Cover photo credit: David Grice
From Bases Loaded 29.8
MSL was well represented at the Single-sex Nationals which were held at Wythenshawe Sports Ground last weekend, organised superbly by our own NJ Dyson. Unfortunately, all the silverware was hauled off down south, but a wonderful sun-baked weekend was enjoyed by all.
Arthur Hung (Bats) writes:
It’s a rare occasion that a national tournament is held in Manchester so I took this opportunity to gather a group of gentlemen from MSL Divisions 2 and 3 and, using the name of Bats (just for insurance purposes) entered a Rec team. Though we may have met each other in the league, this was the first time these blokes got together as a team to compete and most of us were totally new to single-sex games, which are greatly different from the usual co-ed in terms of speed and playing format. With no surprise, the fresh squad was heavily crushed in the first round by the mighty Cardiff, the group leader Bracknell Scorchers and the ultimate champions Leicester Royals. However, these reliable lads are quick learners, gained a well deserved win in the second round, conquering the Welsh capital team with three shut-out innings. What a wonderful end of the first day!
The second day saw the Bats continue to improve, having a close combat with the Bracknell side and marginally losing. (In fact we had a huge eight run rally and led 14-11 but time constraints took the win away.) Without losing faith, the flying mammals got another convincing victory over the East Midlanders, scoring five to lead at “no new inning” and shutting them out on time. Lesson learnt! Coming 3rd was a wonderful achievement and the joint force faced Cardiff again in the semifinal. Unfortunately the batting power only resumed in the 4th inning and was too late to recover the 6-9 loss. All in all, it was an amazing weekend seeing such a scratch group becoming a decent company, improving game by game and leaving the pitch with pride and confidence.
Play of the tournament: Gurajun Grewal made a strong throw to SS from the far end of right field, Cameron Waddelow relayed with bullet speed to Catcher Joe Wright who tagged out the runner at home plate.
Hayley Mctear (Chaos) writes:
It was another great softball weekend, this time it was all about girl power at the Single-sex Nationals in sunny Manchester. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend was had with old and new friends and some of the best team mates around. This was a first outing at single-sex for Chaos— better known as Chads—a mixture of players from Manchester, Nottingham, Glasgow and London). Coming into the tournament there were a lot of nerves as many of the team had never played together. Those nerves were quickly silenced as Chaos came out swinging, scoring 22 runs to take to the first game from the mighty Travelling Dodgerettes. Chaos only dropped one game the whole weekend, losing to Blitchzes in the round robin. Both the semi-final and final came down to the last inning. Both Travelling Dodgerettes and Topcats pushed Chaos to the limit, but with determination, nerves of steel and hot bats Chaos were triumphant in securing the title.
Chaos (Chads) are already looking forward to next year’s nationals, where they will aim to retain the title.
Emma Carruthers (Minx) writes:
The Single-sex Nationals are always a highlight for me, as they are for many. I had the privilege to once again captain this wonderful team of talented players from the Manchester Softball League. Minx came out on the wrong side of some hard fought battles on the Saturday, with all but one of the games with the top four teams being decided in the last inning, but went undefeated on the Sunday to win the Gold Plate final. Across the weekend we had glorious base hits, rundowns, leaping catches, water pistol fights, grand slams, relays for tags at home and 3rd, water balloon BP, clutch hits, ice lollies, exceptional pitching and defence, … and earned much deserved “well done” stickers from our two mini Minx supporters.
“Across the weekend we had glorious base hits, rundowns, leaping catches, water pistol fights, grand slams, relays for tags at home and 3rd, water balloon BP, clutch hits, ice lollies, exceptional pitching and defence”
Big shout outs to those not pictured: to Loz Birch and Jane Curley, who played on the Saturday, and Martine Knight, who came down to base-coach after being unable to join us through injury. And as always, to the Hoggs for supporting us across the weekend (I wish we’d gotten to see more of your games!).
Sonia Hine (TopCats) writes:
This is one of my favourite weekends of the softball calendar, and it didn’t disappoint. Introducing our new team TopCats to the single sex softball nationals, and we only went and made the Gold Cup final!! We narrowly missed out on the title, by one run, in an incredibly competitive game against Chaos. it was a brand new team, evolving from the Meerkat ladies. A few of us had never played together before, so we were incredibly proud, and exceeded all expectations. We gave it our all, here’s to the being “the most tip -top, TopCats” and thanks to UnderDog Sportswear for our quality new tops.
Nikita Shkurko (Travelling Dodgerettes) writes:
What a weekend with the most amazing girls!! We absolutely killed it this weekend with amazing plays and brilliant batting but fell short by a run in the semi-finals to the team that took the title, Chaos—the only team we lost to all weekend. These weekends just get better if that’s even possible! The war wounds were totally worth it! Well played girls! Roll on 2024!