15/04/2024

Despite not hitting a home run in round two, Amber Hood is still on the leaderboard of the competition. (Photo: Dani Brown)

Round two of Softball SA's Fully Loaded Softball tournament has finished with the first tiebreak in the format's history.

Round two of Softball SA’s Fully Loaded Softball tournament has finished with the first tiebreak in the format’s history.

The first of the three games played at West Beach on Thursday, September 9 was between the Angels and the Thunder.

The only home runs of the night would be scored in this game, with Angels players Sophie Roberts and Georgia Hood belting balls over the fence in their team’s 16-9 win.

It was the Thunder’s first loss of the tournament, having won both games in last week’s opening round.

Hood’s home run took her to the top of the home run tally with two next to her name.

A highlight for the Thunder was Aussie Spirit representative Steph Trzcinski’s top notch pitching, which would continue into her second game as well.

The second match of the night was between the Angels and the Phoenix, and the Angels had no trouble putting away the winless Phoenix.

Young Georgia Ballard was on fire for the Angels, while fellow Hills Heat youngster Chloe Zakelj took some great catches at right field for the Phoenix.

The Angels snagged a convincing 13-5 win.

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The match of the night was the last, between the Thunder and the Phoenix.

In the first inning there was green and gold everywhere as Aussie Spirit representatives took the field; Trzcinski pitched for the Thunder while Chelsea Robinson was catcher, and Belinda White stepped up to the plate for the Phoenix.

Trzcinski finished her night in the circle with 10 strikeouts in four innings over two games, before Jade Peterson was brought on to pitch the Thunder’s final inning.

The Phoenix’s Ruby Fidge unloaded on a hit which looked like it was home run-bound but it was caught. In the time it took to get the ball back to the infield, Millie Fidge was able to score.

White was up to bat again and hit a beautiful line drive towards third base, where it was misfielded, allowing Gemma Letton to score and bring the score to five-all.

The Phoenix got close to snagging their first win of the tournament after their match against the Thunder went to a tiebreak. (Photo: Dani Brown)

But the Phoenix could not capitalise and, for the first time in the format’s history, the game was sent to a tiebreak.

In a Fully Loaded tiebreak, the batting side starts with two outs and bases loaded, and gets to choose who will bat first.

The Thunder chose Robinson to bat first, and Millie Fidge pitched two strikes then two balls to keep Robinson on her toes before she cracked a beautiful hit directly between left field and centrefield to get all three runners home.

Trzcinski was second at bat, but she popped the ball up and it was caught at left field.

The Thunder queried whether it could intentionally walk a player, but Softball SA’s James Harris made the call that it would not be allowed as it wasn’t in the spirit of the game.

With Olympian Bel White first up to bat for the Phoenix, Thunder pitcher Trzcinski ‘unintentionally’ walked her, scoring the runner on third base in a bid to prevent a grand slam being scored through White.

This move put the winning run – White – on base, and the pressure was on next batter Taylor Chillingworth.

She was struck out, giving the Thunder an 8-6 win.

FINAL SCORES

Thunder 16 def Angels 9

Angels 13 def Phoenix 5

Thunder 8 def Phoenix 6

HOME RUN TALLY

Georgia Hood (Angels) – 2

Steph Trzcinski (Thunder) – 1

Amber Hood (Thunder) – 1

Sophie Roberts (Angels) – 1

TOURNAMENT STANDINGS

Angels – 13 points

Thunder – 10 points

Phoenix – 1 point

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