Staff grabs bragging rights in 'We Are Family' faculty-staff softball game

Faculty Softball Winners

By Diane Gasper-O'Brien
The faculty team had the big hit of the night. But it was too little, too late as the staff prevailed 11-6 in the inaugural Fort Hays State University faculty-staff softball game Thursday at Tiger Field.

A large crowd came out on a near-perfect summer evening to cheer and enjoy a picnic meal with their families.

Following a full day of professional development activities across campus, about 40 members of the FHSU faculty and staff took the field.

Wearing new black and gold T-shirts touting "We Are Family," the contest featured the air of an official ball game, with the voice of announcer Ken Windholz booming over the microphone while introducing the teams and each batter as he or she came to the plate.

It looked early on that the staff would dominate, scoring six runs in the first inning and adding three more in the second while holding the faculty scoreless.

The staff increased its lead to 11-1 in the top of the fifth on a two-run homer by Travis Taggart before the faculty started making a comeback. After getting just one runner on base the first three innings, the faculty finally got warmed up.

Led by a booming three-run homer over the center field fence by Kerry Shannon, the faculty climbed back into the game with a five-run fifth inning.

However, that would end the scoring for both teams, and Dr. Joy Hatch, vice president for technology, accepted the trophy as captain of the staff team.

The teams shook hands graciously, and some faculty players even got in the winning team photo as they photobombed the trophy presentation.

The game was the brainchild of Dr. Graham Glynn, who is just a month into his new position as FHSU provost.

A family picnic received rave reviews, and children thoroughly enjoyed playing in an inflatable bouncy house in back of the stadium.

Glynn, captain of the faculty team, summed up his thoughts on the game and picnic at the annual convocation the next morning.

"It was well orchestrated, and everyone had a wonderful time," said Glynn, a native of Ireland who came to Fort Hays State from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. "It was a great family event, and hopefully it will be part of our culture going forward."

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