The Chemistry Department’s softball team, “appropriately” named, “Chemically Imbalanced,” finally walked away with this year’s softball championship – after placing second in three of the last four playoff series. The last time the Chemistry team won a softball championship was in 1979. While most players on the team work in the Chemistry Department, they are happy to have several players from other departments on their roster. The team is part of the Brookhaven Employee Recreation Association softball league.
Members of “Chemically Imbalanced” softball team: Back, from left; Nalaka Kodituwakku, Michael White, Stephen Howell, Lee Walcott, Ashleigh Baber, Mahendra Kahanda.
Front, from left: David Alexoff, John Lofaro, Daniel Wilson, Danielle O’Connor, Dave Comstock.
Missing from photo: Paul Calderone, Stephen Dewey, Stephen Dewey, Jr., Robert Grubbs, Peter Khalifah, Warlyn Reyes.
Easily recognized on the field by the element symbols and compounds (some real, some nicknames) displayed on their team tee shirts, the team took the championship by winning a close game that was tied going into the 7th inning. They defeated reigning champs, Kool n’Gang, by a score of 9-7
“We are finally brides and no longer bridesmaids,” said first baseman Steve Howell. Michael White added, “Steve and I have been playing on a Chemistry team since the early 80’s and it felt great to win the playoffs, and even better to share the win with a close group of friends.”
According to co-captains John Lofaro and Lee Walcott, winning the championship was just the icing on the cake.
Lofaro explained that although Mahendra Kahanda plays cricket (another bat and ball game) he never held a softball in his hands until 2002. “Now he is our pitcher and one of our most dedicated players,” said Lofaro.
Walcott agrees that this team isn’t just your average group of players. “Our longtime co-worker, BNL retiree Dave Comstock and his wife Betsi come to every game,” said Walcott. “Dave is unable to play now, but he still keeps the scorebook and calls out the batting order (and occasionally argues a call on the field!). He is an integral part of our team and our biggest cheerleader.”
Comstock played in the Lab’s softball league for many years. “I started playing in 1961 and was on the 1979 Chemistry championship team,” he said. “I have a real love for the game and enjoy spending time on the sidelines cheering on my BNL friends. Although we play for fun, I must admit it was exciting to be the champions.”
The current team is a mix of long-time players, graduate students, and post docs like Ashleigh Baber, who helped cinch the championship when she batted in the winning run in the final playoff game. “Ashleigh is a terrific ballplayer,” said Walcott. “She is very enthusiastic and full of team spirit.”
“We’re ready for next season.” added Lofaro. “Of course, we hope everyone comes down to the fields to cheer for all the teams. It’s all about having fun.”
2011-2695 INT/EXT | Media & Communications Office