The performance that the players managed to put in to win Game 3 in such a convincing manner shows how much they improved over the first two games of the series
Ghajnsielem Redcoats starting pitcher, Estelle Scicluna produced what could be her best performance to date, to earn a highly deserved 12-2 victory against the Mellieha Curves in Game 3 of the best-of-seven Fastpitch National Series. The Redcoats now require one more win from the remaining four games to be crowned National Champions for the third straight season.
Scicluna pitched a complete game, striking out half of the batters she faced, twelve in six innings, allowing just two infield hits, and five walks. None of the two runs were earned. She also registered two put-outs when she fielded a pop-up close to 1st base, and then stepped on the base for the double play, catching the Curves runner off 1st.
This game marked the successful return of catcher, and utility player Corrine Grima. She started the game at 3rd base, and then moved to catcher for the final three innings of the game. She did really well defensively, but her greatest impact was with the bat as she registered two base hits for two runs batted in (RBI) and scored two runs as well.
Also impressive was Marilise Vella who filled in as catcher for the Redcoats in the absence of Corrine. Marilise threw out a runner trying to steal 2nd base, and was very good behind the plate. The work that the two catchers have been doing with Venezuelan coach Zuleyma Cirimele Heredia over the past month is paying dividends as both catchers have improved tremendously. Marilise also had two base hits and an RBI.
This was the second game of Yana Vella after an absence of about two years. Yana started the game at 1st base and registered two put-outs. Laragh Tabone continued where she left off in Game 2 played in March, and had a base hit walked three times and scored three runs. She started the game playing centre field and for the final three innings returned to her favourite position at 1st base. Lead-off hitter Monique Attard also did well with a hit, a walk and a run scored. She played at right field. Simona Refalo replaced Corrine Grima at 3rd base in the 3rd inning and registered a very important base hit to bring home the 7th run for the Redcoats. Marija Vella who played at left field, walked twice and scored a run.
Once again the youngest members of the Redcoats squad continued to impress, with short stop Clarissa Camilleri, who is still a month away from her twelfth birthday, being the stand-out. She is gaining confidence playing a very demanding position, and was extremely good with the plays that she had to make. There were several attempts to steal second, and she managed to tag a runner out for her first put-out ever. She also made a fine catch on a hard hit ground ball in the final inning, and made a perfect throw to 1st base but the runner managed to just beat out the throw. Clarissa also had her first ever plate appearance and registered an RBI-base hit in the 3rd inning along with a walk in the 4th.
Rookies Lara Buttigieg and Dosithee Attard played three innings each at 2nd base, and did not have much work to do. While Shaniya Spiteri came in defensively in the bottom of the 6th and final inning replacing Marija Vella at left field. Paulanne Camilleri and Elizabeth Farrugia were used as pinch hitters with the former getting her first ever base hit, and later scored a run. Another very promising young Redcoats player, Thea Sultana was an unused substitute along with Kirsty Grima and Keira Bugeja.
Over the past four weeks the Redcoats worked really hard to get back to where they were before their season was interrupted abruptly by the measures imposed as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. The performance that they managed to put in to win Game 3 in such a convincing manner shows how much they improved over the first two games of the series. Much credit goes to all the players particularly the two pitchers, Estelle Scicluna and Monique Attard, and the two catchers Marilise Vella and Corrine Grima. Coach Zuleyma also deserves a lot of credit for the improvement that the players have made.
The Redcoats will be back in action this Wednesday, July 22, for Game 4 against the same Melleiha Curves, with the opportunity to clinch the National Championship at home. The game will be played at the Kercem Stadium starting at 6pm.
WELL DONE REDCOATS!