Softball: Falcons’ home run off to a flyer - then grounded

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Chichester Falcons came away with a win and a loss in two hotly-competitive home games at Oaklands Park.

Their first opponents were Baffins Brewers, who set up stall early to earn walks and rattle the rhythm of the Falcons pitching staff, but their reluctance to swing away cost them dearly as they were caught looking once too many times and struck out in the first inning with no runs on the board.

Falcons debutant Alison Clements and James Clarke slammed a double play into the Brewers, while Graham Boiling’s trademark swing clubbed the Falcons ahead in the second innings, quickly followed by the Falcons’ second home run of the season by Dave Morris to add to the Brewers misery. Zita Racz at third base cut out any attempt to hit left field while Jenny Dunn at centre field mopped up any loose balls.

The Brewers waited for pitcher errors in preference to hitting, which earned them several walks, and eventually James Wheeler stepped up to the rubber for the Falcons to close the game with aplomb.

All tied at 10-10 after seven innings, the Brewers asked to play an extra innings to settle the ball game, and were punished by Geoff Lewis and Janice Morgan as the Falcons batted around the order to bring in an almighty eight runs and win the game 18-12.

Next up were Hursley Hurricanes. With the pitch wet and muddy, the teams enjoyed a fast-paced game.

Following his spectacular clutch close-out from the previous game, Wheeler was given the ball for the Falcons and his speciality curveball caused chaos for the Hurricanes.

Double MVP Alison Clements at third base snagged several catches, while shortstop Ben Sawkins swooped to snuff out grounders to centre field. Nevertheless the Hurricanes steadily put runs on the board but Max ‘Dr Chopper’ Hookway was on fine form and sliced through the in-field expertly, going on to get a 100 per cent OBP.

Emma Brown also batted well, hitting possibly the shortest single so far this season, and got on base twice, while Danielle Clarke’s dependable glove helped make a herculean stretching catch just beyond second base.

Jason Mercer took the field in the middle of the fourth and brought vigour at bat, dashing for first base through the mud and eventually executing a textbook slide to arrive safe at third base. Sadly the Hurricanes hitters had too much and went on to win 8-2.

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