The USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) Pukin Dogs took care of business with the sweep of a twin bill in the Afloat Division June 9 at Hickam Softball Complex, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The William P. Lawrence, which headed the Afloat Division with a record of 6-0 at the start of the day, crushed Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific (ATG MIDPAC) by a score of 31-3, before moving on to pick up another mercy-run win by defeating USS Port Royal (GC 73) by a score of 10-1.
“We just hit it where they weren’t and we made plays,” said Pukin Dogs pitcher Damage Controlman 1st Class Thomas Hooper.
“That’s the key to softball. You just got to hit it hard somewhere.”
While the first game seemed to be one big merry-go-round for William P. Lawrence, the second game of the doubleheader was fairly even except for two big innings for the Pukin Dogs.
Hooper, who was a bit wild with his pitches in the first game, got off to a rough start in the second game by allowing the first two Port Royal hitters to get on base with back-to-back singles.
However, after that, Hooper was lights out as he got the next three outs to get out of trouble, before retiring the next 12 batters out of 13 in tossing a five-inning shutout.
Meanwhile, the Pukin Dogs picked up one run in the bottom of the second inning off of an RBI single by Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Kendrick Pettway, and then exploded in the bottom of the third.
With one on and one out in the frame, Lt. Josh Allen lofted a high fly that dropped right in front of the right fielder.
The ball took a bad hop over the head of the right fielder and then rolled all the way to the fence, which allowed Allen to circle the bases for an inside the park, two-run homer.
Additional run-scoring hits by Gunner’s mates 1st Class Danny Meadows, Fire Control-man (Aegis) 2nd Class Travis Hollermand and Fire Control-man 1st Class Tyler Moreland put the Pukin Dogs ahead by a score of 6-0.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Pukin Dogs put the game away for good with another rally.
Allen got things started in the fourth with two out by smashing a double to drive in a run.
Fire Controlman 2nd Class Roman Carroll pumped a triple that drove in two more runs, while Hooper aided his own cause with run-scoring single that put the Pukin Dogs up by a score of 10-0.
Another 1-2-3 inning by Hooper in the top of the fifth inning, his third of the game, and the shutout was complete.
With the back-to-back wins, the Pukin Dogs have now extended their lead in the Afloat Division to two and a half games over the Mighty Mo.
Holding a large lead might cause a few teams to take it easy in the final games of the season, but that, said Hooper, doesn’t apply to William P. Lawrence.
“Our goal, every game, is to come out and hit the ball hard,” he said.
“Be aggressive on the base paths and, no matter what, it’s a culture that we have. We need to be aggressive and play every game like it’s a one-run game.”