U.S. wins WADS Softball Challenge Cup 25-10

  • Published
  • By Dean Siemon, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Northwest Guardian

The Canadian Detachment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord had a very successful first inning of the JBLM Can-Am Challenge Cup softball game Oct. 6 at Baker Field on McChord Field. After five runs scored, Keith Spilley suggested loudly from Canada’s dugout that the game be called due to weather.

“I was hoping for a rain delay between the top and bottom of the first inning,” Spilley said.

Spilley wasn’t technically lying; the leaves were raining down from the trees. But the U.S. team, composed of the Western Air Defense Sector and the 225th Air Defense Group, brought a torrential downpour of runs to win 25-10, claiming the Can-Am Challenge Cup.

The rest of the box score had enough crooked numbers to make a chiropractor blush as the U.S. team scored six in the first, eight in the second, six in the third and another five in the fourth.

The game ended with the U.S. leading in the bottom of the regularly-scheduled fifth inning.

Cole Holt of Team U.S.A. was one of the stars with two-run home runs in both the first and second innings. He was just short of a third home run in the third inning to complete a hat trick, but he settled for a double that hit the outfield fence.

“Well, nobody tries to hit three home runs,” Holt said. “You just go out, swing and have fun.”

Bobby Straszek led the team with five runs batted in while connecting with hits in all four of his at-bats. Like Holt, Henry Lee also drove in four runs on three hits. Both David Quelland and David Bauld each went three out of four at the plate with three RBI each.

“Overall, it was a good scrimmage,” Holt said. “We just kept hitting (the ball well).”

The cup has a history that dates back 23 years with an annual hockey game played between the two nations every February. The U.S. had never won in hockey, which led to the creation of the softball game in 2015.

“We finally decided we needed to generate our own sporting event where we had a chance,” said Col. William Krueger, commander of the 225th ADG and vice commander of WADS.

“At 3-0 (in softball), we have validated that,” said Col. Gregor Leist, WADS commander.

Two years ago, the U.S. team had a close loss to Canada in hockey with a 4-3 loss in Spanaway. Last year, Canada came back with a stronger outing with an 8-1 decision.

However, having two games in the Can-Am Challenge Cup series does allow both sides to have equal turns with the cup. In defeat, the Canadian team had jokes while the team photograph was taken at home plate.

Some of the Canadian players could be heard saying “hockey” and “wait until February.” There was even a subtle note made as the cup exchanged possession.

“On behalf of the Canadian Detachment, I suppose we’ll lend you the trophy for the next few months,” said Don Ellery as he handed the cup to Leist and Krueger.



Canada 5 0 0 0 5 – 10

U.S.A. 6 8 6 5 x – 25

Canadian Detachment (H-AB-RBI)
Victor Choi, 2-2-0
Ken Thomson, 1-2-0
Gerald Samson, 3-3-4
Marcelo Plada, 2-3-1
Don Ellery, 1-2-1
Jason Roswell, 1-2-0
Jordan Harpe, 1-2-0
Ken Mui, 1-2-3
Michael Wiseman, 1-2-0
Mallisa Ogunniya, 0-1-0
Mark Hynes, 1-2-0
Keith Spilley, 1-2-1
Jack Spilley, 0-2-0

Western Air Defense Sector (H-AB-RBI) – Mike Delaney, 3-4-0
David Quelland, 3-4-3
Bobby Staszek, 4-4-5
David Bauld, 3-4-3
Marvin Yamada, 1-4-2
Cole Holt, 3-3-4
Carlos Gonzalez, 3-3-2
Allen Lawson, 1-2-0
Ryc Cyr, 1-2-1
Henry Lee, 3-3-4
Kevin Weaver, 1-3-1
Richard Skomurski, 1-2-0
Matthew Venable, 0-2-0