Sluggers Hit Hard For Charity

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The big winners in the Third Annual Mazatzal Casino and Payson Parks and Recreation Home Run Derby were the charities that received the $2,000 in prize money.

Among the groups which winning teams chose to receive money were:

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Scott Nossek of the winning Payson Physical Therapy team slaps a home run in the Payson home run derby held July 21 at Rumsey Park.

  • The Gracie Haught Classic Softball tournament ($700)
  • Payson Humane Society ($300)
  • Habitat for Humanity ($500)
  • Payson High School baseball ($300)
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters ($200).

The slugging classic, which was contested July 21 at Rumsey Park, drew three-person teams from around the state eager to flex their hitting muscle by swatting softballs over outfield fences.

Probably the tensest moments of the derby occurred in the battle for the men's division championship.

In regulation play, the Payson Physical Therapy team of Scott Nossek, Matt Sopeland and Mark Lyons tied with the Little Bit Late team of Shawn Hanson, Paul Johnson and Kenny Willis. Both squads slugged a total of 33 home runs each.

With the tie, tournament director Charlene Hunt called for an overtime in which each player received one pitch to try to hit the ball out of the park.

Because both teams hit two home runs each, another tie resulted.

A second overtime was called and this time around the tie was broken when Payson Physical Therapy had two home runs and Little Bit Late failed to punch a round trip ticket.

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In Payson home run derby action July 21, Larry Wilbanks readies himself for a pitch.

With the win, PPT gave its $500 in prize money to the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity and Little Bit Late awarded the second place prize of $300 to the PHS baseball club.

Third place was garnered by the Lumberman's Crushers of Chad Martin, Scott Wilson and Chris Atwood.

For the bronze medal showing, the Crushers earned $200 for Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

The individual champion, Nossek, hit 16 HRs and received as a prize, a Worth softball bat.

The women

In the contest's women's division, first place was taken by the Gracie's Dazies I team of Molly Hunt, Marci Rush and Jill Boston. The trio slugged 17 HRs and awarded the first place prize money to the Gracie Haught Classic.

Hunt was the individual championship with 10 home runs. She too received a Worth bat for her victory.

Second place was taken by the Ball Busters who designated the humane society to receive the prize money.

On the team that slugged 13 home runs were Tammy Felton, Toni Waugh and Chris Proctor.

Gracie's Dazies II took third place with nine home runs and chose the Gracie Haught Classic as the prize recipient.

On the team were Sandee Koon, Bobbie Jo Haught and Tracy Hoffman.

The annual charity fray, Charlene Hunt said, went off without a hitch except for a 25-minute delay due to whirling winds.

Hunt attributed the success of the event to the generosity of the Mazatzal Casino which annually donates the prize money.

Hunt is hoping that next year, the derby can be held on the two newly built Rumsey Park FieldTurf fields.

"That would make them go a lot quicker, we could have the men on one field and the women the other," she said.

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