SOFTBALL WINS IN WINTER BATTLE

An all-star lineup fielded by Buffalo Wild Wings kept its stranglehold on the Auburn Jaycees' Snowball Softball Tournament championship, but the real winners are the youngsters of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The Midland Wild Wings squad won its fourth straight Jaycees coed tourney Saturday by defeating Got Beer, 15-4, at the Midland Redcoat Softball Complex, and in the process hit a home run by doing its part to help the event reach its goal of raising about $1,500. Proceeds from the softball fundraiser go toward the Auburn Jaycees' annual Easter Egg Hunt, which in April will mark its 35th year of providing holiday treats and fun for kids from all over the region.

"This is fun," said Buffalo Wild Wings player Sue Forbes, a recent inductee into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame. "Two years ago we played in the soup. It's for a great cause. This is the third straight year I've played in the tournament."

With Forbes joining former Central Michigan University softball player Kim Cozat along with Caitlin Murphy and Tara Tigner, teammates on a Coleman High team that won a state championship; plus David Kwaiser and Chris Holly, talented ballplayers who have earned first team All-American honors in 10-man National Modified Softball, it appeared that the softball pedigree of "BW's" made them overwhelming favorites to take home the championship hardware.

Yet part of the charm of playing softball in more than a foot of snow is "that anybody can beat anybody," said Jim Wallace, Buffalo Wild Wings manager. "You can have all the athletic ability in the world but it doesn't matter in these conditions."