REDCOATS FASTPITCH NATIONAL CHAMPIONS 2020

The entire organisation of the Ghajnsielem Redcoats has a lot to be proud of with this outstanding achievement

The Ghajnsielem Redcoats were crowned Fastpitch National Champions on Thursday, after defeating the Mellieha Curves 9-5 at the Kercem Stadium in Game 6 of the best-of-7 Fastpitch National Championship Series 2020. It was a very composed performance from the Redcoats, who were confirmed as the best softball team in Malta for the third straight season.

The Redcoats took the lead in the 1st inning following a solid base hit down the right field line courtesy of Venezuelan player-coach, Zuleyma Cirimele Heredia, to score Monique Attard. There were crucial base hits in the 2nd inning with Marija Vella, who executed a fake-bunt-and-swing to perfection, hitting the ball right over the 3rd base player of the Curves to drive in Marilise Vella, while Laragh Tabone came in big once again with a solid base hit to score Marija Vella and Clarissa Camilleri. This made the score 4-0 for the Redcoats after just two innings.

In the meantime, Redcoats pitcher, Estelle Scicluna was at her very best seeing off the first six Curves’ hitters she faced, and shutting them out in the first three innings. She allowed solitary runs in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings, but by that time the Redcoats were up 9-3. Estelle had a no-hitter going into the 7th inning, but the Curves did manage a couple of base hit in the 7th to score another two consolation runs. Estelle was very good striking out 10, but she received plenty of support defensively. She also helped her own cause with four put-outs and three assists including a double play.

One can easily say that Clarissa Camilleri was the revelation of the season. The youngest member of the squad started the game at 2nd base, and contributed with a put-out and two assists. Corrine Grima was exceptional at short stop bravely putting her body behind the balls that came her way, so was Laragh Tabone playing at 1st base registering five put-outs. Simona Refalo at 3rd base, Monique Attard at left field, Marilise Vella at centre field, and Marija Vella at right field did not have much work to do, but when they were called upon they did really well. Yana Vella entered the game as a pinch hitter in the 5th inning, and made a very important contribution as she made great contact for a solid base hit. In that same inning Estelle Scicluna also hit a line drive to score Monique Attard, and make the score 9-2.

Team/Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Curves 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 5 2 0
Redcoats 1 3 0 3 2 0 9 5 1

One can easily say that Clarissa Camilleri was the revelation of the season. The youngest member of the squad started the game at 2nd base, and contributed with a put-out and two assists. Corrine Grima was exceptional at short stop bravely putting her body behind the balls that came her way, so was Laragh Tabone playing at 1st base registering five put-outs. Simona Refalo at 3rd base, Monique Attard at left field, Marilise Vella at centre field, and Marija Vella at right field did not have much work to do, but when they were called upon they did really well. Yana Vella entered the game as a pinch hitter in the 5th inning, and made a very important contribution as she made great contact for a solid base hit. In that same inning Estelle Scicluna also hit a line drive to score Monique Attard, and make the score 9-2.

The contribution of player-coach Zuleyma Cirimele Heredia was also very important. Playing at catcher, the most demanding position on the field, she managed to keep her players focused, and gave added confidence to pitcher Estelle Scicluna. The Redcoats have been investing heavily in their players, regularly bringing to Gozo foreign coaches, mainly from the United States. The funds required to cover the expenses related to having high level coaches, come through the hard work, high level of commitment, and proficiencies of the Executive Committee of the Club. It is thanks to the investment that the Club has been making in their young players over the past six years that they have been able to dominate fastpitch softball in Malta for the past three seasons. It is also worth pointing out that the senior team lost five starters from the previous season, and was still able to replenish the team with the younger players who were brought up from the minors. One can argue that this was the best softball team that the Ghajnsielem Redcoats ever had. Up and down the line-up there were no easy outs, with quality at every defensive position.

There is no question that this season’s success was made possible by the contribution of the young stars of the Club. Lara Buttigieg, Dosithee Attard, Shaniya Spiteri, Paulanne Camilleri, Thea Sultana, Elizabeth Farrugia and Jasmine Attard along with Clarissa Camilleri already mentioned above, were able to come into games and make a positive contribution. Kirsty Grima and Keira Bugeja were also in the squad and will be looking for the opportunity to play, come next season. If it was not for this competition, these players would not have been able to play any fastpitch softball this year, as there are no other U14 teams in Malta that can play against the Redcoats.

The entire organisation of the Ghajnsielem Redcoats has a lot to be proud of with this outstanding achievement. The players worked really hard all year to reach the desired level. They won four games and lost two, scoring 77 runs and allowed 56. The two performances that stood out were the 12-2 win in Game 3 in Mellieha, and the final game to clinch the title. The strength of the opposition made this achievement even greater, as the Curves were stacked with players with many years of experience playing this sport. Despite being three games down they played Game 4 with determination, putting on a great performance to stop the Redcoats from sweeping the series. They managed to improve significantly since the restart after the stop due to COVID-19, and the Redcoats were required to take their game to a higher level, and play with more intensity, to ensure that a much dreaded Game 7 was not required to keep the national title at home, in Ghajnsielem, Gozo, for another year!

CONGRATULATIONS REDCOATS!

WELL DONE FOR YET ANOTHER AMAZING SEASON.

 

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