Match Report - Cronulla vs. Rouse Hill - Result 6 - 6
As the girls from the Sharks ran onto the field to start the first game of the season, a myriad of questions came flooding through my mind; would their batting be enough to hold up against the Wildcat’s pitching, had we done enough at training to prepare for defence and why was John Denver being played on the PA system? This was always going to be a bit of a litmus test for our girls especially because we’re trying to step beyond the legacy of our past seasons. But this season holds some new talent, skills and surprises and if nothing else, the Sharks are a resilient bunch.
The top of the first saw Kim on the mound who closed out the innings with a solo effort of 2 strike-outs and a catch. In reply, we put 5 runners on base and got two of them home, thanks in part to a booming hit to right field by our newly ordained catcher BJ. Kim dominated the second dig by the Wildcats again with 2 strike outs and a hard hit ground ball to the infield that was taken by Keiley and nailed into second base to again deny the Wildcats any points in their run column. The second innings saw our girls add one more point to our tally thanks to some aggressive hitting by Emma G.
This innings at bat showed just how far our batting has matured with our girls being very selective about the pitches they swung at. Crucial walks throughout the game by Keiley, Kim and Ellesha coupled with a miraculous suicide bunt by Tash frustrated the Wildcat’s pitchers and gave our batters a chance to capitalise on more direct pitching. In total, 5 of our girls were able to hit their way onto base including a three-bag dinger out to left field by Clarissa.
But baseball is a game of defence too and in the field, we managed some very strong plays. Kim, Keiley and Clarissa all pulled off miracle catches, Ellesha showed that attacking the ball pays dividends and nailed the runner at first base and Emma G put on a combination of martial arts and ballet to stop a rocket hit her way and then spin and get the ball to first base for the out. Emma C closed out the game on the mound and she worked harder to keep the Wildcats’ runs to a tally that our bats could reach.
When I look back at the play by plays of the game, I’m impressed at what our girls achieved as individuals. But what really makes me smile about this game is that the lead changed hands a couple of times and even though we were down by 3 runs in the top of the 4th, we stayed focused and worked hard to claw back those runs. This is a new found focus that we have and I think the level head of our new coach Luke was enough to give our girls the belief that they were not done yet and a 6 all draw is a good reflection of the quality of this game. If this is what we can achieve in such a short time, I hold a lot of hope for the future, especially when we eliminate John Denver from our playlist.
BJ blasts one to right field to get Keiley across the plate for our first run of the game.
Pitching was a highlight for this game with Kim and Emma C on the mound.