Following up from a hugely-successful Rookie Night at Oaklands Park in March, Chichester Falcons Softball Club took an inexperienced team to Eastleigh’s rookieball tournament, half of whom had not seen a softball until a fortnight ago.
Nonetheless, they brought home the Falcons’ first silverware of the year, beating the UPSU Shafters in the plate final.
In the group games, the rookies crucially overcame High Voltage 12-8 thanks to triples from pitcher James Porter and first baseman Shannon McCarthy to earn a place in the plate semi-final against the Southampton Spitfires.
After a cagey first innings, the Falcons stepped up a gear. Keaton Irvine notched her fifth straight base hit to help create a seven-run lead before the Spitfires recovered to 14-13 in the final innings, but now with two outs.
Outfielder Mike Moore snagged a prospective fly ball to kill the game and give Chichester the win.
The plate final was a game of attrition, with all the pressure on the pitchers. At 10-8 to the Falcons things were looking tight, but a disciplined infield of Olly Howley, Emma Brown and Miguel Rosa kept the Shafters at bay.
Chichester pulled ahead thanks to Anne Rutherford hitting her third from three, while junior Molly Rayner displayed great base-running. The clock eventually ran down with the Falcons 21-12 up and the score was reverted to the last innings, Chichester winning it 13-9.
The new recruits can now look forward to battling in the Sussex & Surrey Softball Series, starting in May.
Anyone who wants to try softball and join the Falcons should email email@example.com or visit www.chichesterfalcons.com
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