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Sabers dominate Cinco de Mayo softball championship tournament

The Spangdahlem lady Sabers softball team protected their home field and dominated the Cinco de Mayo Softball Championship Tournament held at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 3 to 5, 2019.

The Spangdahlem lady Sabers softball team protected their home field and dominated the Cinco de Mayo Softball Championship Tournament held at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 3 to 5, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

Campbell was one of five Sabers to receive an individual award at the conclusion of the tournament.

Katie Campbell, Spangdahlem women's softball team starting shortstop, waits for a pitch to hit at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 5, 2019. Campbell was one of five Sabers to receive an individual award at the conclusion of the tournament. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

The women's team placed first out of an eight team field

Ayelen Verdie, Spangdahlem women's softball team catcher, calls for a timeout at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 5, 2019. The women's team placed first out of an eight team field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

The Lady Sabers defeated eight other teams to become Cinco de Mayo Tournament champions.

The Spangdahlem women's softball team celebrate a 16-2 victory over Lakenheath at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 5, 2019. The Lady Sabers defeated eight other teams to become Cinco de Mayo Tournament champions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

This is the second of eight tournaments throughout the year the team will play in

Senior Airman Kia Byars, Spangdahlem's women's baseball team starting pitcher, throws a pitch at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 4, 2019. This is the second of eight tournaments throughout the year the team will play in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

The Lady Sabers won the championship game defeating Royal Air Force Lakenheath by a score of 16-2.

The Spangdahlem women's softball team practice catching before the tournament's championship game at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 4, 2019. The Lady Sabers won the championship game defeating Royal Air Force Lakenheath by a score of 16-2. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

A total of 12 teams from all over Europe participated in the tournament.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tyler Catey, Spangdahlem men's softball team left fielder, hits a line drive for a base hit at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 3, 2019. A total of 12 teams from all over Europe participated in the tournament. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

A total of 12 teams from all over Europe participated in the tournament

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Austin Neer, Spangdahlem men's softball team starting pitcher, throws the first pitch of the championship tournament at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 3, 2019. A total of 12 teams from all over Europe participated in the tournament. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

The Cinco de Mayo Softball Championship Tournament is held annually and features teams from many bases across Europe

The Spangdahlem men's softball team line up for the playing of the national anthem at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 3, 2019. The Cinco de Mayo Softball Championship Tournament is held annually and features teams from many bases across Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

The Spangdahlem Air Base men’s and women’s softball teams competed in the annual Cinco de Mayo softball tournament here, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 3 to May 5.

The men’s softball team played well, but came up short in the tournament after dominating the tournament last year and winning the championship.

The women’s softball team made it to the championship game unscathed and protected their home field. They dominated the tournament by defeating Royal Air Force Lakenheath and winning the championship by a score of 16-2 in the final game.

“This was a chance to show our skills and show we are willing to protect our home field again,” said Shandrana Carroll, Spangdahlem women’s softball team’s right fielder. “Last year wasn’t a fluke and we went out and proved it once again.”

This is the second year in a row that the women’s softball team has taken home the first place trophy.

This year’s tournament meant a little more to the players than any other year and it was evident in everything from the field of play to the winning trophies.

Chris Heisig, one of the appointed head umpires for the tournament, passed away April 27, 2019, before the tournament started.

There was a ceremony May 3, 2019, to honor Heisig and thank him for all he has done for the program.

“We fought hard for this win and showed our determination, we wanted this win,” said Ayelen Verdie, Spangdahlem women’s softball catcher. “This win was for Chris.”

Both Saber softball teams showed dedication, resiliency and trust, things that directly relate to being Airmen and Sabers.