Losing out on a chance to repeat as champion is tough in sports. However Al Lovinggood and team Kirk Freeport are taking it in stride.
Home Gas stopped the side’s chance at a second straight softball title with a walk-off 15-14 victory. The match, held at the Field of Dreams facility in George Town, served as the A league final for the 2011 Winter Adult Co-ed Softball League put on by the Cayman Islands Little League.
Lovinggood, who is the team captain and starting pitcher, states he is not bothered by the loss as winning is a side goal.
“Both teams in the finals lost against each other this season,” Lovinggood said. “In essence, the final was the rubber match between the two teams. The Kirk Freeport team had a phenomenal season. We had a great record and physically lost only one game (we had three forfeits). In order, our only objectives on the field are to go out, have fun and play softball.
“We really don’t care whether we win or lose as long as we tried our best and have a couple of opportunities to rip on one or two of our team-mates in the process. We always know how to have fun and rip on each other when we make mistakes. Everyone takes it all in stride.”
Lovinggood doubles as the programmes and facilities manager for the local little league. From that position he feels the co-ed softball program is an important part of the softball/baseball scene in Cayman.
“Our softball scene as a whole is incredible. The teams are growing and the numbers are growing. The three divisions A, B and C give everyone of all levels of play a chance to participate in a division that is suited for them. The only downfall I see is people wanting to join the league where they do not know anyone. It’s hard for someone to ‘get in’ if they’re not familiar with someone already associated with co-ed.
“It’s up to individuals to seek sponsorship and put a team together. Some companies offer their staff the chance to play and sponsor a team, but for the most part, it really is up to someone with the desire to put a team together to find sponsorship. If I’m not mistaken, we had about five new teams this season. What I would like to see is 10 teams in each of the three divisions.”