The ACT 89er’s proved they deserved their tag as pre-tournament favourites following a hard fought 2-1 win over New South Wales in the 2019 Men’s National Softball Championship final at Hawker International Softball Centre.
In a re-match 24 hours in the making, NSW met ACT hoping to replicate their upset over the heavily fancied home team in yesterday’s major semi-final.
The 89er’s made their intentions clear in the 1st inning putting Andrew Kirkpatrick in to pitch and with sharp work in the field producing a double play.
Harri Peters, who has been pitching incredibly well all week for NSW, was strong in his reply and held the home team scoreless.
In the 2nd, the brilliant work in the field continued for the 89er’s, Aidan Kajan bunting for an out to pitcher Kirkpatrick who was able to convert another double play.
ACT then broke the deadlock in the bottom of the 2nd in emphatic fashion when Josh White creamed a home run to put his team ahead by one run.
Two more scoreless innings played out as both Peters and Kirkpatrick kept both teams on their toes at bat.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the 5th when Harrow’s infield single was converted into the second score of the game, putting ACT up 2-0 into the 6th inning.
Peters again kept his side in the game though, three quick outs coming off his pitching and giving the NSW batters a chance to equalize or take the lead in the top of the 7th.
Up stepped Hayden Mathews who smashed a home run over the fence to close the lead to one run, however ACT captain Kirkpatrick’s class came to the fore and he showed why he’s one of the best pitchers in the world with two strikeouts to close out the game and championship with a 2-1 victory to the home team.
Attention now turns to Blacktown International Sportspark for U19 Men’s and Women’s National Softball Championships from 20 – 26 January.
Tournament Award Winners
Best Batter: Scott Patterson (WA)
Best Pitcher: Andrew Kirkpatrick (ACT)
Tournament MVP: Mitchell Brownlow (NSW)
Rosemary Adey Rookie of the Tournament: Blake Jackson (SA)
Player of the Grand Final: Andrew Kirkpatrick (ACT)