It was a game of will for the fourth-seeded St. Augustine’s College Big Red Machine senior girls softball team as they chugged their way to an improbable 14-5 victory over the top-seeded and previously unbeaten Charles W. Saunders Cougars in the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) senior girls softball championship yesterday afternoon. The action took place at the Cougars’ home field on Jean Street, New Providence.
Over at the Queen’s College campus on Village Road, it was the St. John’s College Giants pitcher Laurel Rolle leading her team to a 10-5 victory over the Queen’s College Comets to punch the next ticket to the BAISS senior girls softball championship.
It is a rematch from last year’s championship game where SAC took down the Giants 8-2 in a third and decisive game.
Big Red Machine 14, Cougars 5
The Cougars came into this one undefeated all season, going a perfect 8-0 win-loss record throughout the season.
Little did they know that the playing field was leveled come playoff time as the SAC offence woke up in this game. Pitcher Rachel Rolle said the Cougars’ unbeaten season did not matter to them.
“It didn’t matter to us because at the beginning of the season we didn’t play as a team. We didn’t come together as sisters and communicated. Now, at the end of the season we got our act together and we knew we were going to win the game,” Rolle said.
Rolle had a great game as her placement of the ball was superb. The Cougars only managed to get five runs against her. On offence, Rolle scored two runs for her team.
Willow Sturrup did a great job behind the plate for SAC. She said her team had faith in each other.
“It’s a great relief for us because we weren’t playing our best coming into this season but we know once our team started playing together and the chemistry was created, we would come and do our best and put our all on the field,” Sturrup said.
Sturrup was the leadoff batter for SAC. She also scored two runs including the first run for her team. She was never called out in the game.
Going into the top of the second inning, the Cougars held a 4-1 lead over SAC.
At the top of the second inning, SAC dug deep and pulled off an offensive inning that proved to be a game changer.
Center fielder and leadoff batter in that inning, Peliah Rolle, got the scoreboard rolling for her team.
That inning SAC scored 10 runs and moved the score from being down 4-1 to being in the lead with the score at 11-4.
The bottom of the second inning saw the Cougars coming up scoreless as the score remained the same.
At the top of the third inning, SAC scored three more runs to go up 14-4.
With the game losing light, the bottom of the third inning was the last of this game. The Cougars scored one run and three outs as SAC celebrated their victory and a shot at winning it all.
It was unclear as to whether the game will continue or not seeing that the mercy rule could not have come into effect because SAC led by nine. The visibility on the field was not suitable to play on.
According to Ainsworth Beckford, president of BAISS, the game is official due to the fact that the rules state that the regulation inning for the senior girls is at the end of third inning.
The Cougars had a good game offensively from shortstop Philipshea Major. She scored two runs in the loss.
SAC will get ready to play in the best-of-three championship round against St. John’s College beginning next week Monday.
Giants 10, Comets 5
With a bad memory from last year’s championship, the Giants made sure to pull away from the Comets to win 10-5.
Their pitcher Laurel Rolle ended the game with nine strikeouts. In the second inning, she struck out the Comets batters in a three-and-out scenario.
The Giants got two runs from catcher Sidneya Hillaire and second baseman Brennae Turnquest.
Center fielder and leadoff batter Craiesha Johnson finished the game with two runs for the Comets. She scored the first run for her team.
After scoring four runs in the first inning, the Giants decided that a 4-2 lead was not enough. They decided to score five runs to take a 9-2 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.
The Comets tried to come back with runs by pitcher K’Lizz Ellis and left fielder Katherine Ventkagiri but the Giants were too much in the end as they won 10-5.
Laurel Rolle was the winning pitcher and Ellis was the losing pitcher.
The rematch in the championship game between the Giants and the Big Red Machine should provide some fireworks for fans.
BAISS actions continues today with the junior girls playoffs. The top seeded Cougars will play the fourth-seeded Nassau Christian Academy Crusaders at the Cougars. In the other game, SAC will play the Comets at SAC’s campus. All games are set to start at 3.30 p.m.