The 72nd Open Women’s National Softball Championship has officially reached the halfway mark at Mirrabooka International Softball Stadium.
Defending champions, the New South Wales Firestars remain the team to beat after a fifth consecutive win over the Queensland Heat to remain undefeated and well in control.
The Firestars put on a batting clinic against the Heat taking only three innings and the top of 4th to handle their 2018 grand final opponents.
Stacey Porter again opened the account for the Blues with Emma Iuliano also crossing in the 1st inning.
Tahli Morre, Rachel Lack, Michelle Cox, and Stacey McManus recorded a run in the 2nd inning as Porter got her second of the day.
The floodgates opened at the top of the 3rd with Lack, Cox, McManus, Bianca Abrahams and Jenna Trim adding more runs to the score sheet, Emma Iuliano crossed twice in the inning.
The Firestars got home comfortably for their fifth win with a 14-0 scoreline.
A thriller played out against the WA Flames and SA Starz with no clear winner until the bottom of the 7th.
Jordan Lambert opened the Starz account in the first to lead 1-0, the Flames hit back with four unanswered runs over the next two innings to enter the 5th with a 4-1 lead.
Lambert hit a triple to get Chelsea Robinson home and crossed home herself along with Victoria McFarland to level the scores at 4-4 heading into the 6th inning.
At the top of the 7th, Verity Long-Droppert dashed home giving the locals a 5-4 lead, a couple of errors in the field proved costly at the bottom of the 7th for WA with Starz McFarland and Sophie Hoyle scoring to seal the final inning thriller 6-5.
In the opening game of the day, the ACT Diamonds chalked up a win over the Victoria Titans to register their second victory in a row and put themselves back in the frame for a finals berth.
Jessica Bahn put the Titans on the board early in the 1st inning but from there it was all ACT.
Brianna McGovern, Brooke Spence, Marta Gasparotto and Rebecca McEachern all crossed home plate to put the Diamonds up 4-1 at the bottom of the 1st.
Both teams were defensively stoic for the next five innings, Greta Cecchetti striking out seven Victorian batters while Monica Perry removed six of the Diamonds off her pitching.
Marina Walker got home for the Titans in the top of the 7th before the third out giving the Diamonds a 4-2 win.
Following the first round of the championship, the ladder is as follows:
- NSW 10
2. SA 6
3. VIC 4
4. QLD 4
5. ACT 4
6. WA 2
NSW is currently taking on Victoria with SA aiming to halt ACT’s momentum.