Wins for both the Crosby Vikings and the St. Helens Sabres sees them extend their lead at the top of the Sefton Softball League from the rest of the chasing pack. Their long awaited clash next week now has both sides with the ideal amount of momentum.
It was a near perfect night for the Sabres, as they returned to winning ways with a 19-4 victory over the Formby Fins in a match that only lasted five innings due to the ‘mercy rule’ coming into effect.
After seeing their unbeaten record coming to an end last week to the Southport Seagulls in extra innings, it was all about regrouping for Sabres captain Jack Scholes and his side. As for the Fins, getting a mark into the win column is now more essential than ever.
Right from the opening inning, the Sabres were bringing in the runs. Almost the entire Sabres batting line-up helped the cause, including two home-runs by outfielder Richard Jameson.
Despite the Fins recording three runs in the fifth inning including a home-run of their own, it was not enough to extend the contest a further inning. With St. Helens having a fifteen-run lead at the time, that forced the umpire to bring in the ‘mercy rule’.
On the neighbouring pitch, the Crosby Vikings were made to work hard in their 19-8 victory over the Sefton Sharks. Eleven runs in the fourth inning was the telling factor, as Sefton could never find enough runs to pressurise their opponents who are now on a five-game winning streak.
After neither side scored any runs in the opening inning and then four runs each being scored in the second inning, the Sharks were looking quite competitive and very threatening.
The third inning saw Vikings second base infielder Mell Ward secure their only run to tie the contest once again after Sefton scored one of their own.
Inning number four saw every member of the Vikings batting order secure at least one run. An eventual total of eleven runs in that inning saw Crosby jump into a commanding position. Only one run was scored in response by Sefton.
In the remaining innings some efficient exchanges in the infield saw very few runs scored, and it eventually Crosby came out 19-8 winners.
Next week sees the Vikings and Sabres finally clash. After their first scheduled match was called off due to bad weather, the two league leaders will give us our first indicator on who could win the 2017 Sefton Softball League. Their last meeting was towards the end of the 2016 season, and it saw the Vikings come out narrow winners 14-13.
In the other contest, the Fins are still looking for their first win of the season. Their next opponents are the Southport Seagulls, who are returning after having a rest week. After what has been an unpredictable season for the Seagulls, a win against the winless Fins could keep their slim league titles hopes alive.
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.