Sharks, Buccaneers force decisive seventh game in the NPSA
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Oct 15, 2013
Knowing that there isn’t anything they could do to change the outcome of game six of the New Providence Softball Association’s (NPSA) women’s championship series, head coach of the Sigma Brackettes Mario Ford believes that the two close games they lost by one run each, might come back to haunt them.
All tied up at three games apiece, the Brackettes and the Proper Care Pool Lady Sharks will take to the field tonight, knowing that a lot is at stake. For the Brackettes, pride is on the line and the fact that they were leading the best-of-seven series three games to one before allowing the Sharks to come back. They got trounced, 17-3, in game six on Saturday. The Sharks want to prove that they are the best in the NPSA, having secured the pennant this year. Adding the NPSA crown to their collection, as well as representing the league in the upcoming Bahamas Softball Federation’s (BSF) National Round-Robin Championships, will complete a successful year for Head Coach Stephen ‘Bishop’ Beneby and the Sharks.
The seventh and deciding game will start today at 7 p.m. at the Banker’s Field located at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex. A lot of changes are expected to be made to both line-ups. Ernestine Butler is expected to return to the mound for the Brackettes. Beneby said he will go with his power pitcher Alex Gabriel. Gabriel has come up big for the Sharks, complimenting the efforts of veteran players Kelly Smith, Keisha Miller and Vonetta Nairn.
Mario Ford said: “Ashanti started the game for us in game six, and in the second inning, we decided to pull her and bring Ernestine in the game. We thought that would have thrown them off a bit but that didn’t. We made some crucial errors in the game that hurt us, and not hitting the ball the way we were supposed to cost us the game. When you make a lot of mistakes in the championship games, you must be able to pull up or the other team will jump on it and that’s what the Sharks did. We weren’t able to do the things that we needed to do to stay in the game.
“We need to come back and play a different game. There were two games that we lost, one was 4-3 and the next was even closer. We were leading those games and couldn’t hold on. In the championship, you must learn how to close out teams and right now the team is faltering at closing out. I have confidence in them that they will respond. In fact, I believe they will play their best in game seven, wanting to send a strong statement.”
Ford is expecting to get a big game from Butler, Zella Symonette, Shavette Taylor, Ann Bullard and Theota Williams. He said the “fat lady” was off on Saturday night for game six, but will be singing the winning tune for the Brackettes in game seven tonight.
As for the men’s championship series, the Andre Gardiner Buccaneers forced a decisive seventh game against the Annette’s Sporting Lounge Hitmen. They won game six, 13-9 on Saturday night. Game seven in that series is also set for tonight, and will be played after the conclusion of the women’s game.