Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 28, 2018


Students were thrilled to have won the trophy from the Student/Faculty Softball Game. It has been years since the students have defeated the staff.

Photo by Sam Alley

Students Defeat Faculty at Softball for First Time in Years

Kaleigh Gabriel

Students and faculty/staff prepared for a softball game of epic proportions at the baseball field on Thursday, Sept. 13.

With players in the field and a batter at the plate, tensions were high as this was no ordinary game: this  was the annual softball battle against students and staff. On Thursday, students went head to head with  their professors in a game of ultimate bragging rights and also the chance to win a large, shining trophy.

Students, faculty, and families of athletes on the field laughed in the stands as the emcee of the night  cracked small jokes with each player he introduced. Manny, the Spartan, danced through the stands to  classic throwback songs such as the “Drake and Josh” theme song and Jonas Brothers originals, getting the crowd as excited as the players.

The game began just after 5:30 p.m. and there was hardly a dull moment to be found, starting from the  first pitch. The game started quick as first batter, Pedro Lopez, a junior, slammed a solo home run which was soon followed by another before the inning ended.

However, the faculty/staff team was not quick to accept any defeat. Assistant baseball coach Bryce  Worrell hit a double followed by a valiant attempt at a triple by Professor Jared Friesen that allowed one run to score.

In their fight to defeat the students, the faculty/staff team was able to steal the lead in the second inning. While in the field, Jake Huffman, associate director of Operations for Admissions, made an outstanding  catch in deep center. After losing the ball in the sun and barely catching it with the tip of his glove, he  lost the grip of the ball before catching it in his bare hand to get the out and end the top of the second,  causing the crowd to go wild.

The team used this momentum to advantage and not only make a comeback, but to make a move to  steal the win. Travis Steele, director of ITS, hit a single followed by hits from Coach Josh Dzurick and  Jake Huffman. However, Coach Kurt Kurtzhals ended the inning with a swinging strikeout.

By the end of the fifth inning, the score sat at 10 to 7 in favor of the faculty/staff. This would take a quick  turn, as in the top of the sixth the students begin to take over the game, making run after run until the  score read 13-10 in favor of the students. Lopez scored with another dazzling hit followed by a ripping hit from Luke Helton.

The seventh inning maintained the same score, but spectators were delighted as a student slid into third base. In a cloud of sand and dust from the field the umpires called them out and thus ended the at bat  for the students. This momentum helped to inspire the faculty/staff team, allowing them to score one  more run in their attempt to take the lead again.

In the eighth inning, the students would go on to win the game with a 16 to 12 lead.

In the end, it was a close game all the way through, full of many laughs, jokes about professors, and  throwback songs of the century. There was also a giant trophy for the students.