Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Lessons to be learned

Tuesday August 13th saw 14 of Sefton's finest make the short journey down the M62 to play a much anticipated match against the Manchester Moorkats. 

Despite the prospect of a really wet match in the morning the weather was kind and so no rain coats were needed.

After a great deal of friendly banter on Facebook we started off in fine fashion scoring 3 in the first innings due to some good base hitting and, but for an injury to Craig who was tagged out at home, it could have been a few more runs.

The Moorkats first innings started out promisingly a good catch by Kate on first to put out big hitting, 3 home run queen, Debs and a strike out for Taj meant the first innings ended with a 3 -0 lead for Sefton. 

The second innings saw another 3 runs scored by Sefton courtesy  of a home run from Captain Steve Shearer. The Moorkats replied with 3 of their own leaving the score 6-3 after two innings.

In the third innings Sefton were unable to score and then the Moorkats managed to get three people on base and it was looking like they were going to score heavily, however two quick outs meant there was an opportunity to get away unscathed. This lead to Sefton's first lesson of the night. As the ball was hit gently back to Mark, instead of taking the easy out at one (despite Steve repeatedly screaming "play at one") in the heat of the moment Mark threw to the catcher to make the tag and unfortunately the ball took a bobble and the ball went dead allowing two to score. The Moorkats went on to score a third to level the game at six all.

In the fourth innings Sefton scored 3 thanks to a big hit from Jordan, who was unfortunate to be called out sliding in at 3rd, and a good triple from Steve. The Moorkats could only manage one thanks to a great tag by Phil on 2nd and a sharp catch by Mark who was having a great game.

The fifth innings was very uneventful with defences on top for both teams.

The sixth innings started very promisingly with the first three batters getting on base, however this is where Sefton learned their next lesson. Jordan hit the ball just over the pitcher's head and the pitcher made an outstanding catch, but because all the base runners started running without tagging up, the pitcher was able to make a very simple triple play to end the Sefton innings.

Sefton managed to minimise the damage thanks to two more strike outs and so went into the seventh innings with a one run lead. Sefton managed to score five runs in the top of the seventh to give themselves a healthy safety net going into the bottom of the seventh. 

So in the final innings the Moorkats needed six runs to tie the game. Several base hits later and the picture was looking very different. With one out remaining crazy legs Taj managed to force an error with some very aggressive base running that scored the run that tied the game and took us to an extra innings.

In the extra innings teams start with a player on second base but Sefton were unable to advance the runner and the Moorkats went on to score after a solid base hit.

There was much to be learned by Sefton from this game but there were many positives including a second very narrow loss against a much more experienced team, 100% on base stats for Matthew, Phil, Steve, Paul and Craig, superb pitching from Mark, great catches from Kath in deep and Kate on one, solid debuts for Matt, Graeme and Katie, Sarah playing very well at catcher and much more.

Our last match in the cup is against the newly crowned division 4 champions the Camels and Sefton will again provide tough opposition in a match that will show how strong Sefton will be next year when they join he Manchester League.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A dazzling display

Tuesday July 30th saw Sefton Sharks play their second game in the Manchester cup. Again we were scheduled for the show pitch but this time there were no visitors to disrupt the game.

Having played probably the toughest team in the competition last round we were drawn against the newest team this time and thanks to the hard work of Lee Coupland we also had our new shirts to dazzle the opposition.

The shirts weren't  the only things dazzling on the night, because, even though Lee couldn't make it with his blinding white softball pants (due to the inconvenience of having to work for a change!) both pitchers faced the prospect of pitching into the glaring sun right behind home plate.

 We started off as we meant to go on with some good base hitting all around and scored 3 in the first inning. Time for the Colt 45's to take their turn. Their lead batter got on base but after that two good outs by Phil at second and a catch by Kath ended the 1st innings with a 3-0 lead.

We scored another single in the second innings with no reply and in the top of the third we scored 3 more to make the score 7-0. This is where things started to get interesting.

Mark had been coping really well with the conditions but then he had a spell that all pitcher's get at some in a game where he couldn't find a strike and threw seven balls in a row. The true test of a pitcher is how you cope with this and with one player having walked and staring at a count of three balls and no strikes Mark threw 3 beautiful strikes and struck out the batter. 

Colt 45's did manage to score 2 runs though to make it 7-2.

We scored 3 more in the fourth with 1 reply but the 5th innings is where we really batted well.

With some great hitting from all of the girls we scored 10 runs leaving the Colt 45's needing to score 2 runs to avoid a slaughter.

They did manager to get 2 home but we scored 4 more in the last 2 innings whilst the 45's managed 2 to finish with a fantastic 22 - 6 win. 

There were many highlights from the game, Kate taking 8 catches for outs on first, 7 rbi's  and 100% batting for Dan, solid defence and a home run for male MVP Phil, 100% batting from Steve, 2 runs and 3 good hits from Kath "I can't hit it" Larkin, a run and 2 good hits for Sarah, 3 runs and 2 rbi's from Darren and much more.

Our next match is against the Moorkats on Tuesday August the 13th. This is a bit of a derby since we've had Taj and Siobhan from the Moorkats join us at training and the Moorkats are the sister team of the Meerkats that Ant, Lee, Julie, Sonia, Kath Simpson and I all play for on a Wednesday so everyone s looking forward to this with great anticipation.