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Vikings plunder and Sharks show their teeth.

A strong performance by the Crosby Vikings saw them take back control at the top of the Sefton Softball League after defeating the Formby Fins 26-10.

Eight runs in the opening inning set the tone for the rest of the contest. A further nine runs in the fifth inning brought in the ‘mercy rule’ and the Vikings took the sixteen-run victory with two innings to spare.

After a successful showing at the Labour Day Tournament in Leicester this past weekend, a stiff and sore Crosby Vikings returned to league action looking to regain top spot on their own. As for the Fins, it has been a tough transitional year. With many players from last season’s Fins roster being absent in 2017, bringing up the new blood has been at the top of the teams main agenda.

While the opening exchanges saw Crosby come out swinging with eight runs, Formby replied with five of their own including a home-run by Fins pitcher Luis Arrevillegas.

The second inning saw a Vikings home-run by third baseman Chris Jones extend the Vikings lead by a further two runs. However, three runs from the Fins showed great resilience and narrow the gap to just two.

Inning number three saw the top of the Vikings batting order bring in four more runs. With no reply from the Fins due to some slick fielding from Crosby,.

A combined twelve runs in innings four and five including a home-run by Vikings outfielder David Grice officially ended the game as a contest. This brought in the ‘mercy rule’ and gave the Vikings their seventh win of the season.

In other action, the Sefton Sharks recorded their fourth win of the season after defeating the Southport Seagulls 15-7 in a very well fought contest.

Seven unanswered runs in the sixth inning including home-runs by Laura Collett and Jeff Ocenasek saw the Sharks break away with an uncatchable lead.

Inconsistency has been the theme for both of these sides. With both Sefton and Southport almost having as many wins as losses, a good final stretch will see one of these sides claim third spot in the league.

After a rough start, the Sharks’ recent form could see them as the favourite to grab that opportunity. But with the Seagulls being the only side to beat both the Vikings and Sabres this season, captain Sophie Temple and her side know that they have ability to compete at the top.

The first couple of innings saw both sides fielding qualities in full effect, as only one run was scored by either side in the early portion of this contest. Then, in the third inning, home-runs by Sefton’s Dave Martin Baez and Stephen Woods gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead.

Despite going a further run behind in the fourth inning, the Seagulls answered back with five runs of their own in the fifth inning to take a 7-6 lead.

Sadly for Southport, that is all the runs they would get for the rest of the contest. Inning number six saw the Sharks break the seal and come away with seven runs and give them back the lead along with the comfortable gap of six runs. A further two runs in the final inning from Martin Baez and Woods confirmed victory for Sefton by eight runs.

While the leaders now having a rest next week, it is up to the St. Helens Sabres to keep up the pace. The Sabres return to take on the Seagulls. A win for St. Helens will put them back tied at the top with Crosby, and with only three matches remaining.

The other contest will see the Sefton Sharks do battle with the Formby Fins. After achieving consecutive wins for the second time this season, the Sharks take on a Fins side that are now running out of matches if they are going to avoid a winless season.

The Sefton Softball League is always happy to welcome new players. With the birth of a sixth team being the league’s next ambition, now is the time to be a part of this ever-growing league. Come down to Holy Family High School in Thornton on Monday evenings at 7pm to give it a go and check out the matches

Also, don’t forget to check out the league website, like the Facebook page by typing in Sefton Softball and follow them on Twitter @SeftonSoftball.

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