.  Our defense was fundamentally sound and tenacious, which caused the Patriots to post multiple zero run innings.

Our exhaustive and timely hitting put the game out of hand in the sixth inning, by a score of 17-7. 

Our win forced the "if" game, and by then the Patriots simply ran out of steam.  We proceeded to push on the accelerator as our offense laid it on thick and ensured that they would never recover. 

The game ended quickly in the third inning by merci-rule, as we won the championship game 15-0. 

We finished with a 5-1 record, scoring 95 runs in six games while allowing 49 runs scored against us.

This tournament was the perfect bookend to a fantastic season.

We would like to thank our sponsor, family, friends, supervisors, and the various units of Tyndall for allowing the Airmen to compete all season long.