Ghajnsielem Redcoats Crowned National Champions!
Immediately after the fastpitch game played this Sunday in Ghajnsielem, MABS Director of Marketing, Christine Bezzina, presented Redcoats captain Estelle Scicluna with the Fastpitch National Championship Trophy 2021. The Redcoats won the first four games of the best-of-7 Championship Series to win their 4th National Championship in as many years. The members of the Ghajnsielem Local Council, including Mayor Kevin Cauchi and Vice-Mayor Franco Ciangura, were on hand to help distribute the medals to the champions.
Several players contributed towards the success of the team. Laragh Tabone was very consisted at the plate with nine hits from fifteen at bats for a batting average of 0.600. The lead-off batter of the Redcoats also scored ten runs and batting in another five (RBIs). Tabone was the Championship Series leader in all of these statistics. Estelle Scicluna had seven hits including a home run, scored eight runs and registered three RBIs, while Marilise Vella had six hits, scored six runs and four RBIs. Simona Refalo registered two hits that drove in three RBIs and scored a run. Corinne Grima played at 3rd base before she was injured.
The surprise of this season was the contribution of the younger players on the team. Clarissa Camilleri played at short stop and performed like a seasoned veteran. She made three put-outs and two assists, while her eight walks led both teams. Lara Buttigieg was very reliable at 2nd base where she registered six assists and two put-outs. Dosithee Attard was another outstanding player. She registered three hits, three walks and batted in three runs. Shaniya Spiteri, Elizabeth Farrugia, Thea Sultana, Courtney Attard and Kirsty Grima were the other young players who played in the outfield and contributed to the success of the team.
One cannot mention the help the team received from the two foreign players. Dominique Humphrey played three games at catcher registering four hits and four RBIs including a home run. Taylor Ann Edwards played one game and had three hits and three RBIs. The contribution of these two players was not limited to their outstanding performances during the games, they helped coach the team giving particular attention to the pitching staff of the club.
The constant over the four Championship wins on the trot for the Redcoats was starting pitcher Estelle Scicluna. Under the guidance of coach Dominque Humphrey, she improved significantly as a pitcher with more control of her fastball, increasing the effectiveness of her change up and adding a rise ball along with a curve to the pitches she was able to throw during games. She struck out 29 batters out of the 92 she faced in four games or 20 innings pitched. Out of the 21 runs that the Redcoats allowed in the four games only 11 were earned for an earned nu average of 3.85. Scicluna proved to be the difference between the two teams as the Mellieha Curves, who are a very strong team, were not able to get the better of her.
The expectations for the Redcoats for 2022 are very high. The mix of experienced players along with the younger and very promising players has great potential. With the Women’s European Championship coming up in July there will also be greater efforts by the coaches to help the players achieve their full potential to excel for the national team at that tournament which represents the pinnacle of European softball.