ROUS Rangers made their dream a reality as they took out the Far North Coast open women’s softball major premiership with a 5-3 win over Dodgers Devils in an action-packed grand final on Saturday.
Rangers, the minor premiers, started favourites at Albert Park, Lismore, but were never going to let down their guard given Dodgers’ capabilities in big games.
Hits were scarce in the first two innings as it turned into a pitching duel between Rangers’ Loris Gordon and Dodgers’ Sonya Pope.
Rangers swung the bat in the third innings for three hits and a 4-0 lead. Nilon, Gordon and Hunter all got bat to ball and Claydon laid down the perfect bunt.
Dodgers tried to hit back but with two out and Kim Wraight on first, Hayley Leeson was given out after colliding with Loris Gordon who was trying to catch a fly ball.
Rangers added another run in the fourth when Dowse and Simes came up with hits.
Dodgers put two runs on the board in the fourth with veteran Kayleen Shailes hitting a two-bagger and Jo Rucker a single, narrowing the margin to 5-2.
The fifth and sixth innings were scoreless after some brilliant fielding by Hayley Leeson for Dodgers and Cheryl Nilon for Rangers.
Controlled pitching by Sonya Pope shut down Rangers’ attack in the seventh to give Dodgers one last chance with the bat.
Atkinson got on base on an error, then a sacrifice bunt by Busch put Atkinson into scoring position.
But a huge hit over centrefield by Kim Wraight was amazingly snaffled by Sam Dowse for two out.
Dowse then threw to Blizzard, who got the tag on Atkinson for a rundown out to seal the win.
Turkeys win thriller
IN the Division 2 grand final, Workers Wild Turkeys scraped home over Casino Ratbags 18-17.
Workers pitcher Tina Austin controlled the early part of the game with five strike-outs as Ratbags struggled to find their feet.
Turkeys came out firing with the bat to lead 8-1.
The game took a huge turn-around when Austen came outof the game.
Ratbags took advantage of the slower pitching of O’Byren with multiple hits to McLean, Dennis, Nicole Green, Rebekah Hancock and Courtney Hancock’s huge three-bagger, crossing for 10 runs to take the lead before declaring the innings.
Ratbags looked set to prevail, but with two out an error put McGowen on base. Safe hits to O’Bryen and Katie Foster then a home run off the bat of Simone Lowe sealed the game for Turkeys, putting them ahead by one.
Lowe, Jane Brown and Lauren McGowen were Turkeys’ best. For Ratbags, Sharon Hinds and Courtney Hancock hit well while Nicole Green did best in the field.
Redsox get up
IN the Division 3 grand final, Byron Bay Redsox beat Dodgers Angels 11-7 in a game that was neck and neck right up to the last innings when Redsox fired with the bat.
Angels went into the last leading 6-5 after a massive home run over left field by Colleen Prentice.
But Redsox unleashed with the bat, crossing for six runs with Analise Melene, Helen Thurgood and Jess Bond doing the damage.
Great fielding by Redsox then restricted Angels to one run, giving the Byron Bay girls a well-deserved victory.
Angels had the better of the hitting 14 to six, but errors cost them. Best for Redsox were Jess Bond, Amy Juhazz and Ella Falea. Angels’ best were Amanda Lawrence, Rachel Olive and Denise O’Brien.