The annual best-of-three softball series between Blaine Country police officers and firefighters swung the blue team’s way Saturday at O’Donnell Park in Bellevue.
In the “Guns and Hoses” coed slow-pitch softball tournament, the Police prevailed for the first time in the fourth annual tilt, winning the first game 11-8 and the decisive third contest, 9-8. The Firefighters claimed the middle game 17-12.
Lt. Bryan Carpita of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office remarked, “Every year is close, but this was our year. In the last game we pretty much stayed ahead most of the way through it, though it was definitely close.”
The two teams fielded 26 players between them. Phil Rummel of the Guns led all batters with a perfect 10-for-10 day at the plate and seven runs scored.
“A lot of those hits were homeruns, but we didn’t track them,” Carpita said.
Megan Ballis was 8-for-10 with three runs scored. Matt Reichert and Steve England connected on seven hits and six runs apiece. Kelly White paced the Firefighters with a 9-for -11 day at the plate. Teammates John Rathfon and Steven Holbrook chipped in seven hits and five runs each.
The Guns and Hoses games are held with the specific goal of benefitting area youth. In 2019, the tournament raised nearly $2,000 and a portion of the proceeds were donated to the Wood River High School Senior Bash, with some set aside for future use.
“Our goal is to build up enough money in our account for scholarships,” Carpita said. “We are thinking if kids want to go into any kind of emergency services we would use it for that.”
To that end, organizers are in the process of planning a golf tournament at Elkhorn at Sun Valley that will be open to the public sometime between August and September.
Boise Mobile Equipment, a company that builds fire trucks and police vehicles, Sun Valley Mustard, and Atkinsons’ Market, sponsored the tournament. Organizer Rune Haavik noted their sponsor’s generosity allowed the local police and firefighters to donate more money to valley kids.