Chichester Falcons Softball Club hosted a tournament for players aged 13 to 16, the first of its kind in the city, at Oaklands Park.
Boys and girls from around the UK mixed with a core of players from the Falcons’ roster to form three teams to face each other in a round-robin format.
On hand to coach and umpire were BSUK fastpitch development officer Johanna Malisani, academy coach Robbie Robison, under-13 GB girls’ team coach Julie Spittle, Lee and Sam Grafton from the GB Fastpitch League, Larry Rushin from Horsham Softball Club and Falcons manager David Morris.
After a group warm-up, play quickly got under way and spectators were treated to a fine display of fastpitch softball from the budding ball-players, who were guided and coached at every step through the game.
The pace was hot as the coaches encouraged frequent base stealing and a commanding infield to constantly challenge the players and keep up the competitive element.
The players responded with great enthusiasm and their skills improved dramatically as the day progressed.
After a short break, Malisani led a light clinic where the players improved their bunting and baserunning skills before the final game of the day.
Michelle Shaw and Rose Bhanji both pitched well through the day, as their battery partners Bronte Harvey and Finley Macknay worked hard at the plate.
Oliver Howley and Bruce Candlish were invited to pitch and took up the opportunity with aplomb; notably Howley who struck out two with his first innings at the rubber.
With the final standings established, all players from the three teams were each awarded a medal for their efforts, and Owen Randell and Bronte Harvey from Chichester picking up the male and female MVP trophies.
Randell had a great day playing shortstop, having executed numerous 6-3 plays and made several catches with apparent ease, while Harvey earned her trophy for her strength and command at the plate as catcher.
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