The Sefton Sharks caused an upset by recording their first win of the season with a 17-14 victory over the Southport Seagulls.
After a strong start by the Seagulls, eight runs in the third inning saw the Sharks turn the game on its head and hold on for the three-run victory.
With 2017 seeing nothing but losses for the Sharks so far, people were beginning to wonder when their luck would ever turn around. Despite Southport bringing in nine runs in the opening couple of innings, Sefton were not far off with five runs of their own. This included runs from short-stop Dave Martin Baez, captain Stephen Shearer, left fielder Stephen Woods and second base infielder Sarah Nickson.
The third inning was the moment the Sharks chomped away at the lead in a dramatic way. Despite having two outs, a total of eight runs saw Sefton take a 16-9 lead.
With innings four and five seeing the Seagulls narrow the gap to just two runs, nerves were starting to kick in.
Thankfully for Sefton, a further run scored by outfielder Paul Colton in the sixth inning extended the Sharks' lead ever so slightly. With both teams' fielding holding their own towards the end of the match, that was enough for Sefton to jump off the bottom of the Sefton Softball League.
The other match this week saw the Crosby Vikings power through the Formby Fins 22-9. With this fixture deciding the league title last season, there were many players on show for both sides that have still not forgotten that match from 2016.
Grabbing the bragging rights early were the current champions. A combined ten runs from the first three innings including two home-runs by left fielder David Grice saw Crosby move out to a comfortable 10-5 lead. However a strong third and fourth inning from Formby kept them in the contest as they narrowed the gap to just four runs.
Despite Formby’s growing confidence, Crosby made the gap uncatchable. Five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings almost doubled their previous run total.
Runs by the top of the Vikings batting-order pushed them over the line for a convincing thirteen-run victory, and a fourth straight win.
That result keeps the Vikings on the tail of the St. Helens Sabres, who return next week. The league leaders will be taking on a Seagulls side looking to recover quickly after their loss to the Sharks. St. Helens came through 18-8 in their previous fixture. Southport will be looking to spoil the party and bring an end to the Sabres winning streak.
Meanwhile, the now buoyant Sharks take on the winless Fins. This will be their first clash this season as their initial one was postponed. After the Sharks upset over the Seagulls, Sefton now feel they have a chance of a mid-table finish. As for the Fins, any sort of win is a must if they want to have another shot at the league title this 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 from 6:30pm 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.