Australian Women’s Baseball Showcase: Day 1 Recap

The Brisbane Bandits celebrate a Game 1 win at the Australian Women's Baseball Showcase in Adelaide. (Source: Baseball Australia/Ryan Schembri/SMP Images)

A moment’s silence began the afternoon at the Australian Women’s Baseball Showcase in Adelaide with players, staff, and spectators reflecting on the life of Jacinda Barclay, an Emeralds representative who tragically passed away last year. After the touching tribute, the Adelaide Giants and Brisbane Bandits got to work in a spirit that would have made Barclay proud.

The Bandits took out Game 1 of the series at West Beach’s Bennett Field with a scoreline of 15-9, the long-ball the talk of the game from both sides in the first contest of the day, while the Giants got a win back in Game 2, winning 14-9.

Game 1 – Brisbane Bandits 15 v Adelaide Giants 9

After a scoreless first inning where pitchers Abbey Kelly and Laura Neads for Adelaide and Brisbane respectively, the Bandits put the bats to work at the top of the second, putting a large margin between them and the Giants, scoring 12 runs.

Brisbane’s lead-off Abbey McLellan made her way up the line to be the first baserunner of the game and soon after the Bandits had the bases loaded. Laura Wagner singled into right field to score McLellan for the first run of the Showcase.

Maddison Patrick hit an RBI single into right field as the scoreline continued to move along when Bronwyn Gell also singled, scoring Brisbane’s third run, forcing Adelaide’s manager to visit the mound and chat to his pitcher.

The mound visit didn’t appear to work out as Brisbane kept piling on runs, back-to-back doubles from Morgan Doty and Elodie O’Sullivan saw a seven-run lead the way of the Bandits.

Despite Taylah Welch becoming the first casualty of the Bandits, Abbey McLellan hit the first home run of the afternoon, the ball sailing over the centrefield fence. The hit scored two runs and the nine-run lead left Adelaide no choice but to change pitchers, Belinda Cannington replacing Kelly on the mound.

Laura Wagner hit another second-innings home run for Brisbane, this time a three-run shot over the centrefield fence helping the Bandits to a 12-run lead.

Maddison Tabrett became Adelaide’s first baserunner when she drew a walk as the lead-off batter and while the Giants got the bases loaded, Brisbane was able to get out of that situation and not allow a run to score.

Another Giants pitching change saw Maddison Erwin enter the game and despite back-to-back walks, Adelaide was able to get out of the innings unscathed.

Adelaide chose to inflict the powerplay at the bottom of the third with the intent to score, with Carly Moore and Lili Cavanagh starting at second and first base respectively.

A Shae Lilywhite walk had the bases loaded for the Giants.

Moore scored Adelaide’s first run of the ballgame when Kaila Borgomastro was hit by pitch, allowing her a free walk to first base and the other runners to advance. Cavanagh then scored on a Tabrett single.

Adelaide loaded the bases again with two outs and started a small rally, ending with five runs by the end of the third inning. Lilywhite scored and Tahnee Lovering added two more runs to the Giants total when she hit a ground-rule double.

Going to the top of the fourth, Brisbane decided to use its powerplay, seeing Hannah Marshall and Wagner on second and first, respectively. The first two Bandits batters were walked, meaning Marshall scored Brisbane’s 13th run of the game. A sacrifice fly from O’Sullivan scored Marshall.

Brisbane made a pitching change with Brianna Jones coming onto the mound with Adelaide looking ready to fight hard when Cavanagh hit the first pitch up to centrefield to get on base.

Cavanagh scored on a two-run home run from Ticara Geldenhuis. Consecutive singles to Lilywhite, Borgomastro, and Tabrett ticked the score over again for Adelaide before O’Sullivan and Maslin went down. The game was over when Lovering flew out to the right field.

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Game 2 – Adelaide Giants 14 v Brisbane Bandits 9

Despite Adelaide’s lead-off batter Ticara Geldenhuis grounding out to shortstop, the Giants scored first in the second contest of the evening against Brisbane. After a scoreless top half, the Giants got out to an three-run lead as the first innings was complete.

An error from the Bandits’ second base Laura Wagner allowed two runs to score for the Giants with Shae Lilywhite and Claire O’Sullivan crossing home plate. With bases loaded, Caitlin Eynon was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring a third early run for Adelaide.

Back-to-back solo home runs to Laura Wagner and Elodie O’Sullivan began a strong second innings for Brisbane and an error from Adelaide allowed Maddison Patrick to tie the game up at 3-3.

Adelaide responded well to Brisbane’s reply, getting baserunners in scoring positions, taking the lead back when Geldenhuis scored on an O’Sullivan hit into left field. An off-throw from Brisbane’s catcher Emily Devine that ended up in left field allowed Lilywhite to easily score and double the Giants lead.

An RBI double to right field made sure O’Sullivan scored from third, Adelaide continuing to keep its offense going with hits into the outfield. Another errant throw to try and get the third out failed for Brisbane with Adelaide finding another score, Kaila Borgomastro coming home.

Brisbane, responding to the challenge put forward by Adelaide opted to use its powerplay at the top of the third inning with Morgan Doty and Bronwyn Gell at second and first base, respectively.

A lead-off single to Taylah Welch brought Doty home and a double up the third-base line from Abbey McLellan brought Gell in to score. Welch scored on a pass ball to get to within one run and the Bandits secured the go-ahead run with O’Sullivan’s second home run of the game, a two-run shot over the centrefield fence.

Emily Devine added one more run for Brisbane on a single from Jordan Richardson. The bases became loaded when Welch walked up to the plate but popped up to Maslin at first, with Brisbane putting six up to lead by two.

Adelaide used its powerplay to start its third chance on offence with Aislinn Morris and Caitlin Eynon on second and first base, respectively. Each of them advanced on a pass ball and Morris pegged the lead to one with a hit up the middle from Belinda Cannington.

Geldenhuis hit with power out to right field and found the ball dropping to score an RBI double that tied the game up with Eynon scoring.

Lilywhite grounded out to shortstop as Brisbane kept the runners up at second and third but the situation of the game made Brisbane’s manager intentionally walk O’Sullivan. Cannington and Geldenhuis each scored on a pass ball to give Adelaide the lead back.

Adelaide continued with two more runs scoring on pinch-hitter Genevieve Beacom’s hit into the outfield and made it to second when Eynon singled up the middle. Cannington grounded out to second base for the final out of the game.

After Game 2, the players, staff, and umpires linked arms and held up signs reading ‘NO MORE’, a campaign that refers to stamping out domestic violence.

Brisbane’s Maddison Patrick was presented with the Spirit of the Game award after Game 1, whereas Adelaide’s Kaila Borgomastro was given the Spirit of the Game award for Game 2.

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