Softball: Upsets the story of lower division grand finals

BYRON BAY caused an upset with a 9-6 win in a tie-breaker innings over Woodburn Whippets in an exciting Far North Coast Division 2 softball grand final.

Byron took a 4-1 lead in the first innings with Mel Delaney and Shannon Knapp coming up with safe hits to the outfield.

Both sides displayed aggressive fielding, with pitcher Shannon Knapp, catcher Kerry Northcott and outfielder Mel Curry leading the way for Byron Bay and Woodburn pitcher Maryanne Brown and outfielders Shantarna Berry and Natalie Needham the best for their team.

Woodburn came back to within one run of Byron when Renee Blaikie hit a massive home run, scoring two, before Sam Dransfield hit safely to centre field to score Needham.

Bryon Bay led 6-5 until Woodburn levelled when Needham scored Berry in the bottom of the seventh innings.

With the scores locked at 6-all, a tie-breaker was needed.

Sue Watson was put on second base for Byron Bay and advanced to third base after Sharon Jones was thrown out at first by Blaikie.

Berry caught Delaney for the second out. Knapp was awarded first after being hit by a pitched ball and they scored Watson on a safe hit from Curry. The next two batters made base on errors, scoring Knapp and Curry, before the third out was made.

But Byron had taken a 9-6 lead.

Woodburn put Brown on second. A brilliant catch by Tracey Johnson at third base in foul ball territory saw Deosha Berry return to the bench.

Delaney threw out Talarra Berry at first for the second out before her sister Shantarna Berry cleared the outfield to make first base.

But Curry held her ground and took the winning catch off the bat of Blaikie to give Byron Bay the win.

Wonderful win

WOODBURN Wonders are still cheer- ing after upsetting Casino Cougars 6-3 in the Division 3 grand final.

Casino drew first blood and led 2-0 after two innings with Fiona Mcleod, Mikayla Coe and Sarah Hoffman hitting safely, backed up by tight fielding from Rebecca Bower at centre field, Coe at shortstop and Deidre Coe at first base.

Woodburn came back in the third and fourth innings, scoring two runs in each, with Helen Prusey, Lea Coulson, Giselle Hamilton and Kasey Donnelly helping put their side in front 4-2.

Both teams were kept scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings, with tight fielding from Coe at shortstop and first base Emma Shield (Casino), and first base Leone Creighton and shortstop Deosha Berry (Woodburn).

In the top of the seventh Kristy Lawton made first on an error and scored on a hit from Holly Carmen.

Carmen was advanced around the bases by Berry and Kathy Johns and scored on a pass ball before Hamilton was thrown out at first for the third out, putting Woodburn ahead 6-2.

Casino's Dianne Allen was caught by third base Donnelly and Ashlee Armstrong by right fielder Hamilton.

A safe hit from Shields and three- base hit by Courtney Connell was not enough to run Woodburn down.



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