Finally the preseason was over and we opened the season at home against the new kids on the block – the Southern Districts Hawks. Big congratulations to Souths for not just joining the growing ranks of clubs in this fantastic Women’s competition but also putting teams in both the division 1 and 2 competition – well done.
Being a bit of an unknown proposition it was going to be an interesting hit out to begin the season. On the back of her fantastic debut season at Glenelg Bianca Smith was given the honors to take the opening day game ball and got straight to work. A lead off hit looked to be immediately nullified as shortstop Alice Prokopec charged a ground ball, placed the tag on the runner and made a strong throw to first in what looked to all and sundry like a fantastic double play but with a one umpire crew working and a decidedly un Adam Gilchrist like approach taken by the opposition runner it was officially recorded as a 6-3 with a runner on third and one out. With the lead off scoring on a passed ball before the third hitter reached on a walk it looked like Souths may have the makings of a big inning cooking – not to be however as Smith induced a soft line drive to shortstop and Prokopec was this time rewarded for her efforts with another strong throw doubling off the runner who had strayed too far from first.
Chasing one we got our first look at South’s starter Sarah Short, showing a lively fastball we knew we were in for a battle. Taking advantage of a misread at shortstop we got our lead off on base and after recording a strikeout for out 1, we proceeded to make their starter work with a HPB and back to back walks. Handy scoring on a wild pitch before the second out was recorded when a passed ball with the bases loaded resulted in the lead runner getting caught up between third and home. With the trailing runner getting to third on the play however we managed to score and take the lead on another wild pitch which managed to get far enough away from the catcher to score the run this time. With a lead after the first inning (2-1) Smith once again went after them in the second.
Bianca ran into a patient bottom half of the order with the lead off reaching by walk and advancing to second on a single. After a HPB and subsequent walk tied things up it looked like Souths were threatening to have a big inning but after the #9 hitter dumped one into shallow centre field where Sarah McMahon came up firing and retired the runner at second on a fielders choice, we had our first out of the inning. Bianca was able to get the key ground ball with the bases loaded, Jenny Dunn with the great throw home to retire the lead runner. Bianca then punched out the opposing pitcher to retire the side and get us back into the dugout trailing just the one run.
The souths pitcher looked like she was having none of a Glenelg fight back however quickly retiring the first two hitters via the strikeout before Jojo Papadothomakos who had been taking a beating behind the dish throughout the game worked a 2 out walk. Before you knew it a HPB, infield error, 2 RBI single, RBI single, walk, and another RBI single later we had scored the 5 run maximum for the inning and had to take the field on the individual inning mercy rule. Good guys up 7-3.
Flipping the game ball to reliever Sarah McMahon we got the third inning underway. The first two reached by walk and HPB before another ball was hit to centre field where this time Bianca Smith returned the favour from earlier in the game and retired the runner at second on a fielders choice. After a steal of second Jojo cut down the runner at third trying to advance on a ball in the dirt before McMahon struck out the final hitter after re loading the bases on walks – plenty of talent in Sarah’s arm and she’ll find herself on the mound plenty this season. South’s scored just the 1 to make the game 7-4.
With the light dwindling we managed to push another run across in the bottom of the inning showing good patience against South’s reliever and when it was all said and done we had won our opening encounter 8-4.
Hits – Handy, Prokopec, Smith | Walks – Dunn, Aldwin, Kenney, Papadothomakos
Congratulations to our Division 2 team who also secured the victory against South’s division 2 team giving us a wonderful sweep to start the season off strong.
Upcoming Games: Division 1 play at home this Friday vs Woodville (another new entrant this season), with Division 2 off with the bye after the late withdrawal of Onkaparinga’s division 2 team.
First game of 2018/19 was a positive start for a new group of players. We had 4 brand new players to GBC; Shona, Brianna, Fiona and Erin. Erica also joined us after a season out with injury. Welcome to you all.
Alex was starting pitcher and after a slowish start she managed to find the zone. By the 3rd she was up on strikes but as the arm tired we brought in Em Parker to finish the game.
Some good plays made in the field with a strong showing from Sarah who was catching and Erin at first base, Erin took a great high catch that many would have missed.
Some great work done with the bats. Parker almost got the first run home with a dash from second but was foiled by a dubious call. But we bounced back and scored 9 runs with some excellent at bats and stealing. A few things for us to work on but was a fantastic and composed start. Go Tigers!