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Discoverers Take Softball Trophy

By Shannon Baker
July 2008

DIR team player, Eric Tokar took a giant leap of faith for the Discoverers that dropped him and his teammates into the lap of victory over OD/NTP.
DIR team player Eric Tokar took a giant leap of faith for the Discoverers that dropped him and his teammates into the lap of victory over OD/NTP. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Even in defeat, OD/NTP Toxic Red Tides Team Captain, Chris Portier found ample humor in the antics at the tournament.
Even in defeat, OD/NTP Toxic Red Tides Team Captain Chris Portier found ample humor in the antics at the tournament. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
DIR Discoverers Team Captain Ron Cannon proves he has what it takes to win.
DIR Discoverers Team Captain Ron Cannon proves he has what it takes to win. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Blazin' Bullets team player William Ragland enjoyed a laugh as he tried to escape the heat of the day between games.
Blazin' Bullets team player William Ragland enjoyed a laugh as he tried to escape the heat of the day between games. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
NIEHS Acting Director Sam Wilson, who wisely shed his tie for the game, chuckled and chatted with Toxic Red Tides player Sheila Newton.
NIEHS Acting Director Sam Wilson, who wisely shed his tie for the game, chuckled and chatted with Toxic Red Tides player Sheila Newton. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Retribution was the name of the game as the second annual Friends and Family Softball Tournament concluded Family Day on June 3. Nearly 80 NIEHS employees and their families came out to support and cheer on their fellow co-workers, as they prepared to take on opposing divisions.

The Division of Intramural Research (DIR) Discoverers kicked off the event by defeating former rivals, the Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT) Devils 11-1. The fun-filled three-inning game was locked in a 1-1 tie, until a last inning hitting spree pushed the DIR Discoverers into the second round. "This year we are getting a little retribution from last year," boasted DIR team captain Ron Cannon.

As the competition started to heat up, the Office of the Director, National Toxicology Program (OD/NTP) Toxic Red Tides played former champions, the Office of Management (OM) Blazin' Bullets. Despite OD/NTP's defensive efforts, the Blazin' Bullets still proved to be too strong for the Toxic Red Tides and defeated them 3-1. Photographer Steve McCaw managed to score a homerun for the OD/NTP team. Before returning to duty to capture the events unfolding on the NIEHS ball field. OD/NTP Team Captain Chris Portier joked, "OM was lucky; next year we want to test them for steroids."

DIR and OM moved on for the second year in a row to face off in the final game. Throughout the seven-inning game, the lead changed several times. DIR teammate Eric Tokar hit the ball over the fence, scoring the only homerun in the final game. As the tension grew stronger, DIR ultimately prevailed in the last inning, winning the game 9-5.  The inter-divisional trophy was given to DIR for the first time. After the game, Cannon summed it all up with three words, "Retribution was had."

(Shannon Baker is a rising senior at Peace College in Raleigh who spent a three-week internship in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison. She is currently working part time in the NIEHS Office of the Director.)

Crystal Green, left, and Vickie Englebright, seated center, joined Friends and Family Day visitors who came out to show their support for the athletes.
Crystal Green, left, and Vickie Englebright, seated center, joined Friends and Family Day visitors who came out to show their support for the athletes. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Although the OM Blazin' Bullets failed to re-claim the championship title and inter-divisional trophy, they still found reason to smile after their losing battle with DIR.
Although the OM Blazin' Bullets failed to re-claim the championship title and inter-divisional trophy, they still found reason to smile after their losing battle with DIR. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
The lean and mean DIR Discoverers proved they were the
The lean and mean DIR Discoverers proved they were the "Comeback Kids" after defeating the OM Blazin' Bullets 9-5 and avenging their loss in last year's tournament. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)


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