Checkmates take top spot

Softball at Leonard Park on Saturday was cancelled because of the existing heat rule necessitating games to be played on Sunday. Whilst the temperature was predicted to be around 36 degrees the humidity played a factor in performances on the day.

A1 Women

Checkmates hit their straps in fine style against Tigers, recording a comprehensive win which elevated them to the top of the premiership table and earning the title of minor premiers on percentage.

Checkmates hit their straps in fine style against Tigers, recording a comprehensive win which elevated them to the top of the premiership table and earning the title of minor premiers on percentage.

Both teams batted in fine style with Tigers recording a 6-run dig and, not to be outdone, Checkmates came back with a 7 run first innings, Kim Allen was in fine form with a grand slam home run. After the first innings it was a cakewalk for Checkmates. Tigers failed to trouble the scorer in their second innings and Checkmates amassed an amazing 11 runs courtesy some great batting by Jacque Bateson. Tigers were without their mainstream pitcher which made a difference to their battery, and they lacked some batting strength – finals are another day

Cougars started out with great intention and made it known that they should be considered as final contenders. Amber Steff started as lead off bat at the top of the first with a 3-base hit over centrefield, followed by safe hits from Alexis Hill and Emily Gonsalves. Cats replied with a couple of runs – good to see Sonia Manfield back with the bat and Penny Lynch who is continuing to be one of Cats consistent players among the run scorers. Claire Beyer started on the mound for Cats, however after the 8th batter for Cougars, in the first dig, Harper Bridley took over pitching duties and the tone of the game changed. Bridley notched up 5 K2’s and restricted Cougars batters to only one safe hit – a beautiful 3 bagger from Hill who unfortunately was tagged out at third. Cats resurgence came from a couple of unlikely batters, Beyer and Jess Axon. Beyer, all set to record a home run was put out at home after bringing in Jess Axon who led off the bottom of the 4th with a solid two bagger over left field. A get out of jail card for Cats and a wake-up call coming into the finals.

A2 Women

Megan Voumard started the game for Cougars with a day she would have liked to forget – finding it difficult to glove the ball cleanly. Persistence paid off and she found her mojo and was instrumental in Cougars thrilling one run win over Cats. Kristy O’Neill for Cougars is a pitcher that batters seem to have difficulty in batting. O’Neill conceded only 5 safe hits in a 5 innings game. Cats had all the advantages, batting last they had the opportunity to twice put runs on the board and get in front. Admittedly there were a few holes in Cats normal team to take the field, but full credit to juniors Jordan Ganley and Bailey Houghagen who took over the “hot” side of the time and played with composure. Cougars Katelyn Wilson flies under the radar 3 safe hits and secure at second and Brodie Fogden would have to be the best utility player in the association.

In a low scoring game, Checkmates prevailed over Tigers. Make no mistake – Tigers battery of Jess Finlayson and Taylor Gray are formidable. Checkmates in their first two innings face 12 and 16 pitches for side – no runs and no one on bases. The third innings was a little better – even then with two down Sarah Sismey stood tall and started a mini run fest – Sismey ended with two safe hits for the game. Tigers Alana Free showed some return to form with a solid three bagger, but scoring was spasmodic for Tigers – once again unable to put away the intelligent pitching of Sam Youngman

Under 17

Cougars Jesse Skipworth-Taylor continues to get stronger at every outing and is becoming a very talented all rounder. Her stats on Saturday were good – probably stronger with the bat now than pitching, but she is getting there. Two home runs over centrefield’s hat is nothing to be sneezed at. Marlee Biddell shows form also and acquitted herself well, elevated to Cougar’s A2 side later in the day, Biddell registered three safe hits from three at bats. Kyah Dienhoff had a strong batting game for Checkmates but, except for a seven run innings Checkmates found scoring difficult. Abbey Sutcliffe to Meteha DiGeronimo is working as a number one battery for Checkmates 3 K2’s for this pair.

Under 13

Stars of the week Checkmates Amelia Criccihola, (2 safe hits including a 3 bagger, plus a couple of outs at first) Lilly Emms and Courtney Hoare (solid 2 bag hits to the outfield) a strong win to Checkmates. Cougars batting was not as strong as it usually is, but there was some good base running displayed by Eva Thomas, Mary-Kate Skipworth Taylor and Kyra-Jayne Moulder.

Tigers Angel Griffiths is becoming a good utility player – a good way to go in this grade Griffiths had a go at pitching, third base and shortstop – well done and she plonked a great two bagger over right field. This was a good, close game with only 3 runs separating the two sides. Once again – lack of bat to ball precluded Cats from getting the two points, but well done to Aliza McBride, Brielle Williams and Senna Cook who were instrumental in bringing in Cats in contention for a win with a late burst in the 2nd innings.