Sharks snatch victory from the jaws of defeat
Fourteen runs in the final inning saw the Sefton Sharks produce an astonishing comeback to defeat the Formby Fins 19-18 in one of the most bizarre games in the Sefton Softball League.
The Sharks achieved the almost impossible target in the final inning, which included a home-run for new recruit James Stevens in his first ever game.
After a strong start to the season, losses in their last two games saw Sharks captain Stephen Shearer and his team determined to avoid a third straight defeat. With the Crosby Vikings pulling away at the top, this was becoming a must-win contest for Sefton.
Looking to spoil the party were a Formby Fins side looking for their second win of the season. The first couple of inning saw Formby come out of the blocks well, and they quickly moved into a commanding 9-2 lead.
Innings three and four saw both the Fins batting and fielding look in immaculate form. With a combined four more added to their tally and not letting their opponents close the gap, Formby made it a 13-2 game.
Three runs scored by each side in the fifth inning maintained Formby’s lead despite the Sharks producing their best performance with the bat in the game.
After a sixth and final inning that saw the Fins extend their gap by two runs, it saw Sefton walk into the ‘Last Chance’ saloon knowing that a miracle will be required.
A few walks conceded by the Fins pitcher gave Sefton a helpful start. But a home-run from debutant Stevens cleared the bases, halved the deficit and an air of doubt and hope for both sides was circling the pitch.
As the rain started, a few more runs scored by the top of the Sharks batting order that ended with a base-hit by pitcher Liam Harris completed one of the most unlikely turnarounds in the league’s history.
Elsewhere, the theme of the night was certainly about comebacks as league leaders the Crosby Vikings recovered from 8-0 down to score eleven unanswered runs to against the Southport Seagulls and extend their perfect start of the season to five wins.
After almost upsetting the league champions in the opening week, Seagulls captain Andy Lott and his side felt confident going into this match of ending the perfect winning streak their opponents were currently experiencing.
The opening inning saw Seagulls outfielder Tanya Basu catch the Vikings outfielders unaware with an impressive home-run to give Southport an early 2-0 lead.
Solid base-hits as well as a home-run by Seagulls outfielder Chris Chu saw Southport move to a comfortable 8-0 lead. However, the Vikings quickly answered by halving the gap in the third in
ning. Runs by Michael Lott, Chris Jones as well as Vicky and Charlotte Green gave the Vikings the momentum they needed.
The fifth inning saw the Vikings level the contest at 8-8. As much as the Seagulls tried to find a gap in the Vikings fielding, a couple of crucial catches including right fielders David Allen and Julie Jones put Crosby in the driving seat.
A few more runs scored by the heart of the Vikings batting order saw them jump into an 11-8 lead. With the final inning seeing Crosby’s ruthless side, no runs were scored by Southport and the Vikings three-run lead was secured.
Next week, the Vikings will be looking to go 6-0 with a win over the Formby Fins. On the neighbouring pitch, the Sharks will be taking on a returning St. Helens Sabres side, who are still reeling off their first win of the season a week ago.
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 our rookie sessions at PlayFootball on Drummond Road in Crosby on Monday evenings at 6pm to give it a go and then check out the matches from 7pm.
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.