Softball teams raise more than $2,100 to help Craig coach, umpire

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With three games in the hot July sun already under her belt, Heather Dobinski said she just wanted to do her best to win Saturday’s home run derby during the Craig Softball Association’s fundraising tournament at Loudy-Simpson Park.

“I tried my best, and I got just enough to win,” said Dobinski, whose two blasts were enough to win the women’s division of the home run derby.

Her brother, Junior Herndon, was the winner on the men’s side, with 15 homers.

“I was trying for more,” Dobinski said. “But, I was happy with how I did.”

The home run derby was part of a benefit tournament to help Roman Gutierrez pay for his medical bills.

In a game last summer, Gutierrez, who is also the Moffat County High School varsity wrestling coach, was umpiring behind the plate when a bat slipped out of a hitter’s hands.

He suffered a cut above his left eye, and was left with $1,200 in medical bills.

Manuel Madrid, the softball association’s vice president, said the tournament was a success because of the money raised.

“All in all, it was a good day,” Madrid said. “We raised enough money to cover Roman’s medical expenses and money for the umps.”

The tournament raised $2,100, which will be used to pay Gutierrez’s medical bills, as well as umpires who call games.

“Everything went surprisingly well,” Madrid said. “We had a good turnout, and the top four teams got to play at least five games.”

Nine teams battled it out during the double-elimination tourney.

The tournament, which was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, only needed one day to crown a winner.

“Originally, we wanted to have a round robin tournament,” Madrid said. “But, we would have been out there until 1 or 2 in the morning.”

Three teams from Craig placed in the top four, including the TCB team, which finished first and received a $200 paycheck.

Winder’s team, also from Craig, finished second and received $150, and Steamboat Springs’ Shot In the Dark team was third and received $50.

Craig’s Ace Painting team finished fourth.

Because of the success of the tournament, Madrid said he plans to host several next summer.

“This was put together almost last minute,” he said. “Next year, we’ll get the ball rolling a little earlier.”

Although he was unsure of what cause next summer’s tournaments would benefit, Madrid said he had several charities in mind.

“It would be exciting to get more benefits next summer,” he said. “One idea I would like to see happen is get six or seven teams from Craig to play six or seven teams from Steamboat in a rivalry tournament.

“I’d like to see one or two tournaments next year.”

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