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NPSA playoffs get underway

Hitmen hold off the Rams; Brackettes shut out the Lady Hitmen
  • The New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) held the first games of the playoffs this past Saturday night at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex. In the men’s game, the Arnette’s Sporting Lounge Hitmen defeated the Miller’s Rams, 19-16. AHVIA J. CAMPBELL TNG 2013

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: Sep 09, 2013

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It could be a double loss for the Miller’s Rams when their New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) men’s best-of-five series resumes on Thursday.

Not only did they lose Game One, but a one game suspension could also be handed to Jeffrey ‘Jay’ Woodside when the official report is reviewed. Woodside was ejected in the fourth inning on Saturday, after he was hit by a wild pitch thrown by Alcott Forbes, who plays with the Arnette’s Sporting Lounge Hitmen. At that time, Woodside and the Rams were leading 13-8. They never recovered, and went on to lose, 19-16, on Saturday night over at the Banker’s Field at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.

According to Arthur Johnson, public relations officer for the NPSA, Chief Umpire Thomas Sears will submit an official report to the executives. A decision is expected to be made on the possible suspension today.

“The game is more mental than physical, and when we lost Jay, we mentally collapsed and that is what cost us the game,” said Head Coach for the Rams Andy Percentie. “It wasn’t what he did, but what he said that the umpire did not like, but Jay thought the pitcher said something and then he said something, so he threw Jay out of the game. It (umpire’s decision) was to settle the game and bring some order on both teams. I liked his effort in trying to settle the game, but I think it should have been done for both teams.

“There isn’t any shadow of a doubt that the team can play. Once we are ready mentally, we can beat anyone. We always play all the teams strong but collapse somewhere in the game, but this being playoffs, the guys stepped up their game and showed that they are ready for the challenge.”

Percentie wasn’t too sure on how the ruling would go, immediately after the game, but said his team will have to now get mentally prepared and players will have to step up, just in case Woodside has to sit out a game. As for Forbes, who said hitting Woodside was not intentional, playing around and

allowing what he calls “a rookie team” to score more than 10 runs, will not happen again. In fact, Forbes is predicting a sweep.

He said: “The umpires do the best they can, and tonight (Saturday) we just played to the level of the other team. We know that we are a much better team than them. We just came out flat. As a result, the score ended up 19-16, but experience is what gave us the victory tonight. Runs and errors, that’s the game, but you know at the end of the day, you have to maintain your composure and stay focussed. The game goes to seven innings or more; anything can happen.

“We weren’t expecting them to play us this hard. It came as a shock, but experience kicked in and we were able to win. We aren’t overly concerned about that team. As a matter of fact, we are going to sweep them. We are going to turn it up a lot more in the next game, and you can expect to see a difference.”

In that game, Forbes picked up the win while Travis Dames suffered the loss. At the plate, Forbes had just one hit but scored three times and had one run batted in (RBI). Hosea Hilton appeared at the plate four times, scoring two runs off two hits. He also had two RBIs. Martin Burrows Jr. scored three times, and Terron Munroe scored twice. Before he was ejected, Woodside had two hits including a triple for the Rams, and Deno Sweeting had two hits and five RBIs.

In the women’s affair, the Sigma Brackettes shut out the Lady Hitters, 7-0, taking a one game lead in that best-of-five series. The winning pitcher was Ernestine Butler, and Thela Johnson was tagged with the loss.

The Rams and the Hitmen will take to the field again, on Thursday. The series with the pennant-winning Proper Care Lady Sharks and the Sigma Wildcats will start on Tuesday. The Mighty Mitts and the Andre Gardiner Construction Buccaneers will also open their series on Tuesday.

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