By Tim Hipps, U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center Public AffairsSeptember 8, 2006
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 6, 2006) - By a cumulative score of 140-57, the All-Army women's softball team went 8-1 against sister services to win the 2006 Armed Forces Women's Softball Championship Aug. 21-24 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
Five All-Army players were named to the All-Armed Forces Team: Staff Sgt. Tammy Baldwin, a shortstop stationed at Fort Riley, Kan.; Sgt. Shannon Eichenseer, a pitcher from Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; Master Sgt. Vivian Colbert, a catcher stationed at Yongsan, Korea; Staff Sgt. Heather Carr, a first baseman from Honolulu; and Spc. Shannika Taylor, an outfielder stationed at Stuttgart, Germany.
Baldwin, the Army's 2005 Female Athlete of the Year, had a .622 batting average with eight doubles, four triples and two home runs during the round-robin tournament.
Eichenseer, a converted infielder, pitched every inning of all nine games. She had an earned run average of 8.53 - compared to opposing pitchers' ERA of 20.82 - and limited opponents to a .373 batting average.
"I taught her how to throw a knuckleball and she throws it better than I do," said All-Army coach Rob Bailey of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. "And she's one of the best fielding pitchers I've ever seen." Eichenseer also hit .485 with nine RBIs.
Colbert hit .647 with six doubles and 23 RBIs. Carr batted .484 with a team-high three homers and 14 RBIs. Taylor hit .471 with 19 RBIs.
"In the past, we've either had power, defense or speed," said Baldwin, who made her fourth consecutive All-Armed Forces Team. "This year, we had it all."
"I think after the first day we pretty much set a tone of what was to be expected," Bailey said. "I tell them to carry themselves with a swagger - not cockiness, but a swagger."
Three-run homers by Taylor and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.'s 2nd Lt. Stacy Gross, who went 3-for-3, sparked Army to a 21-6 victory over Air Force in the Soldiers' first game. Colbert had five RBIs, and Baldwin and Taylor added four apiece.
Taylor went 3-for-3 with four RBIs in one of Army's best defensive games, a 13-1, six-inning victory over Navy. Baldwin and Carr both went 3-for-4.
The Soldiers ended their first day of play with a 16-4 victory over the Marines on the strength of multi-RBI doubles by Baldwin and Colbert.
All-Navy (4-5) played All-Army to a 12-12 tie in seven regulation innings on the morning of Day 2, but the Soldiers capitalized on two errors and scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 19-12 victory. Colbert went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs. Gross was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Baldwin and Colbert both went 4-for-5 to lead All-Army to a 23-6 victory in their afternoon game against the All-Marine team that committed seven errors.
In the Day 2 nightcap, tourney runner-up All-Air Force (6-3) battled back and forth with the All-Army squad. With two outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Sgt. Rebekah Moore of Hanau, Germany, delivered a two-run double that scored pinch runner 1st Lt. Lauren Holley of Fort Gordon, Ga., for an 8-7 victory.
Master Sgt. Neina Selchow went 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs in Army's 20-1 victory over the Marines. A Reservist from San Diego, she started only three games but batted a team-high .714 with two homers and 12 RBIs.
Colbert was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Gross was 2-for-2 with two RBIs against the Marines. Baldwin, Carr and Taylor added home runs.
"It all came down to the young players coming through at the bottom of the order," said Carr, who played on the All-Army Team from 1999 through 2002 but spent the past two summers in Iraq. "Coach told us veterans: 'If you lead, they will follow.'"
The Soldiers' only setback, a 10-9 loss to All-Air Force, came in the second game of the third day of the tournament. Carr went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Baldwin added a home run in the seventh inning, but the Soldiers' rally to remain unbeaten fell short.
Taylor singled up the middle to score Carr with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning for Army's 11-10 victory over Navy in their tourney finale.
Bailey was selected as manager of the All-Armed Forces Team that went on to win the 2006 Women's West Open Slow Pitch National Championship Sept. 2-3 in Lancaster, Calif. Shirley Wickery of Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the assistant coach. Sgt. James Littlefield of Fort Leonard Wood is the trainer.