Eels back into three-point buffer
MORAY Eels again showed that they are “the real deal” as a Bundaberg Softball A-Grade title contender, outgunning reigning premiers Brothers United 11-10 to rack up their sixth straight win on Saturday.
United, who were coming off a significant win over competition leaders West Panthers, was looking to get on a roll and displace the Eels from second place.
But Eels answered the challenge and re-established a three-point buffer over United.
Club stalwart, gun player and assistant coach Natalie Thompson said it was “a game (they) really wanted to win” – and it showed.
“It was one of the hardest games we have had and we had to really fight hard for it,” Thompson said.
She also applauded a robust team effort.
“Everyone knows their job and we played as a team. A lot of our runs were base-by-base, which was a good thing because we had to work hard for what we wanted.”
Kelli O’Grady started as pitcher before being replaced by Kelli Svensson, while Kelli Moody was catcher throughout, and Thompson said they each did their jobs well.
“Conditions were pretty tough with the rain, especially the pitching surface which was really slippery, and Kelli (Svensson) especially had to work really hard,” she said.
Eels have not lost a game since suffering a third straight defeat on October 30, when they went down to Wests 9-7, and they will get a chance to move to within one point of top spot when they meet the Panthers this Saturday.
Panthers rebounded from their loss to United by being merciless in a 27-2 massacre of ATW on Saturday, but while Thompson was “very confident” of toppling Wests again, she said they would still have to improve a lot if they were to go on to their maiden A-grade premiership.
“It is neck-and-neck between first, second and third at the moment, and we would love to be up there in first position,” she said.
“But we have still got a lot to work on. Some of that will happen throughout games but some will be at training, and we have John Nairn, who was Bundaberg Softball Association president last season and who is a state coach based in Hervey Bay, to help.
“He is like a satellite coach for us and he comes up on Thursday afternoons and does skills sessions for us.”
In the men’s competition, ATW Cruisers rebounded from their loss to United a week earlier to maintain its five-point lead on the ladder with a 23-18 victory in a spirited intra-club showdown with Schooners.
Second-placed West Lynx also stood tall in its intra-club duel with cellar dwellers Sabretooth, prevailing 16-7, while defending champions United claimed third position outright after accounting for South Sluggers/Eels 9-5