From the Marianas Variety, July 3, 2009:

Southwest triumphs over Blue Sharks twice to win title


Southwest won the Department of Parks and Recreation/Palauan Softball League championship after defeating the Ngarchelong Blue Sharks twice in a row yesterday at the Upper Tiyan softball field.

Southwest won the regular season pennant championship and were the favorites to win it all in the playoffs.  

“We knew that we had to play smart and not make any costly errors,” Southwest player Mcmillan Agustine said.

The Blue Sharks and Southwest  played a total of 21 innings against one another. Both teams advanced to the title game by beating their respective opponents in the semifinals earlier in the day.

Going into the title game, both teams were told they would have to play a best-of-three championship series to decide the best team in the league. 

“It was hard. We really had to fight and fight for what was accomplished today,” Southwest third baseman Jonathan Delos Santos said. “We knew that it was do-or-die time for us and for the Blue Sharks. I guess the team that pulled out more stops today won the title.”

Southwest thought they had the first game in the bag but the Blue Sharks came from behind to win the first game 8-7, to the shock of fans in attendance. 

“We knew that we made some mistakes in that game but we knew that it was not over yet,” Southwest player Ally Sarapio said. “The second game belonged to us and we knew we could not blow it for the second time.”

In the second game, Southwest redeemed themselves and defeated Ngarchelong 14-6 to force a third and deciding game three. 

“When we won game two, we knew we already had the title within our grasp,” Agustine said. 

The third game looked more as if the Blue Sharks would walk away with the title. Southwest found themselves down 4-0 after two innings of play. But with resilience and poise, they fought back in the mid-innings to take a 6-4 lead.

Southwest went on to win the game by the score of 14-6, and more importantly, the championship for the first time in league history.

“It was a historic run for us this year. To go a perfect 11-0 entering the final game of the season and then to lose – it’s really something,” Delos Santos said. “Losing once in the season and once today and winning it all is a triumph all on its own.”

Despite the loss, the Blue Sharks kept their heads up. “Win or lose, it was a great season for us,” Ngarchelong Blue Sharks Vic April said. “We just wanted to have fun and that is it.”

Third place went to Angaur and fourth place went to Ngardmau. Koror B was awarded with the best sportsmanship award.

Top Performers (3 Games Combined)


Jonathan Delos Santos - 14-18, 3 runs, 5 RBIs
Mcmillan Agustine - 9-17, 3 runs, 6 RBIs
Clancy Iyakar - 14-16, 3 runs, 4 RBIs
Jerome Andrew - 9-13, 4 runs, 3 RBIs
Winning pitcher Frances George had 6 strikeouts

Ngarchelong Blue Sharks
Joe Ngirailild - 7-9, 2 runs, 2 RBIs
JR Borja - 12-15, 5 runs, 5 RBIs
Steffan April - 7-10, 2 runs, 2 RBIs
Losing pitcher Albert Rdialul had 7 strikeouts

Frances George   Southwest's Frances George fires the ball to first base during the championship games.
               Mcmillan Agustine Southwest player Mcmillan Agustine slams a two-run homer during the DPR/Palauan Softball League best-of-three championship series with the Ngarchelong Blue Sharks yesterday at the Upper Tiyan softball field. Southwest won the series two games to one to become this year’s champions.

Photos by Ivan Palacios / Variety