Fresh from winning the plate trophy at Rookieball, Chichester Falcons Softball Club entered the first senior tournament of the year – Firstball in Portsmouth.
In the group stages, the Falcons needed only to beat Spitfires MkII in round four to qualify for the cup semi-final.
Pitcher Jason Mercer knocked a speedy home run with the first hit of the match and further home runs from James Wheeler and MVP Sam McGann helped give the Falcons a 7-0 lead.
With the Spitfires struggling to reply, a ten-run third innings put the Chichester team out of sight, eventually winning 20-5 and earning a clash with Portsmouth Shafters.
In the first innings, a string of first-base hits gave the Falcons a 7-1 lead. In the third, Chichester turned up the heat, scoring 13 runs without loss, as debutante Hettie McNeil hit three for three and the seemingly-unstoppable Sam McGann making 3B and 2B hits.
Sweeping aside the university team, the Falcons faced a sterner test in the final against the more experienced Hursley Hurricanes.
After a promising start, with an impressive home run from junior Bronte Harvey, Chichester were eventually pegged back to 6-3 behind after the first innings.
The Falcons kept their cool with consistent base hits and with a great 3B hit from Lucy Morris closed the gap to 12-11.
The crucial third innings saw a faultless display from the Chichester infield, short-stop Benny Sawkins and second baseman Cary Chen combining to great effect as the Hurricanes failed to score.
At the top of the fourth innings, the Falcons were 15-12 in front, but in a dramatic twist, three batters went down in a row. Hursley now needed to score only four runs with three minutes to go.
With outfielders Dave Morris and Shannon McCarthy preventing the big hits, the Hurricanes couldn’t break down the Falcons’ defence and the score remained 15-12.
Chichester now have silverware from each of their first two tournaments, which bodes well for the league campaign.
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