Given the progress made during the first three months of the season and should the players show the commitment necessary for them to improve there is no telling what this group of players can achieve
On Wednesday, December 13, the Ghajnsielem Redcoats were playing their final game of the tournament against the highly rated Mellieha Curves. The Redcoats were playing for pride, trying to finish the competition on a high note, whereas the Mellieha Curves had to win to keep their hopes of winning the tournament alive. A loss for the Curves means that Redcoats Softball win the tournament. The game was very exciting for the neutral but it was a very tense affair for the two teams. Ghajnsielem Redcoats pulled it off at the end with an 11-10 memorable walk-off victory. The second such loss for the Curves in ten days against Redcoats opposition with an identical score. The result means that for the second year in a row the Redcoats win the MABS Women’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament.
Player-coach, Tahli Moore, who has deployed herself as a relieve pitcher during the course of the season, opted to start the final game. She pitched an excellent game striking out nine batters without allowing any walks. Unfortunately, she was let down by her catcher who was only playing that position for the second time. The Redcoats started well and took a lead and continued to build on it. Heading into the final inning the Redcoats were 9-5 up and looking well in command of the game. With five pitches Tahli Moore got two players to ground out. She also struck out the next batter who however, reached base on a past ball. The same happened to the next batter. Two base hits later, and another past ball on a third strike followed by a base hit meant that the Curves came back from being down by four runs to taking a 9-10 unlikely lead.
The Redcoats were having a very good game offensively while the pitchers of the Curves were having problems with their control. So going into the bottom of the final inning the Redcoats were uncharacteristically calm, and confident about their prospects of pulling it off and register a fine victory over the tournament favourites. The first three Redcoats walked to load the bases. The tying run for the Redcoats was 60 feet away from home plate. Although the next batter struck out, the top of the batting order for the Redcoats was coming up with only one out. Both Rebecca Grech and Tahli Moore walked with Corinne Grima scoring the tying run and Yana Vella scoring the winning run. The Redcoats win! It was not pretty at the end but at that stage it was the result that mattered.
There were several players who deserve special mention for their achievements during this game. Undoubtedly, Tahli Moore was the most valuable player for the Redcoats. She had a fine game pitching. Non of the ten runs allowed were earned. She also registered two put-outs and two assists including a double play. Offensively, she score two runs with an RBI on a base hit and two walks. Impressive was the debut of Kimberley Scerri. Despite playing her first softball game ever, she made good contact in her the three at bats. She registered a base hit and batted in two runners on a hit to shallow centre field which ended up being a force out at 2nd base. She also scored a run. Nadine Grima was also impressive filling in at 2nd base for Naomi Xerri who got injured in the top of the 1st inning. Nadine had a put-out and two assists. She also registered a base hit with an RBI and scored a run as well. Rebecca Grech walked three times and had a base hit, scoring twice with an RBI. Corinne Grima had a clutch base hit in the 2nd inning and scored the tying run in the last inning. Yana Vella was more disciplined at the plate than usual earning three walks and scored the winning run. She also registered five put-outs playing at 1st base. Gianella Mallia scored two runs on two walks. Arianne Bezzina had a very important assist from centre field throwing out a runner trying to extend a single into a double.
The young Redcoats improved very much during the course of this tournament. By all means they are all a work-in-progress and there is still a long way to go for them to reach the desired level. With the sights of the Club set on participating in competitions abroad there is much more work to be done for the coaching staff of the Redcoats. However, given the progress made during the first three months of the season and should the players take up the challenge and show the commitment necessary for them to improve there is no telling what this group of players can achieve.
Once again well done to player-coach Tahli Moore and her players for these wonderful achievements. Coach Moore will now return to her homeland in Australia where she will compete in the Nationals playing for the New South Wales Firestars. We wish Tahli the best of luck during the competition and look forward to her return in mid-January.