An unexpectedly weak performance by a much changed St. Helens Sabres side, saw them lose convincingly to the Sefton Sharks 19-6. Along with results elsewhere, the Sabres lead at the top of the Sefton Softball League is now back to level with the Crosby Vikings.
Nine runs from the Sharks in the opening inning including two home-runs in that same inning from new recruit Laura Collett was enough of a cushion for an improving Sefton side to take the thirteen-run victory.
With a lot of new talent being recruited into the Sharks roster over the last couple of months, Sharks captain Stephen Shearer and his side have become the threat that many have expected for some time. Their strong start against the Sabres certainly shook their opponents, especially with their batting.
There was little reply from St. Helens. Two runs from Jordan Colton was the only highlight in their opening four innings, which saw them collect an average of one run per inning.
Along with some solid fielding, Sefton extended their lead in the sixth inning with five more runs added to their tally. That was enough to finish off the Sabres for only their second loss of the season.
With the Sabres losing, that gave the Crosby Vikings the opportunity to get back level with the same record.
Three strong innings that saw every member of Crosby’s roster score at least two runs in those segments of the match made it the perfect response after their loss last week. This performance eventually saw the Vikings take down the Southport Seagulls 39-14.
Twelve runs including a home-run by third baseman Chris Jones in the opening exchanges with only one on reply from Southport already saw the match potentially over as a contest.
With the Seagulls striking four runs in return in the third inning, hope was still in the mind of Seagulls captain Sophie Temple.
Sadly for them, a further ten runs were scored by Crosby in the fifth inning including a home-run by pitcher Andrew Lott to extend their lead back to twelve runs. The final inning saw Vikings captain Ray Bennett and his side extend their lead to an impressive twenty-five runs that saw fifteen runs in the final inning.
With most of the league sides having four matches remaining in their schedule, the fight to the finish is now becoming more intense than previously predicted. With both the Vikings and Sabres receiving losses in the last couple of weeks,
the Seagulls and Sharks are slowly closing the gap and still have a mathematical chance of pulling off the unthinkable.
Next week sees the Vikings have the opportunity to re-claim top spot in the league, as they do battle with bottom side Formby Fins. After having a rest week, this could be a dangerous time to play the winless Fins.
The contest sees the Sharks aiming to swiftly return to another winning streak, against a Seagulls side that continues to prove their unpredictability.
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.