Chichester Falcons Softball Club took the division-three title on Sunday with a win and a tie in a double header at Southampton Spitfires.
The first game, against Spitfires Mk2, saw a remarkable debut for junior Falcon Freya Peake, who slapped a third-base hit and two singles while holding her own in right field.
Lauren Smith on first base helped the Falcons get ahead in the early innings and the Chichester side kept their lead throughout.
Pitcher Jason Mercer was on fire with his curveball tying the Spitfires in knots as David Morris snapped up several hits down the third base line to keep the Falcons in the lead.
Peter Martin, playing with a shoulder injury, stuck to base hitting, leaving the slugging to Miguel Rosa to bring in shortstop Ben Sawkins on a well-placed double in the third.
Lucy Morris kept a steady second base through the game, her awareness and heads-up play earned her an unassisted double play as she bagged out one runner and tagged another, caught napping just off first base.
The Falcons eventually ran out 25-5 winners before they took on the Spitfires first team for the second fixture.
Despite a first-innings home run from Peter Martin, the Falcons found themselves 3-1 behind in the early stages, but Bart Garofalo, Louise Rowe and Bronte Harvey got them back on track with successive singles.
In the field the Falcons flapped and threw the ball away too many times, allowing Spitfires to take a 13-7 lead in the fifth. The Falcons were not about to give up - Clive Janes kept his head and earned a walk and Milko Giuffrida caused pandemonium in the dugout as he knocked a triple to score two runs and get the Falcons just two runs behind going into the final innings.
Jason Mercer struck out yet another hitter to shut out the Spitfires, with Mercer now up to bat and needing three runs to win it. Mercer walked, Clive Janes brought him home with a double, and Emma Brown got herself on third base to tie the game.
Louise Rowe stepped up as the last batter and slugged the ball back at the Spitfires pitcher, who tossed it to Paige Jones on first base where it was juggled and dropped, but Jones managed to get the ball under control just before Rowe arrived at the base for the third out, tying the game 13-13.
“We’ll take a tie considering this was a great comeback,” said captain David Morris. “Our juniors had a great day on the field and we showed a lot of character to claw ourselves back from five runs down late in the game. Put that next to a division win and that’s not a bad day at all!”
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