Warriors prevail in ‘battle for the ages’

Warriors prevail in ‘battle for the ages’

It was a battle for the ages as Warriors took the field against Demons in the Mount Gambier Softball League’s grand final on Saturday.

In a game filled with stars from the league’s recent awards presentations Warriors showed their ascendancy, proving too strong for the Demons to take the win 14-7.

Kezia Feast’s Demons leapt out of the gates setting the tone for a serious brouhaha with two runs in the top of the first dig of the granny.

Sarah McInerney led off with a single to Kateesha Yates at centre, McInerney scored on a huge triple to centre right from Cody Manning with the Port Mac side leaving Warriors somewhat flabbergasted.

Meg Merrett drilled another shot, again to centre, for an RBI single before Jarvo Queale shut the innings down, throwing a Simone Little ground ball over to “The Smiling Assassin” Melissa Chuck at first with rookie Haley Lindner high fiving her hooligan teammates on the long run back to the dugout from rightfield.

Manning was on the mound for Demons and caught a laser that Koop tagged straight back at her for the first out.

Jarvo picked one of her three walks for the day but Warriors could not get any more traction, Manning and Em Hart making the outs and the score 2-0 Demons.

Warriors pitcher Leyna Bruggemann put on her serious face and locked in a couple of strikeouts although Steph Chant got the veteran away for a safe hit to Teresa Hatch at left, before Jarvo replicated her form from the first, shutting the innings down again.

Chuck led Warriors off with a single to Kaesea Jackson at right before being put in an untenable base running position by a Bruggemann blooper to her favourite Demon in Sofie Morale at second.

Hatch chipped one to Little before Manning’s radar went a bit on the fritz as she cracked Yates on the ankle then also hit Koop which brought in a run.

Warriors showed their base running practice was paying dividends, showing stealth scoring two more before Jarvo zinged one to Chant and the innings was over with Warriors 3-2 up.

Em Hart led Demons off in the third with a single to left prior to Manning pulverising one to the left side corner for another RBI triple.

Feast was put out by “Dennis Denuoto” AKA Sarah Polderman making great ground for a classy catch.

Mirroring the first dig, Merrett scored Manning with a single then Warriors field did the work, capitalising on infield ground balls.

Warriors put their rally caps on with two out Chuck walked, Bruggemann singled, Hatch whacked a RBI single to left keeping Chant busy, Kelly Doyle walked then Skylea McLean had a patient at bat hitting a 2-2 pitch to right scoring two.

Koop and Jarvo walked which brought in a run and Feast pulled the trigger on a pitching change, Hart coming in and throwing an eight pitch at bat to Caroline Bradshaw who nearly took Little’s glove off at centre but she held a great catch, ending the third Warriors 7-4 up.

Bradshaw appeared to have bamboozled herself catching a ball that nearly came down with snow on it off of Chant’s bat for the first out in the fourth.

McInerny hit an off speed pitch finding the chalk in front of “Doddsy” Dodds at left before Dennis made more good ground, securing a catch for the last out.

She took that momentum into her lead off at bat, ripping a triple, scoring off of Chuck’s infield single.

Bruggemann stepped up, got the special signal from Jarvo and brought the crowd to their feet, half volleying one into the centrefield fence, Chuck flashing her leg speed flying around the bases from first and showing a curtsy slide into home.

Hatch hit a sacrifice fly and McLean hit another single up the middle before Manning, who had returned to the mound, shut down the innings catching the fly off of Koop’s bat.

Demons dug deep in the fifth, despite Bruggemann’s best efforts not to throw Manning anything near the strike zone, the Demons number 11 cracked an outside change up for a single, Feast placed a perfect bunt to Jarvo before Bruggemann registered her fifth strike out and then Little stepped up.

Her genuine loveliness fooled with Bruggemann’s vibe, picking up a walk.

Jackson put the ball in play and the Warriors fielding shenanigans struck again with two runs crossing the plate on the play.

Chant chimed in with another single for a RBI before Bruggemann wore McInerny down swinging at a high pitch for the last out, Doyle was solid as a rock with her glovework behind the plate for Warriors, leaving the score Demons 7-10 down.

Jarvo walked, Bradshaw forced an error and Polderman bunted into herself out of the box for the first out.

Morale made the play to first off of Chuck’s team batting, by hitting behind the runners, leaving two runners in scoring position with two out.

Bruggemann followed The Smiling Assassin and had her eye in, smashing one to left for an RBI double.

In the top of the sixth Warriors absorbed a spinning double of Manning’s as she could do no wrong with the bat, then Feast got on with an infield single.

Bruggemann registered her ninth strike out before Dennis made the last out, her fifth of the game.

“Saintly” Jasmine Disselbach was in for Doyle, taking the walk, Koop singled and Disselbach slid into home on a passed ball. Jarvo nearly took Feast’s hand off, leaving the Demons leader with a couple of purple digits and Warriors with loaded bases. Dennis stepped up with two down, singling to left and Koop scoring which meant the mercy rule was invoked and Warriors was back in the winners’ circle 14-7.

Manning was outstanding with the bat for Demons and Polderman was sound in the field and with a couple of key hits to her name for Warriors.

It was the sentimental Bruggemann who got the umpires’ nod for best on, unbeknownst to most that her beloved companion Gary the snag had gone to sleep for the final time earlier in the week.

Everyone’s favourite softball sausage dog will be sadly missed.

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