Waves claim third round victories
SOFTBALL: It was a red-letter day for the Across The Waves (ATW) Club in Bundaberg Softball on Saturday with their new A Grade Ladies and Men's teams both successful in their third round games.
Their women had had a baptism of fire in their first season in top grade, being smashed by West Panthers 11-3 and Brothers United 16-4 in the first two rounds, but it was third time lucky with a 10-5 ambush of Moray Eels.
Their Cruisers men's team had started with a bye, then they picked up the points on a United forfeit, and perhaps inspired by the women's team, they took to the field for the first time, they were clinical in disposing of ATW Schooners 13-3 in an intra-club showdown.
Their women's captain/coach Leanne O'Leary was “ecstatic'' with the result.
“In our first season in A Grade, we were just testing the waters, but it was really great to win our first game – let's say all were very happy,” O'Leary said.
O'Leary said they threw down the gauntlet with five runs in their first innings, including safe hits by Leanne Ross and Tenielle Stehbens, but they had dig deep after Eels drew level with four in their second turn at bat, including a double to centre-field by Amy Freeman, and one in their third.
“But we led out at the top of the fourth with five more runs, including a base hit by Liz Van Den Kieboom, then we had about 10 minutes to get them out before they scored five runs, but they didn't get any,” O'Leary told the NewsMail.
“Eels had one really good hit which looked to be going through short-stop Madonna Chesham, but she stopped it and threw the batter out at first – that was a good start and we built on that.”
O'Leary said they were again below strength and that the confidence gained from the win will help them to hopefully have a very competitive season.
“In the first week, we had three away at the under-19s, in the second week, we had two out injured, another one was away and another pulled a muscle at the top of the first innings, so we really played only five of our nine A Grade players in the first few weeks, and when the others are back, they will strengthen us up,” she said.
With West Panthers also upsetting United 10-3 in the second A Grade match on the program, O'Leary said it was “nice to see two underdogs winning on the same day”.
An also beaming Cruisers coach Carolyn Hurley said Brad Mitchell shone with bat and ball in a robust team performance.
Hurley believes they could go on to win the premiership in their first season as a team.
“We still haven't had the full might of the team - there were a couple away on Queensland rep duties, and it will be the same next week, and it may be week five before we see the full power of the team,” she said.
“They are a brand new team but they are a combination of Bundy under-17 rep players, Hervey Bay under-19 players and secondary schools players and a few have all played together.
“They are a really talented bunch of kids, and from what I've seen so far, they going really well and I'm really excited about how they are going to go.”
It was Sabre Tooth that white-washed Lynx 10-0 in what was an all-West other men's game in the afternoon.