Softball got off to a good opening day in great weather at Surrey Park on Saturdaywith eight games played over the three grades.
The top premier grade saw three games on the main diamond, with Craftys United defeating ILT Dodgers by 8-3, Black Panthers won 3-0 over ILT Dodgers Eagles, and Demons Red snatched a 4-3 win against Demons Blue.
In a game riddled with errors, Dodgers scored first in the top of the second innings, with Joe Nicholls and Leon Hopa crossing home plate. United made the most of opportunities given in the bottom of the third when Richard Te Raki was walked to base, Tane Tuhakaraina dropped a safe bunt and Dylan Richardson loaded up the bases on an infield error.
Kris Milne was equal to the task given, hitting the ball to the outfield to score 2 runs. Richardson and Milne crossed home plate on a wild pitch and a passed ball.
The last two runs of the innings were scored by Michael Tiplady and Tim Robinson. The last run for Dodgers was scored at the top of the fifth, going to Troy Duthie. Tiplady and Robinson scored again for United. Hits for United came from Tuhakaraina and Robinson (2) Milne (1).
For Dodgers, Duthie, Nicolls, Cameron McStay and Brent Perry (1) batted.
Black Panthers deserved the win against the Eagles, winning the duel with the bat by 8 hits to 2.
Monte McLean hit safely in the top of the first to gain two bases and Daryl Greig walked to base. McLean scored on a sacrifice from Max Moyles, with Greig racing home on a wild pitch. Moyles finished the scoring for Panthers with a big hit over the outfield fence for an automatic. Jason Milne had a great day on the pitching mound, striking out 15 of the Eagles batters.
Panthers batters were McLean, Greig (2) Daniel Keen, Moyles, Regan Prattley, Andrew Mckintosh (1).
The two hits for the Eagles went to Wiremu Karetai and Houston Te Tai.
In a rematch of last season's final, the two Demons teams fought out a one run difference game. The reds scored first in the bottom of the second, with William Campbell gaining second on a two base hit, scoring from a hit by Isaac Thurlow. Thurlow scored on a fielders choice. The Blues took the lead in the top of the third when Chris Telfer hit safely to right field and Andrew Karsten hit the ball over the left field fence for an automatic to score both runners. Michael Sinclair followed with a three base hit, being batted in by Danny Shayler. Jonathan Campbell tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth with a two base hit and being batted in by brother William. The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh and last innings. Thurlow stepped up again with a safe hit and an error, being batted in by Brad Perry to score the winning run.
The Reds' batters were Thurlow and Perry (2) Daniel Perry, Jonathan Campbell, William Campbell, (1).
For the Blues, Telfer, Karsten (2) Sinclair, Shayler, Bradley Patton, Jimmy Affleck (1) batted.
On the premier 2 diamond, Panthers Wildcats defeated Demons 11-0 and ILT Dodgers PK won against fellow club side ILT Dodgers 9-8.
Wildcats were too strong for Demons, although the batting duel was not huge with the Wildcats coming out ahead by 6 hits to 2. The main difference was the fielding and no errors by Panthers, and the eight walks and four errors given up by Demons. Craig Smith had a steady game in the pitching position, not giving away any walks to base.
The Wildcats batters were Russell Keen and Caleb Fetolofia (2) Ron Fetolofia, Smith (1).
For Demons, Josh Rodgers, Brydon Duggan (1) batted.
The Mustangs scored first in the Dodgers Club teams game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first to Sandra Robertson and Nicola Leonard. The PK team took the lead in the top of the fourth, scoring 4 runs. This lead was short lived as the Mustangs drew level in the bottom of the innings. PK took the lead in the top of the fifth, taking their score out to 9, and although the Mustangs grabbed back another four runs, the game was won by PK.
The PK batters were Simon Burgess (3) Hori Elers Snr, Shane Smith (2) Rex McCormack, Hita Neho, Deon Gibbs (1).
For the Mustangs, Leonard, Kristen Scott (2) Robertson, Jacquline Gray, (1) batted.
The results in the premier 3 grade saw Panthers Angels take out the game against Panthers Devils, 19-3, Odd Sox had one of their best games winning 19-8 over ILT Dodgers Misfits, and Fernhill Lime Wallacetown were too strong for the newly entered Demons Women's team.
For Panthers Angels, Kerry Stirling and Paula Hawkes (3) Raewyn Ward and Rachel Cade (2) were the top batters in the first game. Tracey McLellan (3) and Paula Ballantyne (2) batted for Odd Sox, while Emma Glover and Fern Lockley (3) came out on top for the Misfits, with one of Lockley's hits being a home run.
Lauren Phillips, Bo Maki, Connor Harvey, Rhys Harvey (2) batted for Wallacetown. Maki hit a home run.
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