Rookies earn All-Army men's softball tryout
August 18, 2010
CASEY GARRISON, South Korea - Two Soldiers from Casey Garrison have been invited to participate in the All-Army men's softball tryout from Aug. 25 to Sept. 17 at Fort Benning, Ga.
Powerhitting catcher Brandon Sonnenburg, Charlie Battery, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, and outfielder Robert Mitcham, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment, are vying for spots on the roster. It is the teammates' first invitation to try out for the All-Army squad.
Sonnenburg led his Charlie Battery intramural level team that finished fourth in the 8th Army Men's Softball Championship in batting average and home runs this past season.
The 32-year-old, Des Moines, Iowa native also played for the Casey Garrison post team during the 2005 and 2006 and the Warrior Country team this past season.
He's eager to test his skills against the other All-Army candidates.
"I can't wait to see if I have what it takes to be on the All-Army team," he said via e-mail about the invitation.
Robert Hochmuth, who has coached the Casey Garrison and combined Warrior Country teams for the past 18 years likes his players' chances to make the team.
"Sonnenburg has been a great player with exceptional power," Hochmuth said. "For a big man - he goes about 250 - he has exceptional speed but his biggest asset is his power. He hustles on every play. Both guys put a lot of pressure on the defense."
This was Mitcham's first season of organized slow-ptich softball. The 26-year-old Ludowici, Ga. native, played two years of baseball for Alabama Southern Community College in Monroeville, Ala., where he was a catcher.
"I feel good about [the tryout]," Mitcham said. "I'm young and in decent shape. I feel very comfortable in the outfield. I'm not as comfortable on offense."
While Mitcham may be less confident at the plate, Hochmuth praised his prowess as a hitter.
"[Mitcham is] an exceptional hitter with a lot of power and speed," said Hochmuth. "His nickname on the post team is 50 cal - like a machine gun - because of the power of his arm."
Dann Rogers from Daegu is the only other player from South Korea selected to participate in the tryout.
The three players from South Korea will compete against 22 others for spots on the All-Army team, which will play in the All-Armed Forces Softball Tournament at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., Sept. 18-24.
The best players from the All-Armed Forces Softball Tournament will play in the Amateur Softball Association tournament in Oklahoma City, Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.