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Training and Education Command

United States Marine Corps
Depot duo showcase skills in hopes of making All-Marine

By Cpl. Eric R. Lucero | | July 19, 2002

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT/EASTERN RECRUTING REGION, PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. - -- For two Depot Marines, the opportunity to represent their country and earn the title of U.S. Marine has already been realized.

While they rest among an organization that considers itself elite, the opportunity for the two of them to go above and beyond and distinguish themselves among other Marines is at hand.

Monday marked the start of the All-Marine Women's Softball tryouts at the Depot's softball fields.

Both Marines are hoping to make the team for the first time as they showcase their talents among the 23 players vying for a spot on the 15-man roster.

Kristin M. Taft, an administrative clerk with Organizational Clothing, is making her second appearance at the trials after tearing her Achilles tendon last year after making it through the first cuts. Taft's injury had kept her out of action until April when she began her comeback.

"I'm really hoping to make a strong showing this year," said Taft. "I know the coach from my time here last year. He's really fair.

"Staying healthy this year is also a big concern."

Although only her first time out to tryouts, Mary K. Flatley, commanding officer of Oscar Co., 4th RTBN., has over 25 years of playing experience under her belt.

"I'm hoping to just get out there and give it my best shot," said Flatley. "The competition level is high, but I know if I don't make it, I'll be able to walk away knowing I gave it my all."

While Flatley remains optimistic, Taft is confident about their chances for this year's squad.

"I think we have a really good chance of making it," said Taft. "We're both pitchers, so that helps."

The cuts will be made after a grueling 10 straight days of practice and drills that promises to push the team to their limits while bringing them together.

"I think it's amazing we've only been out here one day and we're already starting to play as a team," said Flatley.

Head Coach David Heald is responsible for the final roster decision.

"It's tough," he said. "I can see a couple of them standing out already, but no decisions will be made until Thursday."

After initial cuts are made, it's Heald's job to take the remaining 15 players and get them primed for the Armed Forces Championships to be held at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., August 5.

For now, Flatley and Taft take their place among the other 21 players as they fight for a place on the roster while enjoying their time out in the sun.

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