DEMONS 14 d WARRIORS BLUE 8
PERFECT conditions greeted the first week of softball finals on Saturday at Blue Lake Sports Park.
Minor premiers Warriors Blue clashed with Demons in the first final for a place in the decider.
The contest was off to a frantic start, with both teams left to rue uncharacteristic errors in the field.
A strong hit from Justine Koop allowed Warriors to open their account with three runs, but Demons replied with two of their own.
Safe hits from Karen Cawthorne, Grace Millard, Malinda Markiewicz and Jorja Morale ensured Demons continued their flow of runs with four in the second.
In response Warriors pegged two runs back in the third, thanks to a lead off double from Leyna Bruggemann, before a further three runs in the fourth.
Warriors took the lead for the first time after a Bruggemann double and a Koop second hit.
With the score at eight to six, both pitchers, Bruggemann and Millard, dug in for their respective sides as runs were hard to find through the middle innings.
Against the run of play in the sixth inning the formidable Demons batting line-up came to the fore and blasted five runs before Warriors could blink.
Safe hits from Kelly Cawthorne, Rhiannon Mathys, Karen Cawthorne and Millard was followed by a further three runs in the seventh.
Due to some unforgiving pitching from Millard, the stunned Warriors outfit could not fight back and lost 14-8, with Demons through to a grand final hit out.
WARRIORS WHITE 11 d CONCORDES WHITE 5
IN the elimination-final against Warriors White, Concordes White raced out of the blocks with safe hits from Jo Hopgood, Chelsea Fowler and Linda Dodds to score three runs.
However, a tight tussle followed after Warriors replied immediately with four runs in the next two innings, highlighted by a Taylor Holdman safe hit.
Holdman also performed in the outfield to hold two crucial catches, which held Concordes in check despite a Chelsea Fowler RBI.
Warriors’ batters struggled against the pitching of Hopgood, but they broke the shackles in the fifth inning to score four runs and take control the match.
Hopgood lost her radar and a pitching switch to Sam Brown did little to slow Warriors, as they hit three more runs due to some sloppy Concordes fielding and a triple off the bat of Jessica Hillman.
Unforgiving pitching from Erin Chaplin saw Warriors close out the game to win by six runs and advance into the all-Warriors showdown for the grand final on Saturday.
Demons 14 d Warriors Blue 8. Safe hits – Demons: Kelly Cawthorne, Karen Cawthorne, G. Millard, M. Markeiwkz, I. Morale 2, R. Mathys, J. Morale 1; Warriors Blue: J. Koop, L. Bruggemann 2, A. Queale, C. Hanson, K. Doyle 1.
Warriors White 11 d Concordes White 5: Safe hits – Warriors White: J. Hillman, T. Holdman, T. Wilsmore 2, E. Hann 1; Concordes White: J. Hopgood 3, S. Brown, C. Fowler 2, K. Hansen, H. Taylor, L. Dodds, M. Sutherland, E. Sutherland 1.