It was a memorable final inning comeback for the Southport Seagulls as they recovered to defeat the Sefton Sharks 11-10 in torrential conditions.
Six runs in the final inning saw Southport take the win in a smash-and-grab style that has now put the Seagulls alone at the top of the league.
With the conditions being tricky and the rain not stopping, both sides went into this match with caution. In the end, it was the Seagulls that started the match well with a solid opening few innings.
After four innings, Southport pulled away to a 7-3 lead. But after a crucial substitution, Sharks captain Stephen Shearer and his side came out swinging and turned it around to a deserving 10-7 lead in the sixth inning.
Even with the rain still falling pretty steadily, neither side was backing down going into the final inning. When it initially looked like the Sharks would close this match out, the heart of the Seagulls batting order made the most of the wet surface with several low hits that got them on base. That eventually secured the dramatic 11-10 win and extends their league winning streak to four games which began towards the end of the 2016 season.
In other action, the Crosby Vikings bounced back in perfect style to record their first win of the season with a convincing 18-8 win against Formby Fins. A strong first four innings both with the batting and the fielding gave them a commanding lead that they held quite admirably.
A few changes were made by Vikings captain Ray Bennett after a disappointing loss to the Seagulls last week. With a few new members of their squad improving leaps and bounds, it was there time to shine in the starting line-up.
Six runs from their first seven batters in the opening inning saw Crosby look like the league champions that everyone remembers from 2016. But with the Fins collecting two runs of their own, the match was still all to play for.
However, the Fins batting form seemed to disappear as they could only muster a run in the next three innings. As for the Vikings, consistency with the bat prevailed as they extended their lead in an impressive way. Two home-runs by short-stop Sean Miley, one by pitcher Mike Lott and the heart of the Vikings batting order contributing with sold base-hitting saw a combined twelve runs recorded in innings two, three and four to give Crosby an 18-3 lead.
Despite Formby battling hard and narrowing the gap, the innings ran out for them as the Vikings confirmed a ten-run victory.
Next week sees the league leading Seagulls take on a St. Helens Sabres side returning from their bye week. With these two sides being the only unbeaten teams left, the winners will take early control at the top of the league.
The other contest sees the Fins do battle with the Sharks. With both sides yet to record a victory, this will be a must-win for both sides if they are looking to stay in the title race.
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.