Softball tournament hits homerun with Misawa community

  • Published
  • By Branden Yamada
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Units from across Misawa Air Base, Japan, came together for a Cinco de Mayo softball tournament, May 3 to 5.

The Misawa AB umpire, Staff Sgt. Miguel Guajardo, a 35th Dental Squadron oral surgery technician, greeted the first two teams in the tournament, marking the official beginning of the 18 Cinco de Mayo softball matches.

“I’m ready to win,” said Master Sgt. Malcolm Sharpe, the 35th Medical Operations Squadron mental health clinic NCO in charge. “I think healthy competition brings everyone’s spirits up, and we get to meet fellow Airmen.”

The 35th Medical Group scored 17 points in the first game, bumping the 35th Security Forces Squadron down to the loser’s bracket. The tournament featured 73 participants including Airmen, spouses, Japanese nationals and other civilians, giving everyone a chance to connect with others they don’t normally interact with.

“This is the first sports game I’ve participated in on Misawa AB,” said Isabelle Nguyen, spouse of a 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron munitions flight member. “I don’t think I’m the best at sports, but I believe it’s a great way to meet with new people and enjoy the warmer weather.”

The Navy team journeyed through the loser’s bracket, facing off against the munitions flight and losing with a final score of 4-8.

Afterward, the munitions flight and the 35th MDG faced off in a final match, ending 22-12 with the 35th MDG as the tournament champions.

“I know Cinco de Mayo isn’t a big holiday in Japan, but it’s about bringing our people to an event to gather and reinforcing relationships,” explained Sharpe.

Sporting events like this softball tournament serve as an opportunity for the community to come together and share in a relatively stress-free experience. People bonded in the wins and losses refreshed as one unit…Team Misawa.

“Everyone won in this tournament because they had a great time,” said Sharpe.