A hat-trick of home-runs by outfielder David Grice was the highlight in the Crosby Vikings comfortable 28-11 victory over the Sefton Sharks. A strong batting performance in the opening three innings saw the defending Sefton Softball League champions race away to an uncatchable lead that becomes the perfect momentum going into their crucial match-up against league leaders, the St. Helens Sabres next week.
With everyone still recovering from their activities in the Sefton Shield, tired and bruised bodies still came out to play in murky conditions that eventually became torrential. The opening inning saw both sides intentions of scoring high, as a combined eight runs gave us an exciting exchange.
However anytime the Sharks scored runs, the Vikings would score more. Grice lead the way with three home-runs, followed an impressive homer by Crosby’s first-base infielder Charlotte Green. With a lot of base-hits being made by the top of the Vikings batting order, they pulled away to a 17-6 lead after three innings.
The Sharks kept biting away at their deficit, which included a home-run of their own from their Baseball specialist Dave Martin Baez. Sadly for them, the Vikings were always matching their scores in the remaining innings, which included a home-run by leftfielder Andrew Lott.
The Vikings 17 run victory now puts them firmly back into the mix in the top half of the table. That spot is currently being lead by the St. Helens Sabres, who continue to prove everyone wrong after they held on to a narrow 15-14 win over the Formby Fins, who have yet to score a win in the league this season.
After a strong performance to defeat the Southport Seagulls last week, Sabres captain Jack Scholes and his team were looking to extend their unbeaten run to three games. As for the Fins, their postponed fixture against the Sharks gave them an unexpected weeks rest.
It was a slow start for both sides in the first two innings, as the Fins moved into a slender 2-0 lead. Innings three and four was where the Sabres bats came alive, as a total of thirteen runs were scored. Every member of the St. Helens squad was scoring in that segment of the match. With no reply from Formby, it was looking like an easy win in tough conditions.
However in the fifth inning, the power of Fins batting rose to the occasion and scored eight runs with only one in reply from the Sabres. That narrowed the gap to just three runs.
The seventh and final inning saw Sabres short-stop Adam Brookbanks score a run thanks to an impressive triple by right-fielder Rachel Sewell. That gave the Fins the target of four runs to tie, and five to complete the comeback. Sadly for the Fins, only three could be secured and the Sabres escaped with the one-run win.
Next week sees the Southport Seagulls return after their rest week to take on the winless Formby Fins, while the Sabres will be looking to maintain their 100% record against the Vikings. With the potential of a three-way tie at the top of the league after next weeks matches, round five of the 2017 season could prove to be quite a pivotal one.
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 www.seftonsoftball.com, like the Facebook page by typing in Sefton Softball and follow them on Twitter @SeftonSoftball.