2015 AYF Olympics: Softball

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The Saturday Softball games have become quite popular at the AYF Olympics. It is the only team sport in the Olympics, and it is a co-ed team sport at that. Furthermore, the games are played for fun and for bragging rights, as the results of this competition are not included in the overall team tallies in the Olympic results. The teams do indeed have fun and they do take it seriously. There are always a healthy number of spectators of all ages at the softball games.

Good for a hit

Nine games were played overall. The New Jersey “Arsens continued their strong performance, some might even say dominance, in softball. Led by the Sarajian brothers, New Jersey wins by playing defense better than…well, everyone else. They make very few errors and actually make some very good plays. As the Detroit coach, Ralph Kourtjian was impressed with New Jersey’s defense. Ara Sarajian noted, “Since every team pitches to themselves, every team will get hits and score runs. The team that plays the best fielding often wins and that is our focus.”

Team Boston

There are highs and lows in Olympic Softball. Chicago felt pretty good after beating Philadelphia in the first round 10-3. In Round 2, they ran into a Los Angeles buzzsaw and were trounced 32-2. Orange County beat North Andover 6-4 in a close game and then were defeated 21-13 by last year’s winner Detroit.

New Jersey played a very good Worcester team that also believes in sound field play. Led by Olympic high-scorer Melanee Melkonian, who played shortstop and first base at Clark University, Worcester gave New Jersey a very good run losing 9-5. Raffi Sarajian, a former Arsen member, now with the Arams, helped Worcester give New Jersey a good game.

Team Detroit (Photo: Keri Topouzian)

This set up a rematch of last year’s final in Round 3: Detroit vs. New Jersey. These two teams play each other very well, and this year was no exception. The Jersey defense prevailed by a score of 9-5 to advance to the finals, where they faced a scrappy Los Angeles that had bested Boston 16-11 in Round 3.

Los Angeles jumped to an early lead against New Jersey but it didn’t last. New Jersey hunkered down on defense and held the Angelinos to just 4 runs. Jersey had a 6 run rally in the 4th inning to take the championship 10-4.

Team LA (Photo: T. Keosian)

New Jersey has won 5 of the last 6 softball tourneys and looks forward to repeating this again next year on their home turf. Kyle Dinkjian, Garo Sarajian, and Ara Sarajian have been on every winning team.


Round 1:

Orange County beat North Andover 6-4

Chicago beat Philly 10-3


Round 2:

Detroit beat Orange County 21-13

New Jersey beat Worcester 9-5


Los Angeles beat Chicago 32-2

Boston beat Providence 19-11


Round 3:

New Jersey beat Detroit 9-5

Los Angeles beat Boston 16-11



New Jersey beat Los Angeles 10-4

Detroit and NJ congratulating each other after their Round 2 game


Softball spectators

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: 2015 AYF Olympics: Softball