JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --
For the fourth time in six years, the 108th Wing Women’s Softball Team took first prize in the Air Guard’s National Women’s Softball Championship held at the Summit Softball Complex near Chattanooga, Tenn., from Aug. 15-17.
With a record of 4-0, with 76 teams competing over five divisions, the 108th women's softball team surpassed the stiff competition of the 177th Fighter Wing, 134th Air Refueling Wing, and the 106th Rescue Wing—beating the 106th team, out of New York, twice.
However, it was their final game that proved they were worthy of the title ‘champs’.
“The Jersey girls clinched the championship by the ’10 run rule’ in the fifth inning of the game,” said the team’s co-captain and longtime catcher/pitcher, Marcie Montalvo. This rule allows a game to end early, if one of the two teams has a large lead and has reached the number of required innings.
The women's softball team led by Montalvo and Jennifer Marchese, included Air Guard members, dependents, and retirees from here, Tennessee, and even Georgia.
“We really have to give it up to everyone on the team, including the Georgia girls, for their outstanding efforts!” said Montalvo. “There were really no stand outs. Everyone was a hero.”
Every year, the mindset for the team is to go out, give your all, and do your best, said Montalvo.
The “three-day barrage of softball games”, according to the team’s co-captain, is held in a different location every year and allows for units all over the country to put together a team to compete in the ultimate showdown. If need be, players of one unit may join another unit’s team to total the required ten player minimum.
“It is one time a year, you build lifelong friendships and rank is left off the field,” said Montalvo, who has been playing in the tournament since 1994, missing only two years. “I do it for the love of softball and enjoy representing the unit and New Jersey.”
Still, she says the goal moving forward is always to, “Keep [the trophy] in New Jersey.”
To commemorate the win, the team will present the 4-foot trophy to Col. John M. Cosgrove, 108th Wing commander, during the September drill weekend.