New South Wales is on track for a dominant tournament victory after they qualified for the Gilley’s Shield grand final this afternoon at Mirrabooka International Softball Stadium.
Facing the SA Starz, the defending champions wrapped up their spot in the finale with a 3-1 victory.
Both pitchers kept things tight in the opening innings keeping both teams scoreless, just the one hit coming off one of SA’s standout performers of the tournament Jailyn Ford. Kaia Parnaby allowed no hits against her early.
The Firestars struck the first blow when Taylah Tsitsikronis scored off an error by Jordan Lambert on second base. Shannon Keevers scored off a Tahli Moore sacrifice bunt and the defending champions took a 2-0 lead to the top of the 3rd inning.
Parnaby made like work of the Starz at the top of the 3rd striking out Lana Kaesler and Chelsea Robinson while Amber Hood was caught stealing at second base.
Ford bounced back striking out Stacey Porter after Michelle Cox was dismissed in the field. Emma Iuliano was able to race home off a single by Keevers ahead of another strikeout from Ford, Bianca Abrahams going down swinging.
Jordan Lambert got home in the 4th to close the Firestars lead to just two runs 3-1, the sole run for the Starz that inning, however, some sharp fielding kept NSW scoreless at the bottom of the inning.
Another Scoreless inning played out in the 5th with no further runs scored in the 6th. After three Starz were dismissed off Parnaby’s pitching at the top of the 7th, the FIrestars officially sealed their spot in the 2019 Gilley’s Shield final, maintaining their unbeaten record along the way.
The SA Starz get a second shot at qualifying for the grand final when they play the winner of the Victoria Titans and WA Flames match scheduled to begin at 6:30pm local time.
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