Telfords outlast Souths in softball
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
IT WAS a clash worthy of a grand final, and may yet prove to be a preview of the big one, when Telfords outlasted Souths 3-1 in their Gladstone Softball Association women's semi-final victory at Memorial Park on Saturday.
In a low-scoring thriller, it took a late Telfords flurry to break a 1-1 deadlock after both teams had remained scoreless for much of the encounter.
With respective pitchers Peta Gibbs (Telfords) and Lexie Armitage (Souths) at the top of their games, and both receiving good support in the field, scoring opportunities were kept at a premium.
Ultimately, it came down to a few crucial Souths errors at key moments which decided the issue.
A Debbie Ludkin double play for Telfords in the final innings was also crucial to the result, snuffing out a possible Souths late charge.
Gibbs said her Telfords outfit were "ecstatic'' after the win which booked them a spot in the grand final.
'We knew it was going to be a hard game because the last time we played them (Souths) it was a draw,' Gibbs said.
'There were not a lot of errors in the field ... it was really like a grand final and we're now looking forward to playing in the final.''
A disappointed Souths coach Steve Armitage was left to lament missed opportunities but acknowledged Telfords' fine performance.
'I thought we'd come home over the top of them but Telfords played very well,' Armitage said.
'We certainly know we can shut Telfords down and keep runs to a minimum, we just didn't bat well enough.'
Chris Heisner was outstanding in the field for Telfords, her efforts including a brilliant catch to snuff out what looked to be a scoring hit by Souths' Jeanene Groves late in the match.
Marnie Dittman starred with the bat and as catcher for Telfords while Kathy Smith starred in the field for Souths and Armitage batted well.