A first-year team with a catchy name is off to a fast start in Marshall softball.

Lunar Llamas turned three double plays in their 11-0 win over Justice League on May 15 at NASA field 1. They play in the open recreational D league.

The Llamas (3-0) turned a 4-6-3 double play in the first, a 1-4-3 double play in the second and a 1-3 to end the game in the fifth.

“That’s pretty rare for slow pitch softball,” player/captain Joey Broome said of their three double plays.

Third baseman Jared Nelson, batting third in the lineup, went 2-for-3 with a two-run triple and two runs scored. The Llamas represent Mission Driven Research, a space and defense contractor where Nelson works as a test engineer. Founded in 2012, the company was named the winner of 2023 best place to work in Huntsville for small companies (25-50 employees) by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber.

“Coach (Broome) put us in a position to win,” Nelson said. “We had our fearless leader right here, really energized the team today.”

Nelson, 34, of Arab, played high school baseball and basketball for Covenant Christian Academy in Huntsville. He played basketball there from 2003-07 and baseball from 2003-05.

Chris Gordon, the founder and president of Mission Driven Research, batted cleanup and went 1-for-3 with a run batted in and run scored.

“We were mentally prepared,” Broome, MDR’s director of space programs, said. “And our president was here to cheer us on and bat cleanup.”

Broome went 3-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and one run. Sean Edwards had a three-run, inside-the-park homer. Dalton Bowden and Andrew Nelson added two hits apiece. John Geiger pitched a three-hitter with two strikeouts and one walk in five innings.

The Llamas wear a distinct gray jersey, with blue sleeves, which has the image of a llama in a space suit with the moon in the background.

Chuck Kemp, left-hander Jeremy Hinkleman and Marissa Martinez had one hit apiece for Justice League (1-3). Hinkleman took the loss.

“I think our team did an outstanding job,” Justice League player/captain Summer Neely said. “But there are areas where we need to improve, and we will work on those in practice.”

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