The Down Under Series – Invitational between the VIA Aussie Spirit and the Japan Toyota Red Terriers kicked off Friday at Blacktown International Sportspark with a double header.
In game one, Spirit captain, Stacey Porter, once again showed why she is regarded amongst the best hitters in women’s softball going 3-3 with a 2-run home run, bases loaded triple and a sacrificed fly for a game high 6 RBI to lead the Spirit offense. But unfortunately that amazing batting performance wasn’t enough as the Toyota Red Terriers scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th to win the opening game of the series, 9-8. Click here for full details.
Game two was a pitcher’s dual. Spirit starting pitcher, Jocelyn McCallum, striking out 7, allowing only 1 run and 3 hits in 7 innings. The game headed into extra inning tied 1-1. Kaia Parnaby came in to pitch for the Spirit in the 8th and with the tie-breaking runner on second. After the runner advanced to 3rd with two out, Parnaby ended the inning with a strikeout. In the Spirit half of the 8th inning, they loaded the bases with the tie-break runner and two walks. The Red Terriers collected two quick outs and then Queenslander, Erin Thras, entered the game as a pinch hitter. With 2 strikes and 2 out, Erin drove the next pitch to deep centrefield for a walk-off game winning gland slam. The 5-1 Spirit win ended the Japan Red Terriers 7-game winning streak in Australia over the past two years.
The series continues with three more games scheduled for Saturday 1.30pm, 5:00pm and 8:00pm and concludes Sunday with a double header. More details, click here.
Entry to both days is FREE for everyone. These games provide softball fans a great opportunity to watch some of the world’s best players live and see the Spirit as they prepare for the WBSC XV Women’s World Softball Championship in Vancouver, Canada in July.
Friday night’s late game was streamed live and can be viewed here. Due to the late start of the game, fast forward to the 49 minute mark for the start of the broadcast.
There is a full schedule of events at Blacktown International Sports. For those attending softball parking is free.