Softball season ends with a bang
THE grounds were done up in team colours and faces were painted in war paint as it was grand final fever for the end of softball’s 2011 season.
It was mainly a Royals affair with the club featuring in every grand final to be played out on the day.
The under-13s were in full swing early and the crowd was really getting into the game cheering on the teams and players and it made for an exciting last day.
It was an all-Royals play-off for number one with the Slayers taking on the Wipeouts.
The Slayers’ pairing of Reece McKinnon and Brodie Ford pitching and catching took it to the batting team and only let in two runs in the first dig.
These two boys have mixed it up with the best all year and they really had their game on for the big day.
With the Wipeouts up by two runs it was up to them now to hold out an aggressive batting side eager to square the ledger.
Catcher Jesse Clark threw an amazing flat hard ball to second base for an out and Will Booth also got an out at second to hold the Slayers out.
There was some big hits by Tobie Nicholson and Jordan Newbound while Nathaniel Hart got a great tag out.
Georgie Neet hit a beauty to left field to bring in a runner for the Slayers.
It was tight going into the last few digs but the Slayers started to slowly gain the ascendancy and then evened the score and finally a ripper hit by Newbound with a three-bagger brought in the runs to seal the game.
Slayers took the grand final 9-7 in what was a great match-up.
Callie Winsor took to the field and warmed up as the batters practised their swings ready for the last outing of the year for the under-15s.
As the Bandits pitcher casually rolled them in there was no real feeling that she was out to do anything special but it was 3-up and then 3-down with no Royals batter getting past the home plate.
The Bandits then faced the Royals and the pitcher got a safe hit and so did the champion Jarrod Bird but no runs were scored.
Callie again attacked the Royals batters with 3-up and 3-down and now had six straight batters back in the dugout for no runs or even a base hit.
Again the Bandits got on base and looked set to score when it was side away with no runs scored. The Bandits were batting but not scoring.
Now the tide turned with a clean safe hit by Andrew Garner who got to first base and then managed to steal home on balls or mis-pitches until he made his move and crossed the plate for the first run of the game.
Nathan Cunningham then connected on a fast ball and over the centre field’s head it went and with his speed it was an easy home run. Callie destroyed all others striking out another three in a row
Two more scoreless digs in a row showed how tight the game was and how hard both sides were trying to take the title. Andrew Garner then hit a great solid piece that scored him a grand final homer and the Royals were up by four runs.
The Bandits had to pull something out of the bag to get in the game and with three runners on bags looked set to do just that.
Callie stole home and gained them a run but it was as close as they ever got with the Royals the winners 4-1 at the time and game call. A great match and the talent was on display from both sides.
Todd Winsor received softball’s most prestigious award, the Steven Lee Memorial Trophy, for outstanding sportsmanship for his umpiring for season 2011.
Both Nerida and David Lee presented Todd with the award and we all remembered Steven who is sorely missed.
Well done Todd, and hang that trophy prominently mate, as it is a true honour to receive it.