Devils seal final berth
FNC Softball action reached fever pitch on Saturday as teams put everything on the line in a bid to book their grand final berths.
In the Division 1 major semi-final, Dodgers Devils took control from the onset against Rous Hotel, a six-run batting fest in the first innings setting up a 12-1 victory after the fifth innings.
Rous hit their only run in the first with a safe hit from Amy Gordon and Sharon Hinds.
Sonya Pope kept Rous at bay from the mound, called in well by catcher Kym Wraight while some tight fielding from shortstop Sheree Rose and third base Kayleen Shailes helped shut down any potential runs.
Fiona McCloud, Kim Wraight and Sue Wraight led with the bat as Dodgers advanced to next Saturday's grand final when they will take on Workers Condors.
The Condors sealed their place in the premiership decider with back-to-back wins on Saturday.
In the do-or-die minor semi-final, the more-fancied Condors were stretched early by Workers Turkeys before opening up an 8-0 lead in the fifth innings to take control.
Condors pitcher Callie Windsor shone on the mound, striking out 12 batters and limiting Turkeys to just two runs in the latter stages.
Condors then cruised past Rous Hotel in the preliminary final, some aggressive attacking play in the first dig fashioning a convincing 11-3 victory.
Rous failed to contain the Condors batters who showed discipline in the box with Samantha Green, sister Nicole and Monique McCoy leading the charge.
The combination of Callie Winsor pitching to Sam Green again proved formidable, with Winsor striking out 11 batters for the match.
Cheryl Nilon (shortstop) and Aurora O'Sullivan (third base) were Rous' best, making a number of crucial outs.
Meanwhile, Goonellabah Lotto made short work of Dodgers Demons to book their spot in next week's Division 2 season finale with a convincing 9-1 win.
Lotto produced a clinical display with the battery of Trish Claydon to Leanne Lovell shutting down Demons' attack.
Suellen Pursche and Denise Marsh led with the bat while Nikki Connell was a standout stationed at short stop.
Woodburn overcame a determined Byron Redsox to win the minor semi-final 9-7, setting up a play-off with Dodgers Demons.
Having been humbled in the earlier match, Demons regrouped and delivered a solid all-round performance to account for Woodburn 21-11.
Youth players Shantanna Berry (pitcher) and Sara Hoffman (catcher) combined well against the experience of Woodburn's power hitters Renee Blakie and Carmen McLennan.
Mel Riley and Sharon Winkler starred at bat, while Jess Riley was dazzling at shortstop.
Demons will be hoping they can maintain the momentum when they line up against Lotto in the grand final on Saturday.
Draw for Saturday's grand finals (Albert Park, Lismore):
- Division 1: Dodger Devils v Workers Condors.
- Division 2: Goonellabah Lotto v Dodger Demons.
- Division 3: Goonellabah Tigers v Dodger Angels.