FINALS fever is upon the softball community and games are heating up, with the cream rising to the top.
The under-18s is always the action-packed game of the day and at the weekend the Royals Slayers took on the Bandits.
Ryan Hoschke made a welcome return after a few weeks away and slipped straight back into the catching role with ease.
Todd Winsor started with pitching duties and held his own in the role for the first two innings.
Royals scored two runs early with solid batting, based mainly on single hits and clever base running.
The Bandits came out to bat and Nick Brazel punched a home run to the outfield and then Jason Bromell hit a three-bagger, bringing the team’s number one hitter up to the plate.
Tobi Nicholson hit out and through good base running on a passed ball got across the plate for to even the score.
From there on it was Bandits all the way, with some more big hits and an awesome catch taken by Pat Saunders.
Young Bromell hit a home run at full count to left field and that was the game.
At the finish the Bandits were up by nine runs, taking the victory 12–3.
It was a very entertaining game and as the finals gain momentum it will be these two teams in the mix again on grand final day.
Dorrigo took on the might of the Royals in the women’s A grade this week and it was a great opening inning by the Royals, with Sandy Loader taking a remarkable running catch at left field, which set the tone for her team for the rest of the game.
Lauren Campbell hit a right field bomb and the runs came thick and fast.
In the top of the fourth the Royals were up 7-1, and the pressure mounted when Dorrigo was held scoreless in its next at bat, going three-up and three-down.
Alison Blanchard hit safe to first, then ran the bases and stole home on a pitch to get another run for the Royals.
Joanne Kennedy followed suit with another clean hit.
Royals held a very safe lead but Dorrigo made a last-ditch effort to hit back with a late charge but was thwarted by safe hands in the field.
It was 12-2 to the Royals in a clean and tidy display by the women.