Falcons fly to a smash'n'grab double in Portsmouth
Chichester Falcons Softball Club executed a smash'n'grab double in Portsmouth.
Up first were Portsmouth Dodgers, historically the Falcons’ bogey team who have won all previous encounters.
Batting first, Chichester went after the Dodgers outfield and hit three runs in the first innings, including a two-run homer from Dave Piesse, and limited Portsmouth to just one. This turned out to be the Dodgers’ only run of the game as pitcher James Wheeler ploughed through their line-up, helped out by a running full-stretch catch in centre left by David Morris.
Seven runs were added in the third as the Dodgers began to falter and fumble routine infield plays, with third baseman Oliver Howley pounding another home run through right-field.
Umpire discussions about the mercy rule began as early as the bottom of the third inning, after outfielder Bronte Harvey crushed to centre field, with the Falcons adding a further 12 runs to take the score to 22-1.
The hit parade continued in the fourth as once again the Dodgers were shut out and the Falcons clobbered another seven before the umpire applied the mercy rule and stopped the game early at 29-1 to Chichester.
Following a break, Solent Sluggers took the field against the Falcons. Sluggers set out for their long-ball game but the Falcons were prepared and shifted the outfield extra deep.
The plan worked and again Chichester shut out their opponents following another outfield catch from Morris, who ran halfway to the infield to snag the lead-off hitter.
Catcher Keaton Irvine slogged herself on to first ready for the dependable James Mortimore to steer a three run homer over the top of the right field, and the Falcons were soaring again.
At 18-6 up by the fourth innings, Chichester slowed a little despite fleet-footed Anne Rutherford reaching second on one out, but Lucy Morris and Veronika Green kept control at first and second respectively to keep the game out of reach for the Sluggers.
Going into the final inning defending a ten-run lead, a few nerves frayed in the Falcons infield as Solent hit three, but Wheeler gratefully snatched a high slice right to the pitchers mound to end it 19-13 to the Falcons.