Open Women – Day 6 & 7 (FINALS)
Entering into the 6th day of play at the Gilley’s Shield saw some slight changes to the draw due to the somewhat unpredictable weather. The 5 v 6 playoff was moved to Day 7 and the teams still in the running to bring home the Shield took the diamond from 5:00pm.
WA kept their flame alive by knocking over the ACT Diamonds in the 3rd v 4th elimination final. Two early runs set the tone early and ACT were never able to get themselves back in the game as the Flames ran out 6-1 victors.
Up next the 1st v 2nd qualifying final between heavy weights NSW and Qld, winner going straight through to the Gilley’s Final, loser to face the confident WA line-up on Day 7. The crowd was treated to a seesawing contest that was completely up for grabs deep into the 7th innings. A Chelsea Forkin triple, followed by a single form Erin Thras was enough to bring Qld the winning 5th run, ending the game 5-4.
First game of Day 7 was the 5th v 6th playoff where the Vic Titans defeated the SA Starz in a game that also went down to the 7th inning and typified the close contests, and high competition that had been seen throughout the week.
The preliminary final between NSW and WA scheduled for a 1:00pm start was played out in hot conditions, sure to prove a taxing affair to the team advancing to the final. Taxing it was as NSW grounded out a 1-0 win thanks to some tactical base running from US College player and Aussie Spirit team member Rachel Lack in the bottom of the 4th. The single from Bianca Abrahams to get Rachel home ensured a repeat of the 2016 Gilley’s Final – Qld v NSW.
NSW wasted no time and went straight into preparation for the 6:00pm final, with Qld awaiting – undoubtable the fresher team going in. Teams were treated to a spectacular opening for the 70th Gilley’s Shield as fireworks were let off from the centre of the diamond before the crowd were able to witness the oldest survivor of the first ever Gilley’s Shield, Joan Fraser (Qld) throw the first pitch.
Three completed innings went by with no score, and it seemed that as expected another tight battle was to ensue. One run in the top of the 4th to NSW from a Jasmine Peters single put the pressure right on Qld Heat and the game completely changed from there on out. Qld errors in the top of the 5th contributed to NSW adding a further 4 runs leaving Qld with a lot of work to do as they were 5 down going into the 6th unable to pin any back with some superb pitching from Kaia Parnaby (NSW). 3 more runs in the 6th and another hold out from Parnaby of the Qld batting line-up and it was all over – NSW Firestar’s the 70th winners of the Gilley’s Shield in an 8-0 win, ending one of the most competitive tournaments in recent history.
All-Tournament Team and Individual Award Winners
|Individual Award Winners|
|Sybil Turner Medal – Best Batter||Stacey Porter (NSW)|
|Lorraine Woolley Medal – Best Pitcher||Justine Smethurst (Qld)|
|Midge Nelson Medal – Most Valuable Player||Chelsea Forkin (Qld)|
|Rosemary Adey Medal – Rookie of the Year||Tahli Moore (NSW)|
|Player of the Grand Final||Kaia Parnaby (NSW)|
|Pitcher||Justine Smethurst (Qld)|
|Catcher||Carmelle Sorensen (Qld)|
|1st Base||Simone Freeman (NSW)|
|2nd Base||Jordan Lambert (SA)|
|3rd Base||Stacey Porter (NSW)|
|Shortstop||Stacey McManus (NSW)|
|Outfielders||Chelsea Forkin (Qld)|
|Sam Poole (NSW)|
|Janice Blackman (Qld)|
|Designated Player||Bree Wanke (Vic)|
|Game 31||SA Starz 2 dftd by Vic Titans 3 (5 v 6)||Day 7|
|Game 32||WA Flames 6 dftd ACT Diamonds 1 (3 v 4)||Day 6|
|Game 33||NSW Firestars 4 dftd by Qld Heat 5 (1 v 2)||Day 6|
|Game 34||NSW Firestars 1 dftd WA Flames 0 (PRELIM FINAL)||Day 7|
|Game 35||Qld Heat 0 dftd by NSW Firestars 8 (FINAL)||Day 7|
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