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August 12, 2014 • Sports

The 2014 ORP Summer Co-ed Church Softball League and Play-off Tournament Runner-Up Brad Samples Encore Insurance Team.
The 2014 ORP Summer Co-ed Church Softball Regular Season League Champion Shawn Halcomb Super ATV Team.
The 2014 ORP Summer Co-ed Church Softball League Tournament Champion Jeff Cumberworth for Sheriff Team.
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Church League Softball
Another positive summer adventure at ORP, gives way to fall

Gary Franklin

Once again, behind the dedicated and positive direction of Ohio Rod Products Brian Samples, a fun-filled and entertaining summer of Church League Softball action at the Ohio Rod Ball Park facility in Versailles has drawn to a close. The annually sponsored co-ed adult league found five fun-seeking competitive teams ready to go at the onset of the season.

Brian Samples
Pictured right, ORP Recreational Director Brian Samples goes over established ground rules with teams before beginning the game to open league action.

For those who aren’t acquainted with the program, it has been in existence for many years, beginning with teams eligible only through area church sponsorship; however, over the years, the league, still known as a co-ed church league, gives way to non-church sponsored teams with the Dabney Baptist Church being the only one still supporting the worthy effort. Each game is opened with a prayer offered from a member of the home team, as all players, coaches and umpires gather at home plate to get the game underway. No other place finds the comradeships more than this meeting at the home plate.

Both male and female players are there to be competitive, supportive of one another and promote positive community fellowship. That has never been more solidly rooted and visible than behind the leadership of director Samples. Many years have found one team to be dominating, with others battling it out for something less than the top spot. Not the case this year, with the five teams being more equal in talent. Battling to the top spot as the 2014 ORP Summer Co-ed Church Softball League Play-off Tournament Champions were the Jeff Cumberworth For Sheriff Team. Shawn Halcomb’s Super ATV team captured the league champion spot by grasping the regular season record with having the most wins. Playing to runner-up finis

The league came to close on Monday night July 21, the result of a double-elimination tourney that started on Tuesday night, July 15.

Game #1
First game of the night put #3 seed Dabney Baptist Church playing #2 seed Encore Insurance, and as expected, the game came down to final inning with Encore winning 9-8.

Game #2
Game two of the night was #4 Seed Cumberworth For Sherriff vs. #5 Gold Star Chili. Cumberworth came out hitting, along with some great defense, and pulled away to a 14-2 Victory.

Game #3
Game three of the night was the loser-bracket game with Dabney squaring off against Gold Star Chili with the loser eliminated. Dabney put together a nice effort at the plate along with very good defense of their own, to send the much improved Gold Star Chili team home for the season with an 11-1 victory.

Final Game
The final game of the night put the #1 Seed Super ATV facing the #4 Seed Cumberworth team. Cumberworth was able to continue their hot hitting, upsetting the #1 Seed Super ATV 12-8.

Thursday night, July 17 set the table for the final four teams of the tourney and by night’s end would leave two teams remaining for the championship battle.

Game #1

Game one put Encore Insurance facing the hot Cumberworth team and in a defensive battle the Cumberworth team was able to advance to the championship game with a score of 8-6.

Game #2
Game two of the night was a loser-bracket game, Super ATV playing Dabney. The first three innings of this game saw the two teams score 14 of their 17 total runs. By the end, Super ATV was able to advance with a 10-7 victory

Super ATV played again, against the first game loser of the night, Encore Insurance. Not normally the case, this game put the #2 Seed playing the #1 to get back into the championship game. As expected, it came down to the last at bat, with the score tied 8-8. Encore was able to score the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to win 9-8. Advancing, #2 Encore and #4 Cumberworth were now set for the championship game, which decided by the two teams, would be at 8 p.m. on July 21. Encore needed to beat Cumberworth twice to win it all. As hot as Cumberworth’s bats were for their first two games of the tourney, they proved to be ice cold on Championship night, at least for a while.

In game 1, Encore dominated both at the plate and in the field to win 13-2, setting the stage for the winner take all game two. In game two, Encore continued to hit and field spectacularly well for the first two innings of the second game, and jumped out to a 9-2 lead.

Then, in one of the better games seen in a long time, team Cumberworth caught fire! Trailing at one point 11-1, team Cumberworth #4 seed, out scored Encore 18-3 over the last five innings to capture the championship title by a score of 19-13.

Samples commented, “I want to thank all teams that participated in our church (open) league at Ohio Rod this season. All five teams were very cooperative to schedule changing due to some rainy weather, and all players were very respectful, showing very good sportsmanship towards each other the entire season. Thanks again to all teams and sponsors for their efforts in making the season a success! Also, a special thanks to McDonald’s and Gold Star for providing food to the teams on opening night of tourney!”

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Church league final regular season standing information (page 5)
• Photos of the church league players (page 5)

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