Match Report: Cronulla Sharks vs. Ryde Ladyhawks
AWAY: ELS HALL, 20/10/2018
Result: Cronulla 14 – Ryde 6
In what can only be described as a turn around of fortunes that has not been seen since the Mighty-Ducks defeated the visiting Russian team in the second instalment of the Mighty-Ducks movies, Cronulla has cemented their place in folklore history by defeating Ryde in a dominant display in Round 5. This has set the pundits thinking about the future of the Cronulla girls and whether or not a place in the finals is out of the question … my only question is who is going to play Coach Eisenhauer in the movie and is Johnny Depp available?
A dream start to a game would be to get runners on base and to then work some of them across the plate. In the first innings, the first 8 of the Cronulla line-up made it to first base before an out was registered and all 8 of them then caught the bus to home plate to score. The Cronulla girls showed good patience at the plate and swung at the pitches that were there to be hit and this built up a bigger lead than the peloton at this year’s tour d’France. A solid hit by our opening batter Clarissa down the right field line coupled with more stealing than Ocean’s 11 meant that we could cash in our runners and turn them into runs.
In reply, Ryde came up against Kim who was firing bullets that found their marks around the corners of the plate. Despite some aggressive hitting early in the innings, Ryde were kept scoreless thanks in part to a great running catch by Brooke in the outfield who then fired the ball back to home to cut off the runner from 3rdbase and deny Ryde any addition to their tally. At the close of the second innings, Cronulla had amassed a handy 8-0 lead which was new territory for the girls from the Shire.
The second dig was like Danny Devito … really short. Good baseball from both sides saw the defence dominate and the scores didn’t change. In the third, Brooke crushed one to the outfield to get on base but Ryde pulled out a rabbit from their hat to get a sharp double play and then followed this up with a wicked curve ball that could confuse Confucius. In reply, the Hawks worked harder than the Greeks at Troy to manufacture some runs and managed to add 2 runs to their tally.
But the Cronulla bats were not done yet and in a comeback that we haven’t seen the likes-of since the Rocky movies, our girls posted another marathon innings in offence. Emma G decided that she wasn’t going to wait around for runners to be forced around the bases and blasted one out towards centre field to add to our score. Kim fired the ball deep into the left-field fence for a two bag RBI hit, and followed this up with another two bagger in the next innings.
In what would come to be known as a biggest surprise twist since the Crying Game, Tash was sent to the mound for Ryde’s 4thinnings at bat. A collective hush came over the crowd as they waited to see what tricks Tash had up her sleeves after Kim’s dominant effort. An early K2 followed by some runners that made it on base had everyone wondering if this meant that Ryde would start to build up their tally but Shai-Lee took a miracle catch at second base followed by a fast thinking feed to Emma C who was covering second to get the double play from a runner that had jumped too far off the base. Our girls were solid in defence.
The fifth innings saw the Cronulla onslaught continue. There’s a reason why coaches always say beat it out to first because just like the movie IT, you never know how it’s going to end – aggressive running saw our batters turn themselves into baserunners and even better base running saw them turn themselves into scores in our scorebook. Clarissa takes home the Ultimate Bad-Luck award after a pop fly landed straight down on top of her helmet in fair territory as she stood on first base which meant that she now had to try and leg it out to second base. Clarissa runs very fast around the bases but no one can beat a sharp throw. In the end, only lightning was able to end the Cronulla onslaught.
But when it comes to movies, there’s a winning combination that you just can’t beat and Annie showed us once more, why it’s a winning combination. In her understudy role as the catcher for today’s game, she faced a firestorm of pitches from Kim and Tash and when she was too tired to stop the balls with her glove, she put her body on the line. I’m sure if Annie was in the secret service, she would stop a bullet for the president. On top of this Annie never gave up with her bat and managed to hit the ball past the infield. For my two cents worth, Annie gets my people’s choice award … Heck, I think I’ll write to the Academy and nominate her for an Oscar!
Great game and a big thanks to Coach Darren for filling in.