Victoria took a leap forward in locking up a top-4 spot in the Men’s National Softball Championship but host state ACT look well in control of the tournament
Opening day four at Hawker were traditional rivals Queensland and New South Wales with the match certainly living up to the rivalry hype.
An 8th inning was required after scores were level 8-8 following the bottom of the 7th. New South Wales managed to get Josh Bond to third base at the top of the 8th off a sacrifice bunt, two quick outs followed and Bond couldn’t manage to get home.
The same scenario played out for the Queenslanders, with Luke Vandegriendt stranded on third and unable to convert.
In the top of the 9th, James Todhunter scored on a wild pitch while a Lachlan Hay home run also got Aidan Kajan across giving the Blues the lead 11-8.
Three quick outs from the pitching of Harri Peters wrapped up the game for New South Wales in the bottom of the 9th.
After two losses yesterday, Victoria bounced back in the second match of the day defeating NSW 10-7.
With scores tied 3-3 heading into the bottom of the 4th, Victoria exploded for six runs through Sam Kassianou, Jon Hudson, Lewis Weldon, Glen Rigg, Jason Kriehn and Todd Kreihn.
New South Wales closed the gap with four more runs but the expensive inning proved the difference, Victoria running away with a three shot win.
While Victoria’s second match went the full seven innings, they never really looked in trouble, cruising to a 7-0 win over South Australia, Joel Goodall starring with nine strikeouts in his five innings on the mound.
The ACT 89’ers juggernaut remains undefeated through four days of the tournament, a strong start setting up another victory over Western Australia.
Doubles at bat from both Matthew Wickham and Josh White set up four runs for the home team at the top of the 1st followed up by three more in the top of the 2nd, setting a pretty formidable target for WA to catch.
Four runs in the bottom of the 3rd signaled a fightback from the visitors but they were never able to claw back enough ground, going down to the ladder leaders 9-6.
WA bounced back with a win in the final match of the night over South Australia, their tough week continuing today.
Seven runs at the top of the 4th inning for WA proved too tough to overcome for SA and the win went West 10-1 in five innings.
Following day four, the ladder is as follows:
- ACT 14
2. NSW 10
3. VIC 8
4. WA 8
5. QLD 2
6. SA 0
Due to high heat, the Championship’s original schedule has been revised, day five schedule:
9:00am VIC v QLD
11:30pm SA v QLD
11:30pm VIC v WA
6:00pm ACT v SA
6:00pm WA v NSW
8:00pm ACT v NSW