Cougars’ narrow win

Leonard Park is the place to be on a Saturday afternoon – especially with the extra spectator interest now that baseball is playing their league games on the diamonds in the late time spot.  

The late John Willis’s tree (his favoured spot to watch the games) provides a great spot for spectators to be able to watch games on diamonds 1 and 3.

The first round of games provided many highlights and now it is time to see how teams settle down in round two of the competition.

A1 Women

Cats went down narrowly to Cougars last week and will be looking for a win to get some points on the board. Steph Cutler looked solid at third base – her value is her versatility, both with bat and ball.  

Phil Woolford’s return to the game with 3 safe hits might trouble Checkmates who are at present experimenting with a successful batter/pitcher combination.

Jacqui Graham started on the mound for Checkmates and has the potential to get the ball over the plate.  

Rachel Ciampi is another Checkmates player who has the potential to throw in some fast ball.  Cats won’t have it all their own way in this game.  

It was good to see Sharon Combe get amongst the runs – her experience, especially when catching provides a good voice on the diamond.

As a matter of interest – spectators watching the Cougars – Cats game questioned the need for the “home run” boundary.  

Some feel it detracts from good ground ball batting – just a thought from interested by-standers!!

Tigers got away to a flier against Checkmates last week, scoring 11 runs in their first dig.  

This game against Cougars will challenge the depth of their batting line up as they face the pitching power of Zali Adams.

Cougars have some speed around the bases and Amanda Steff shows a lot of courage in attempting to force the play and steal bases whenever possible.

Her aggression doesn’t always come off, but she is at least prepared to try – this puts the opposition under a lot of pressure.

For Tigers, not only did Chloe Dunstall star with the bat (3 safe hits) but she was safe as houses at centerfield, gloving 3 fine catches.

If Maddi Baldock follows up this week with some accurate pitching, this could be a close game.

A2 Women

The Checkmates, Cats game could be very interesting.  Sam Youngman is a very steady pitcher and a handy batter.  

Cats may believe that batting off Sam’s pitching might be easy, this is where Cats might struggle, especially with safe as houses Kylie Wyatt in the outfield.

Another player of which to be aware is Sheralee Hooper who is improving every time she steps on the diamond.   

Terry Deed in his new coaching role with Cats A2 had his pitcher catcher battery (Claire Beyer to Tayla Scarman) working extremely well.  Between them they notched up 4KC2’s and 3 K2’s – a great first game stat.  

Claire’s great pitching brought Chloe Liddicoat into the game as well – she looks to have found a good spot at second base.

Well done to Cougars A2 – their side has a good blend of senior and junior players.  

The juniors can only get stronger with their exposure to a higher standard of opposition.  Neve Adams showed how well her state training is paying off with some strong base running.  

She probably tired a little on the plate, but never gave up trying. Ashley Fuchs looked safe at first base and Kellie Wood, never stopped encouraging the young infield.  

How they will stand up against Jess Finlayson’s pitching will be a question in need of an answer.

 Jess is another player who is not afraid to have a go, putting pressure on the field.  

Her catcher Emma Kerr never stops talking and this can sometimes be unnerving for the batter in the box. Emma’s final bat – a stand up home run topped off a great game – 4 safe hits.  

The challenge for Cougars – how to restrict such strong batting and getting onto bases themselves.

A3 Women

There’s a lot to like about this competition – there are the wily, experienced players like Karen Bowering from Cougars who pitches with such accuracy and Tammy O’Brien who is a gun player, down to the newest of players.  Some who have never played the game.  

Then there are the junior players who like nothing more than filling in and helping like Jessica Marwick for Cats who runs like a hare around the bases.

Danielle (Nellie) Wilson is still hanging in there – pitching her heart out – still handy with the bat.  

Tigers could be the team to watch – they have some good players in this grade – if they continue to show good form they could be pushing for selection in a higher grade.  

Aimee Simmons is a player who has potential.  She is a very good utility player.

Checkmates welcomed back Julie Hunter-O’Neil with a couple of safe hits and Chelsea Passmore played a serviceable game.

How will the teams go this week – how will the aged bodies bounce back?  Come out and see it all unfold.

The A3 grade is a great social competition – anyone who wants to come back to softball – this would be a great way to start – it’s not too late.

Enquiries about how to join any club – contact ppsoftball@bigpond.org

- BEV ARGENT

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Welcome to the 2017/18 softball season.  

We are excited that we have had an increase in teams with all clubs nominating teams in three senior grades A1, A2 and A3.

We will have a three-team competition in U17 and a four- team competition in U13.

Thank you to the Board of Directors who have worked hard in the off season and to club representatives who have generated interest in the sport of softball.

It’s not too late to take part.  

If you want to join a club of your choice further information can be obtained by contacting ppsoftball@bigpond.com

We will also be providing a Come & Try Batter up programme for junior players (boys and girls) which will commence after the school holidays.

 Information on this programme will be distributed to all schools.  

This will be a wonderful opportunity for young players to learn skills and have fun in a relaxed atmosphere.

Our focus has been on making softball family friendly providing a safe environment for children and we encourage the community of Port Pirie to come and see the best our sport offers.

The grounds are in magnificent condition thanks to the work done by Phil Woolford the grounds director.  

We wish to thank the Port Pirie Regional Council for their assistance in helping us to maintain and keep Leonard Park as the traditional home for softball in Port Pirie.

I would like to wish all players the very best for the season ahead – enjoy the competition but more importantly take time to socialise and enjoy the friendship after the game has finished.

Yours in softball

Ngaire Simms

President

Port Pirie Softball Association