The New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) playoffs are set to get underway this coming Thursday, but the two-time defending women’s champions Sunshine Auto Wildcats had some unfinished business and they took care of that on Saturday. The Wildcats wrapped up the pennant in women’s division, dismantling the Inventive Intellect Lady Warriors, 12-4, on the Bankers Field at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex on Saturday.
With the win, the Wildcats wrapped up their regular season with a 13-2 win-loss record. The Lady Warriors have two more games to play, and currently sport an 8-5 record.
The Wildcats are going after a three-peat this season, and team manager Anthony Bullard said he brought out the rings to keep his team motivated.
“I showed them the rings. I said if you want more rings, you have to win. You have to make things fun. I told the ladies that everyone is focused on us right now, to win that three isn’t going to be easy because everybody competing in this league [is] competitive and you can’t take anybody, on any night, for granted. You have to play hard from the first inning to the last inning,” Bullard said.
He added that his team is clicking and wants to continue to win.
Thela Johnson, the Wildcats’ pitcher who represented The Bahamas at the recently concluded Olympic qualifier in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, started on a good note in the top of the first inning on Saturday. She got the first three Lady Warriors’ batters out including two strikeouts.
The same could not be said about Malinda Bastian, the Lady Warriors’ pitcher. Bastian and her catcher Paige Edgecombe appeared to have chemistry issues. There were a number of passed balls and wild pitches.
The Wildcats wasted no time as they scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, taking a 3-0 lead at the end of one. They added five more runs in the bottom of the second to extend the lead to 8-0. In that inning, three of the Wildcats’ batters were hit by pitches from Bastian.
Bullard was not pleased with what transpired.
“This team we played is a competitive team. When you see that you are not winning, you can’t be doing things out of hand like socking players. That’s not competitive, and a lot of people get hurt and you have to go to the doctor. We can’t have those kinds of things,” he said.
The Lady Warriors finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning when they scored three runs. By the end of the fourth inning, the Wildcats were ahead 10-3 and looked poised to win the game.
After the Lady Warriors were unable to score in the fifth inning, the game ceased at 12-4 via the international mercy rule. The Wildcats clinched the NPSA women’s pennant and will prepare to play the fourth-place team, the University of The Bahamas Mingoes. The Mingoes stand at 6-8 with one game remaining. They are assured of the fourth spot.
Wildcats’ center fielder Daria Cambridge finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Shortstop Larikah Russell had a hit in three at-bats and scored a run. She collected three Runs Batted In (RBIs).
Winning pitcher Johnson finished with seven strikeouts, and offensively, she scored two runs. The losing pitcher was Bastian.
The Lady Warriors will play the Strikers (0-14) tonight at 7 p.m. and tomorrow night they will end their season against the Mingoes. That game is set to start at 7.30 p.m.
The C&S Hitmen (12-1) will play the Renegades (0-14) at 8.30 p.m tonight in the men’s division.
On Friday night, the Renegades forfeited their game against the Commando Security Truckers (8-7) in a game that was rescheduled from earlier in the season. Those two teams were also set to play a full game that same night but the Truckers won that one by default.