Downing leads Blues to high
SOFTBALL: Souths Blue put on a master-class display to beat Telfords in the Gladstone Softball Association grand final.
It was essentially an upset win by the Blues which were led superbly by gun young pitcher Chyanne Downing.
While Souths have collectively won several premierships over the years, it is Souths Blue's first grand final success since the team returned to top-tier ranks in 2015-16.
"Personally, this is my third premiership and would have to be the most memorable and rewarding so far," Souths Blue veteran Joanne Beach said.
Telfords were the more experienced team with the likes of Christine Heisner and Natasha Chequer-Edwards, but Beach said Souths gelled at the right time.
"Having a side consisting of five newcomers and first-timers, we have really had to work together as a team to get the end result," she said.
"We have had an amazing final series performance as a team and really rallied and worked hard together."
Beach's team hit the ground running in the decider and to protect the lead was something that was impressive as well.
"Keeping a really tight defence in the field only conceding one run in the bottom of the sixth innings," Beach said.
She said Downing's effort on the mound pitched to another level and that had a snowball effect.
"Sindy McFarlane had her best performance of the season with fielding and batting," Beach said.
"Everyone in the Souths outfit stepped it up a level by maintaining a strong defence all game and putting in a strong attack with the bat."
While Beach said she felt that the game was a lot closer than what the outcome was, she did admit of the moment that she felt the game was 'safe'.
"By the top of the fourth innings the premiership started to feel within reach and we kept our heads about us," she said.
"A tight defence was the key factor in the game by being able to shut out the big hitters from Telfords and limit their runs."
Downing completed an outstanding season to win the season Most Valuable Player as well as the Best Infielder gong.
Telfords pair Claire Lack and Iyesha Finlay won trophies for Best Outfielder and Best Batter respectively.
Meanwhile, Dodgers took out the Junior Fastpitch grand final against Angels.
Chloe Coombe won the season MVP and teammate Riley Hermann got Most Improved.
Kirsty Lester won the MVP for Angels and Jett Endersby was the team's Most Improved.
Blue Jays had won the men's grand final 6-4 against Cardinals last Thursday night.