The playoff chances for the Black Mambas looked bleak, at best. Staring at elimination, the Black Mambas needed to win four out of the last five games in order to earn a playoff berth in the M&S Night Softball League. Judging from their performance after the first seven games of the season, when they sported an underwhelming 2-5 record, the odds of them making it into the playoffs did not look too promising.

But then came along 19-year-old superstar Zack Ashkenazie. Zack’s torrid hitting and dazzling play in the field led his team to an incredible surge to propel the Black Mambas into the playoffs.

Over the final four games, Zack hit a scorching12 for 18 at the plate, including three doubles, one triple, and one homerun, for an incredible 1.111 slugging pct.  In the field, his versatility and defensive prowess was a huge asset for the Black Mambas, giving them the luxury of playing him in multiple positions in the field. Zack’s speed, sure hands, and cannon-like arm proved to be an invaluable weapon, as his gold-glove defense saved numerous runs over the course of the season. Down the stretch, Zack had a knack for coming through in the biggest situations.

A leader by example, Zack’s quite, positive influence on his teammates sets him aside from the rest of the younger generation. We are very excited to name Zack as this month’s Sportsman of the Month. Congratulations Zack!

Honorable mention goes to Allie Marshall. Allie was the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 M&S Night Softball League. Winning this year’s award is impressive enough, but even more remarkable is the fact that this is Allie’s third consecutive year bringing home MVP honors.  Allie is far and away the best player in the league, both statistically and as a teammate.

Allie is a former minor league baseball player who played for the Mountain Dale Lions, a minor league affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The M&S Night Softball committee wanted to spread the wealth and give a different player a chance to win this honor, but Allie’s stellar play made it impossible to even think about presenting the MVP award to another player.

The back of Allie’s baseball card this season speaks for itself. He led the league in batting average (.581), on base pct. (.711), slugging pct. (1.129), doubles and walks. He was also among the leaders in homeruns, runs scored, and RBIs. The committee really had no choice but to award Allie with yet another MVP trophy. Amazing! Stay tuned next year, as Allie tries to make it four in a row.