The weather looked ominous all day, but fortunately the rain stayed away, however players faced extremely cold conditions – a change from the summer heat.
The games had everything for the large spectator contingent, especially the A1 Women’s games both of which were decided in the last innings of the game.
Solly Cats v Checkmates
Cats got out to an early, but not convincing lead at the top of the second innings, leading 2 runs to zip. This then remained the state of play until the top of the seventh and deciding innings.
Callie Siwak had held Checkmates batters to no runs and only one safe hit in 6 innings. Siwak pitched 10 K2’s for the game an awesome performance.
At the top of the seventh innings were two down and looked done and dusted. Bring on Mel DiGeronimo to the plate, a solid hit to centre field, a safe two bagger from Jacqui Bateson and a safe hit from Gab Dunning and suddenly Checkmates were in front by 2 runs.
Cats were very eager to bat off Rachel Ciampi, but their innings were conceded, simply not facing enough pitches.
In one innings Cats were side away facing only 7 pitches. Cats needed wise heads to prevail – fortunately top of the line-up Philippa Woolford, Penny Lynch, Erin Martin, and Sam Burt put together 4 safe hits to get Cats over the line.
Cougars v Tigers
Cougars chose to bat first and brought in two runs in their first dig, Tigers responded by bringing in 3 runs at the bottom of the third courtesy of a couple of safe hits from Shianne Short ad Talisha Hillier.
The game moved along slowly, Cougars Mel Gonsalves and Jazmyn Wright were strong in the outfield, especially Gonsalves who covered ground to finish 5 field outs and one safe hit. Casey Baldock for Tigers gave Tigers spectators some hope with a solid centerfield home run.
Heading into top seven, Cougars held a one run lead – they failed to capitalise leaving the door open for Tigers to try to steal the game.
Baldock came into bat, with Tigers one down. The Cougars coaching staff opted to walk Baldock giving her free agency on first.
This prompted Tigers to substitute Baldock for speedy Tiger Emma Kerr. Kerr successfully stole to second, unfortunately batters could not advance Kerr any further and Cougars move forward to the grand final.
Solly Cats v Tigers
Both sides started tentatively, the junior Cats experiencing their first final in some time, Tigers finding it difficult to penetrate Cats field. Hannah Mark for Solly Cats was impressive at short stop once again 3 field outs and 2 safe hits (including a home run).
Tigers made a rally at the top of the third innings and brought in 4 runs, even so, they still trailed by one run.
The game played out to an even 5 innings, with Amity Williams for Cats laying down a couple of valuable bunts which assisted in the run tally. Cats into the grand final.
Tigers would be heartened by the strong showing of their junior players.
Ariel Tee with a solid outfield safe hit. Jess Finlayson, playing with injury managed one safe hit and 7 K2’s – a great effort
Cougars v Checkmates
Cougars went on a betting spree at the expense of Checkmates with Brodee Fogden, a most unassuming player player in the Cougars line up presenting with 5 safe hits from 5 at bats and 3 field outs.
Checkmates rallied in the second innings the looked as if they might be able to match Cougars batting power, unfortunately they simply could not follow on with their good build up.
Cougars scored strongly in each innings except for the 4th innings when the game was well over.
Checkmates held Cougars scoreless with some great field play by Meteha DiGeronimo at shortstop. Full marks to Kylie Backshall for Checkmates who has toiled valiantly all season to pitch for this side.
Best of three series
The match started in very trying conditions with slight drizzle affecting the ability for both pitchers to be able to accurately control the ball.
Cats batted first by virtue of their second placed ranking and they batted through their batting line up twice, bringing in 12 runs, Danica Manfield continued her strong batting form and finished with 3 safe hits (1 hr) plus 3 field outs.
Cougars found it difficult to consolidate on their batting strength, managing 4 runs in the first and second innings and then failing to trouble the scorer after that. Jodie Lenartowicz for Cougars was strong in the catchers position and kept Cats speedy runners honest whilst stealing bases.
Cats Aimee Simmons came into some strong batting form (3 sh), but her presence behind the mask was an asset for young pitcher Mia Williams.
A fitting win for Bek Noon to celebrate her 100th game for the blue and whites.
UNDER 17 MIXED
Best of three Series
Checkmates v Cougars
Checkmates were simply too strong in all aspects of the game from Amelia Cricchiola, lead off batter with 4 safe hits, Checkmates batted right through their starting 9.
Well done Jessie Backshall who had 3 safe hits, and to Maigan Scheubeck for pitching a winning game.
With Bridie Ellis Nunn in the catching position, this combination is hard to beat. Cougars strong batters failed to make a mark Tyler Skelton possibly the best of the Cougars batters.
Cougars Skye Voumard was impressive with her work at shortstop, Voumard is a player of the future.
UNDER 13 MIXED
It could almost be described as the upset of the day with the more fancied Cougars side going down to Tigers. This junior competition has been great all season, Saturday’s game was no different.
Tigers scored 7 runs in their first turn at bat and then Cougars held them scoreless for the rest of the game.
Cougars registered 3 runs and, having last bat had a chance to win the game.
Batting last and three runs in Cougars had a runner on third, unfortunately the next two batters could not make a mark thanks to some good pitching from Ariel Tee who pitched out the game, taking the last 2 batters with a K2.
A nail-biting finish for the spectators and now Tigers moves onto the grand final.
RESULTS AND BEST PLAYERS
A1 WOMEN Elimination Final
Solly Cats 5 defeated Checkmates 4
Solly Cats: Philippa Woolford, Erin Martin, Callie Siwak
Checkmates: Rachel Ciampi, Rebecca Hunter O’Neill, Jacque Bateson
Cougars 6 defeated Tigers 5
Cougars: Jasmyn Wright, Ann Russack, Amber Steff
Tigers: Casey Baldock, Chloey Hoare, Talisha Hillier
A2 WOMEN Qualifying final
Solly Cats 8 defeated Tigers 5
Solly Cats: Jordan Ganley, Hannah Mark, Jo Houghagen
Tigers: Sharni Warren, Emma Kerr, Jess Finlayson
Cougars 21 defeated Checkmates 6
Cougars: Rebecca McCarthy, Katelyn Wilson, Leah Dall Afford
Checkmates: Maigan Scheubeck, Rachel Leecroft, Kylie Backshall
A3 WOMEN Best of three series
Solly Cats 22 defeated Cougars 8
Solly Cats: Danica Manfield, Aimee Simmons, Edyn Manfield
Cougars: Abbey Marsland, Donna Smith, Tracey Amey
UNDER 17 Mixed Best of three series
Checkmates: Maigan Scheubeck, Bridie Ellis Nunn, Amelia Cricchiola
Cougars: Zoe Hannaford, Malakiah Smith, Skye Voumard.
UNDER 13 MIXED Qualifying final
Tigers 7 defeated Cougars 6
Tigers: Ariel Tee, Nic Spier, Mailie Williams
Cougars: Kyarn Beazley, Skye Voumard, Lucy Grant
PRELIMINARY FINAL – 20th MARCH, 2020
A1 – Tigers v Solly Cats (3) 4.00
A2 – Tigers v Cougars (3) 2.15
A3 – Solly Cats v Cougars (3) 12.30
U17 Girls – Checkmates v Cougars (3) 10.30
U13 Girls – Cougars v Checkmates (3) 9.00
U9 Girls/Boys – Softball Batter Up (5) 9.00