WARRIORS BLUE 17 d WANDERS 0
THE second half of the Mount Gambier softball season kicked into gear on Saturday, with the first game played between Warriors Blue and Wanderers in fine conditions.
Wanderers was short-staffed due to absent players and it cost dearly in the end, as Warriors claimed a dominant 17-0 victory.
Warriors started well to score four runs in the first innings and did not look back from there.
The second innings saw eight runs recorded, before a further five were added in the third.
It was a hard day for Wanderers, which battled with the minimum seven players.
Cathy Whiting fought hard on the mound and managed two safe hits with the bat, while Jo Hart also hit a single.
Warriors’ Justine Koop, Jenna Burston and Simone McDonald had two safe hits.
Leanne Mullan cracked a single in the first first innings with Nic Vause and Leyna Bruggemann having a hit each to put plenty of pressure on the Wanderers’ field.
In the end it was a comfortable win for Warriors Blue, but it will have to be at its best this weekend when the side takes on the undefeated Demons lineup.
CONCORDES WHITE 9 d CONCORDES UNITED 7
THE other early game on Saturday saw Concordes club rivals go head-to-head, as the White team faced off in a close contest with the United side.
In the end it was the White squad which claimed the honours, with a two-run win to hold onto fourth place on the ladder and the potential of a finals berth.
White was without star pitcher Sam Brown, who has dominated all season long, so it was up to veteran Jo Hopgood to pitch for her side.
After an early walk White’s field got behind Hopgood to limit United, which only scored one run in the first inning.
White then came out strong with the bat to score three runs, thanks to a safe hit from Hannah Taylor and disciplined batting from the whole line up.
The second innings saw United score five runs to take back the lead, with a number of fielding errors and a big hit to Billie Jones helping it along.
But the match was far from over as White opened its next innings with a home run to Hopgood, which helped spur her teammates to score four runs, with safe hits to Linda Dodds and up-coming youngster Nadia Metzger.
The damage would have been worse if not for an excellent catch in the outfield by newcomer to the game Angela McDonough.
In the top of the final innings, United drew level thanks to safe hits from Melissa Brodie and Jones.
It was then up to White to steal the win in its last at bat and it was then the experience of Hopgood showed, as she hit a two-bagger with two out to score both runners on base and take the game, 9-7.
Spectators were treated to a great game, which hung in the balance to the last bat.
DEMONS 4 d WARRIORS WHITE 2
IT was another solid game of softball in Saturday’s late match between the undefeated Demons and third-placed Warriors White.
A terrific battle ensued with Demons crossing the line just two runs in front, with a 4-2 win.
It was Warriors White which was first to hit the board, scoring lead-off batter Emmerson Hann after she hit to open proceedings.
Accurate pitching from Warriors’ Erin Chaplin and a catch from Clare Chaplin at centre-field saw the Demons unable to post a run in the first.
However, Demons then hit its stride in the field, holding Warriors scoreless for the next three innings, with first-class pitching from Montana Millard.
The young star went on to record a dominant 11 strikeouts for the game.
These figures saw Warriors with several stranded runners, while Demons pushed ahead.
The ladder-leaders scored two runs in the second and one in both the fourth and fifth, due to hits from Kelly Cawthorne and Rhiannon Mathers.
Cody Manning hit a three-bagger past centre-field, but with no one on and two out, she was left stranded at third in what was proving to be the theme of the match.
Warriors managed a second run thanks to a deep sacrifice fly to Clare Chaplin scoring Taylor Wilsmore, but that was the final run.
The fielding star of the day, aside Millard on the mound form Demons, was undoubtedly Warriors’ third base Jessica Tillman, who made a number of outs including a heads up double play when
bases loaded and Demons threatened to break the game open.
In all it was an entertaining match, which saw Demons continue to prove why it is yet to be beaten.
This Saturday’s matches see a top-of-the-table clash between Demons and Warriors Blue, while third-placed Warriors White meet fourth-placed Concordes White, with both games at 1pm.
At 3pm Wanderers will take on Concordes United, in the final game before the long weekend, during which the Mount Gambier representative side will look to go back-to-back and defend its title
at the State Championships in Adelaide.