Nelson Tire Factory players hoist their first-ever North Wasco County Parks and Recreation Department Co-Ed Adult Softball League championship Wednesday at Kramer Field after defeating the Domino’s Pizza team named ‘McGlovin’ by a 28-5 margin. The players are, pictured from left to right, starting in back row, Samantha Tenneson, Owen Johnson, Brittany Gannon, Jeff Miller, Rebecca Tobias, Devin Crye, Jeremy Eiesland, Adam McFall, Brian Anderson, Mitch Jenkins, Ryan Johnson and Nick Cyphers. In the front row are, from left, Sara McFall, Kaley Schultz, Taylor Tuia, Hailey Elliott, Allison Cochenour, Jessica Crye and Keegan Crye. Nelson Tire Factory had a 14-1 regular-season record and went 3-0 in the playoffs. Ray Rodriguez photo
As a sponsor for nearly two decades, Nelson Tire Factory has had teams post top-3 and runner-up finishes in the past, but never a championship.
Wednesday night at Kramer Field, this group finally climbed over the mountaintop as the champions of the North Wasco County Parks and Recreation Department Co-Ed Softball League after a 28-5 triumph over Domino’s Pizza sponsored, “McGlovin.”
“It was great. We had a great team,” said Nelson Tire representative and player, Jeremy Eiesland. “We came out this year with the total attitude of just having fun. Because of that, we ended up doing well, only losing one game for the entire season. We have gotten close a few times, so it feels good to finally get a championship. It was a total team effort.”
Nelson Tire left nothing to chance in this matchup, sending 17 players to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, rattling off 13 hits and scoring 15 runs to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 15-1 lead.
A three-run top of the second inning inched “McGlovin” to within a 15-4 score, but Nelson Tire scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings, before putting the game away with a six-run fifth inning and capped the scoring with four in the sixth.
Nelson Tire pitcher Brian Anderson shut down the opposition in the top of the seventh inning to preserve the title.
Ryan Johnson scored five runs, Devin Crye crossed home plate four times, Brittany Gannon and Mitch Jenkins scored three runs each and Samantha Tenneson scored twice to lead Nelson Tire.
Johnson complimented the play of the females on the roster, with Gannon, Tenneson, Rebecca Tobias, Jessica Crye, Allison Cochenour, Sara McFall, Kaley Schultz and Hailey Elliott contributing on the field and in the batter’s box.
“That is the big thing with co-ed softball, you can’t have a good team without the females,” Johnson said. “Everybody on our team can hit, so that is the reason why we are sitting here in first place. Those bats and the fielding have been our strength all season. We have depth at every position and that is major help for any team in this league.”
For “McGlovin,” Jeremy Davis scored two runs, and the trio of Travis Church, Ashley Handley and Jimmy Spowehn scored a run apiece.
This group had a record of 13-5 during the season, and defeated Zim’s Brau Haus 28-9 to vault into the title game.
Although his team ended up on the wrong side of the final score, Rocky Linebarger said he was proud to share the field with every player.
“It is a good group of people,” Linebarger said. “Our girls are really good and they hit the ball really well for us this year. We have a lot of guys that showed up ready to play too. I am very proud to play with every single one of them. They are like a family to us.”
When it comes to playing softball in this league, Eiesland said that is the main focus – family.
More than the wins and losses, his primary goal is to share laughs, enjoy the moments and create a great environment.
“Yes, we won the championship, but for us, it is about being around friends and family and enjoying the support of the community,” Eiesland said. “We had a lot of teams this year and it looks like this league is starting grow in popularity. That’s what we want. We want a family atmosphere here where people can get away from their jobs and just be around a fun atmosphere. So, we celebrate this with everyone.”
Both teams continue playing in games and tournaments through the rest of the summer in Portland, Vancouver, Wash. and the surrounding areas.
Eiesland and Linebarger said the road trips are fun, but playing at home for the NWPRD is even better.
“The league is getting better every year. I am very proud to play in it,” Linebarger said. “They have come a long way from a couple of years ago, going from four or five teams to 10 now. We hope to have even more next year. Word is getting on out now. It is time for us to keep it growing.”
From year-to-year, things change and rosters are revamped and teams are broken up.
Eiesland feels this roster captured lightning in a bottle and will surge forward to Nelson Tire winning championships for many more years.
“The squad that we have is phenomenal. This team knows how to compete and play the right way,” Eiesland said. “We all celebrate for each other. This is a selfless group and group that shares in each other’s success. The chances of putting this team together and all of us coming back next year is pretty good. We are all friends, we enjoy being around each other and it shows in the way we play.”
To find out more about NWPRD and its summer activities, call the main office at 541-296-9533.