THE Far North Coast open women’s softball preliminary final on Saturday produced some brilliant play with a tie-breaker needed to determine the outcome.
Dodgers Devils defeated Workers Condors 9-8 in a nail-biter after the game had been locked at 6-all after the regulation seven innings.
They will play Rous Rangers in the grand final at Albert Park, Lismore, on Saturday.
Selina Atkinson slammed a two-base hit to centrefield and a well-placed bunt from Clare Busch scored two early runs for Dodgers.
Pitcher Sonya Pope kept Condors scoreless.
In the second innings Condors levelled at 2-all thanks to a two-run home run from Tina Austen.
Dodgers added runs in the third and fourth innings with Kalyeen Shailes and Selina Atkinson hitting doubles.
In the bottom of the fourth Condors closed the gap with Kasey Renwick’s home run narrowing the deficit to 4-3.
Terrific pitching and solid fielding kept both teams scoreless in the fifth innings.
In the sixth, Jo Rucker was out to an amazing catch by Simone Lowe from a ball that seem destined for a home run.
Dodgers added another two runs with Stevens and Atkinson hitting safely and Busch bunting perfectly.
Condors hit back by capitalising on errors and hits to McGowen, Austen and a triple to Sam Green to tie it up at 6-all.
The seventh innings was tight with no runs scored, sending the game into a tie-breaker.
With Rucker placed on second base for Dodgers for the tie-break, Marion Stevens was hit by a pitch and Atkinson again hit safely to score Rucker. Stevens then scored off the bat of Leeson and Atkinson scored after Renwick went diving after the ball in an attempt to end the innings.
With Dodgers having scored three, the pressure was on Condors.
Carlie Walker started on second base and a hit by Renwick moved her to third. Austen brought both runners home with another great hit.
Green tried to even up the game with a hit to centre but Shailes finished the innings and sealed Dodgers’ rematch with Rangers in the grand final.
In Division 2, Casino Ratbags defeated Goonellabah Lotto 9-8 in seven innings.
Ratbags got their noses in front early with an Ainsley Carpenter home run.
Goonellabah hit back with Nicole Cosgrove and Kimm Giacobetti hitting two-baggers.
They looked set to equal the scores in the seventh until Sharon Hinds took an exceptional catch off Renee Cowan to give Rabtbags the game.
In Divison 3, Dodgers Angels put on a great display of solid batting and disciplined fielding to beat the Goonellabah Tigers 17-9.
Angels’ deft glove work was a feature of the win.
Grand final times:
Tuesday: Under-13s, 5.30pm to 6.45pm D2C: Dodgers Allstars v Dodgers Mustangs. Under-15s, 7pm to 8.15pm D2C: Dodgers Lakers v Dodgers Braves.
Friday: Under-18s, 5.30pm to 6.45pm D1B: Workers Club Mighty Ducks v Dodgers Colts. Mixed B-grade, 7pm to 8.15pm D1C: Workers Club Nightingales v Goonellabah Meteors. Mixed A-grade, 8.30pm to 9.45pm D1C: Workers Club Buzzards v Dodgers Hotshots
Saturday: Division 3, 12.30pm to 2pm D1C: Byron Bay Redsox v Dodgers Angels. Division 2, 2.30pm to 4pm D1C: Workers Club Wild Turkeys v Casino Ratbags. Division 1, 4.30pm D1C: Rous Hotel Rangers v Dodgers Devils.