SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The 4th Space Operations Squadron won the softball championship Sept. 2 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, after a 15-12 victory in game one against the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center and 17-11 in the finale.
The team which advanced from the loser’s bracket needed two wins to earn the championship while the team from the winner’s bracket only required one victory.
After trailing 11-4 in game one and 9-3 in game two, the 4th SOPS came back to win both games. In the top of the fifth in game one, the 4th SOPS used a nine-run inning to build a 13-11 lead and gained the advantage after a two-run home run by Master Sgt. Bryan Scroggs, 4th SOPS first sergeant.
“Getting the lead was not my doing alone,” said Scroggs. “This was a team effort and our team never gives up. It doesn’t matter the score, we’ll always come out on top because we never quit.”
The 4th SOPS added a pair of runs in the sixth to get 15 for the game and held USAFWC to one run in the final two innings.
In game two, USAFWC built another large lead and went ahead 9-3 after two innings. First Lt. Joel Boxberger, 4th SOPS flight commander, said they used the same mindset in game two to remain in the contest.
“We kept positive and our biggest thing was to get base hits,” Boxberger said. “We knew if everyone did their job, everything would work out for us.”
The 4th SOPS found momentum in the third inning and scored seven runs to take a 10-9 lead. But USAFWC reclaimed control after scoring two runs in the bottom of the third to make it 11-10 heading into the fourth.
The back and forth with the lead ended after the 4th SOPS scored five runs in the fourth inning to build a 15-11 lead. They added another pair of runs in the sixth inning to make it 17-11.
The 4th SOPS’s defense shut out USAFWC in the final three innings to stave off a comeback and earn the title.
“This was a good team effort from us,” Boxberger said. “Having 10 players out there, getting defensive stops and all of us making plays [was how we won].”
The victory was a reversal in fortune for the 4th SOPS. Last season in the title game, the unit advanced from the winner’s bracket and needed one win to earn the title. The 1st SOPS, however, won consecutive games to earn the championship. Boxberger said it felt good to avenge their defeat from 2019.
“It was a redemption year for us,” Boxberger said. “Knowing that we not only deserved to be in the championship game, but also getting back-to-back wins and proving we belonged out here feels great.”