Chichester Falcons Softball Club are taking well to their new surroundings in division one of the Solent League, with back-to-back wins in two weeks against Portsmouth teams.
First up were the University of Portsmouth Shafters, who came to Oaklands Park with a typically young and athletic squad. The Falcons wasted no time in the early stages, with the first seven hitters reaching base to get Chichester 12-5 ahead by the third innings.
Patience and discipline at the plate was key as the Falcons edged around the bases steadily, earning five walks and sticking to singles and doubles, while keeping a tight infield. Pitcher Jason Mercer was sharp on several comebackers as Bronte Harvey and Cary Chen ably managed the middle infield.
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The Falcons chipped away, adding two or three in the next few innings as debutant Beth Ash, hitting four for five on the day, kept right field locked down to frustrate the Shafters and restrict them to just two runs through to the sixth.
With the score at 18-7 in the final innings, the Falcons got the green light to swing away with great effect as Ally Warr tripled, Dave Piesse homered to left and Ash added a further run to win the game at 24-11.
The following week, Chichester travelled to face the experienced Portsmouth Dodgers. A good start at bat saw the Falcons get five runs ahead but Ben Sawkins at shortstop was outstanding, making three full-stretch diving catches to leave the Dodgers scratching their heads and unable to score until the third innings.
By now the Falcons were 9-2 up thanks to hard-working Pete Martin, who made a dazzling running grab in centre-left before hitting an RBI triple as Portsmouth began to panic.
Jason Mercer and Olly Howley pounded homers in the fourth before Ally Warr found her swing and forced a fielding error to get Beth Ash round, and David Morris hit opposite field to bring in a further two to take the game well beyond the Dodgers grasp at 13-6.
There was still time for base hits from Molly Rayner and Sarah d’Agar before Sawkins again silenced the field with another spectacular dive to earn the Falcons a 21-7 victory.
Anyone who wants to try softball and join the Falcons can visit www.chichesterfalcons.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org