On Saturday, August 18, the JABA softball team took the field for the annual Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) softball tournament at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center. Team JABA had high hopes for a strong showing with a good combination of seasoned veterans and energetic newcomers.
The first game of the day pitted JABA against the host team from APABA. Things started well for JABA with Gary Dote and Colin Kawaguchi leading the offense with strong performances. Team JABA continued to hit the ball well, finishing the game with a 14-6 victory. Next up were newcomers, the LA Lawdgers. The Lawdgers, comprised primarily of law students, tested JABA early on with their youthful exuberance, but JABA’s experience eventually carried the day 15-4 behind the great defensive play of Peter Sato, Mark Yoshida, and Kevin Nguyen behind the plate.
After a well deserved break for lunch and surprise birthday cake for outfielder Mark Furuya, the games got back underway with JABA facing the Philippine American Bar Association (PABA) in the first playoff round. Defense again proved the key versus PABA, with James Toma, Diana Iorlano and Jill Shibata all turning in spectacular plays in the field. Credit also to first time player John Fukasawa for a key at bat to help JABA squeak one out and earn a berth in the final four.
Unfortunately, not even co-captain Hikari Kimura’s administrative and emotional support could get JABA past the eventual champs, the Latino Prosecutors Association (LPA). LPA always fields a very strong team and this day was no different. Standout performances from Dorian Jackson, Thomas Perkins and Arnold Lee notwithstanding, JABA was just unable to overcome the sluggers from LPA.
In the day’s final game, JABA was matched up with perennial powerhouse Korean American Bar Association (KABA) with third place on the line. While Team JABA put up a valiant fight, the solid defensive play of KABA carried the day. JABA proudly took home 4th place and gladly retreated to the well-deserved post tournament happy hour.
Co-captains Jeff Maloney and Hikari Kimura would like to thank all the JABA members and friends of JABA who played in the tournament and came out to cheer the team on. For photos of the event click here. See you all next year!