The 2016 Arthur Allsopp Shield continued on Tuesday as the tournament entered its third day of competition. It was another entertaining days play with four high quality contests that delivered for spectators at the Mirrabooka Softball Complex.
Much like yesterday the day belonged to ladder leaders Queensland who produced two more victories, including a crushing defeat over hosts WA to place them in a very strong position heading in to the final days of the tournament. Mixed results for WA, ACT and NSW mean all three states sit on equal points heading in to the fourth day of competition with everything to play for!
Game 1: NSW 6 defeat ACT 2
The opening game of day three featured the ACT taking on NSW in a crucial game for both sides. After beginning the tournament with two impressive wins on the opening day of competition ACT were looking to bounce back from a loss to Queensland the previous day where as NSW were looking to produce their second win of the week after a mixed start to the competition.
In a relatively tight contest NSW managed to take a 3 run advantage heading in to the fourth innings. A strong offensive performance in the fourth allowed ACT to get back in to the game until NSW once again stretched their advantage to 4 in the bottom of the fifth. The final two innings of the game didn’t see much action meaning NSW were able to hold on to a 6-2 victory, starting the day in positive fashion.
New South Wales’ Blake Jackson was the most impressive at the plate going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs, whilst teammate Shaun Lanaghan produced another solid performance with ball in hand. Lanaghan pitched all 7 innings for 3 hits, 2 runs and 11 strikeouts.
Game 2: Queensland 15 defeat WA 2
The second game of the day saw hosts WA come up against a highflying Queensland side who were looking to keep their unbeaten run alive with their 4th win of the tournament. A win for WA would see Queensland’s advantage reduced with both states on the same points meaning both sides were desperate to get the points.
The match promised so much and the first innings didn’t disappoint with spectators witnessing 6 runs in the first innings as Queensland took a 4-2 advantage heading in to the second innings of the game. Unfortunately for WA they were unable to match Queensland for the remainder of the match with the visitors running away with the game. An outstanding 2nd and 3rd innings saw Queensland maintain their flawless start to the competition with a crushing 15-2 victory over the hosts.
In a game with so many outstanding performances from a strong Queensland outfit it was Michael Ludkin, who for a fourth straight game performed with bat and ball. At the plate Ludkin went 2 for 3 with 1 RBI and 2 runs whilst he also pitched all four innings for 2 hits, 2 runs and 7 strikeouts. Centre fielder Sheldon Waller (3 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 3 RBI) and second baseman Cameron White (2 AB, 3 R, 2 H, 1 RBI) both had strong games from the plate, contributing to their team’s victory.
Game 3: Queensland 11 defeat Victoria 7
The first game of round two featured Victoria up against Queensland. After yet another victory earlier in the day Queensland were sitting outright top of the table and looking to ensure this remained for another day. Meanwhile, Victoria were still searching for their first win of the week after losing their first 3 games of the competition. With the remaining teams all fighting it out for second position Victoria knew a win would give them a chance of turning their tournament around.
Victoria were able to enter this contest with great confidence after taking Queensland to a tiebreaker on the opening day of competition, narrowly going down 11-10 after a thrilling match.
As a result of their strong start to the tournament Queensland took the opportunity to rotate their side and rest key players giving Victoria a big chance to register their first win. It appeared that an upset was imminent when a spirited Victoria side took to the field and led the unbeaten Queenslanders 6-2 in the bottom of the 4th innings. With Victoria playing their best Softball for the week it required a determined Queensland side to dig deep in the later part of the game. The Queenslanders did just that as they managed to outscore Victoria 9-2 in the final 3 innings of the game to get the win 11 – 7.
It was the impressive offensive performances of Queensland’s Christopher Hartwig (5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 3 RBI) and Devontah Raumati (4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI) that inspired their side to a superb come from behind victory. Meanwhile, a notable effort from Victoria’s Tai Crean (4 AB, 2 R, 2 H) a strong showing in the losing side.
Game 4: ACT 6 defeat WA 5
The day’s twilight match featured WA taking on ACT. After a disappointing 12-0 defeat at the hands of ACT earlier in the week, as well as a heavy loss earlier in the day to Queensland the hosts were looking to produce a strong performance in front of a strong crowd at the Mirrabooka Softball Complex. ACT on the other hand were looking to get back to winning ways after losing their previous two games of the tournament.
It was a familiar story early for the hosts as they struggled to build any sort of momentum at the beginning of the game. ACT were able to capitalise on this and as they did the last time the two teams met took a 4 run advantage in the bottom of the 4th. WA were running out of time to get back in to the contest until a superb grand slam from shortstop Dawson Summers (3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 4 RBI) and an additional homerun from Jett Wright ensured that the hosts were right back in the game, taking a one run lead at the top of 5th innings. A determined ACT side were able to tie the game shortly after and again took the lead in the 6th innings which WA were unable to comeback from a second time around with the game ending 6-5 to the ACT.
In a very tight contest it was the notable performances from ACT’s Bolton Nussbaum who went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs, he was well supported by pitcher Jerone Tan who pitched all 7 innings for 3 hits, 5 runs and an impressive 13 strikeouts!
Play is now underway for day 4 at Mirrabooka – see all the live play by plays via the Softball Australia Website!