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NCR Airmen head to Armed Services Classic championship game

Staff Sgt. Matthew Riggins, National Capital Region Air Force softball team outfielder, connects with the ball during the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. Teams from all five military branches competed for a chance to play in the championship game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

Staff Sgt. Matthew Riggins, National Capital Region Air Force softball team outfielder, connects with the ball during the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. Teams from all five military branches competed for a chance to play in the championship game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

An Armed Services Classic banner is shown at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. On the final day of the preliminary round, the Air Force beat the Marines 11-9 and lost to the Navy 10-6. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

An Armed Services Classic banner is shown at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. On the final day of the preliminary round, the Air Force beat the Marines 11-9 and lost to the Navy 10-6. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

Master Sgt. Jamal Nails, National Capital Region Air Force softball team third baseman, slides into second base during the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. After the preliminary games, the top two teams in the tournament go on to compete in a championship game as part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

Master Sgt. Jamal Nails, National Capital Region Air Force softball team third baseman, slides into second base during the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. After the preliminary games, the top two teams in the tournament go on to compete in a championship game as part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

The National Capital Region Air Force softball team plays the final game of the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. After the preliminary games, the top two teams in the tournament go on to compete in a championship game as part of Major League Baseball's All-Star Week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

The National Capital Region Air Force softball team plays the final game of the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. After the preliminary games, the top two teams in the tournament go on to compete in a championship game as part of Major League Baseball's All-Star Week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

Staff Sgt. Bobbi Robinson, National Capital Region Air Force softball team first baseman, prepares to catch the ball at first base during the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. The Air Force will go on to compete in the championship game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

Staff Sgt. Bobbi Robinson, National Capital Region Air Force softball team first baseman, prepares to catch the ball at first base during the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. The Air Force will go on to compete in the championship game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

Master Sgt. Matt Campbell, National Capital Region Air Force softball team pitcher, pitches during the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. The Air Force team will compete in the championship game scheduled for July 13 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

Master Sgt. Matt Campbell, National Capital Region Air Force softball team pitcher, pitches during the preliminary round of the Armed Services Classic softball tournament at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018. The Air Force team will compete in the championship game scheduled for July 13 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The National Capital Region Air Force softball team will head to the Armed Services Classic softball tournament championship game after a successful preliminary round at Jericho Park in Bowie, Md., June 23, 2018.

The tournament is a competition featuring teams from all five military branches that culminates with a championship game between the top two teams as part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week. During the preliminaries, each team played each other to determine who would move on.

“To play against each branch is something special,” said Tech. Sgt. Larry Russell, NCR Air Force softball team outfielder. “When you’re playing for your branch, it’s service before self—you’re playing for something a lot bigger than yourself.”

On the final day, the Air Force beat the Marines 11-9 and lost to the Navy 10-6. The win against the Marines solidified their spot in the championship game, scheduled for July 13, 7 p.m., at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. In the final game, the Air Force will face the Army. Free tickets for military personnel will be available at the Community Commons leading up to the game.

“A lot of us dream of playing in a stadium,” Russell said. “So I think it’s a dream come true.”

Immediately after the championship game, one representative from each team will compete in the preliminary round of the Military Home Run Derby contest.

The two competitors who hit the most home runs in 60 seconds will go on to compete in the final round July 16. The money raised by the event will go to military charities.
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