PADRES GBL WOMEN'S PREMIERS
In a much anticipated event, Saturday saw the inaugural GBL Women's Competition's Grand Final between Padres Red and an undefeated Southern Stars lineup. After 13 junior teams playing their games at home, the scene was set with an electric crowd as Padres life member, Janelle Dunsdon, walked out to throw the first pitch for teams battling to win her shield (named in her honour for nearly three decades of service to baseball). With Queensland's most experienced female umpire, Carla Pinder, behind the dish, our girls headed to bat first.
Club Treasurer, Katrina Jane Wilson claimed the first hit of the game and the bats didn't slow from that point. A rally ensued seeing Padres load five on in the 1st in the midst of Joanne "Wild Thing" Crotty inspiring the crowd in an never-before-seen walkout show. It was Kate Oppatt who headed to the mound at the bottom of the inning, seeing a tighter zone than previously experienced but stepping up to the challenge. Nerves in the field saw Southern Stars claim three runs before a double play by Wilson shut down the offence. Both teams were left scoreless in the 2nd and only one run each scored in the 3rd, keeping the game in the Stars' reach. Stacie Wilson and Yasmin Green combined in the 4th to rally two hits and aggressive baserunning by the two saw Padres' lead increase 8-4. Kate Oppatt dominated for the remainder of her pitching outing, striking out eight and allowing only three hits in four innings of work, supported ably by Madison Tough behind the dish. Seeking a comfortable lead in the final inning, Padres did it in style, blowing out the 5th by scoring a whopping 10 runs. Almost every player picked up a hit during the game, with Georgia Jones going three from three and Oppatt and Green two from two. Sitting comfortably at 18-4 going into the final dig, Bronwyn Coulter headed to the mound and closed out the game with three stikeouts, the score unchanged and sealing a premiership for the Red & Grey!
It was certainly Padres' day as our White side also defeated Western Bulldogs in the bronze medal match 10-2. Padres were consistent in offence, ensuring runs were scored consistently in each dig. A Sally West-Ellen Sifonios-Trish Young pitching combination limited the opposition's hits to two. Samara Emett and Amy West were the picks of the offence, with Emmett claiming three from three including a double while West snagged an in-the-park-homerun going two from two. Brianne Scott also had multiple hits and Sifonios managed a double to score a run.
It has been a huge season for these ladies and all have had an absolute blast. For many supporters who have watched the teams from Week 1, the rapid development of all of the players in a short eight week season has been nothing short of outstanding. Only five of our 28 players were baseballers prior to the season. With our two extra Division 5 girls, Padres now lays claim to 30 female baseballers – of premiership-winning calibre! A huge thank you to the supporters for coming out in force to support our girls, Western Districts Baseball Club and Southern Stars Baseball Club for an excellent season, Janelle Dunsdon, Zoe Tee and our fabulous team umpires for travelling with us for eight weeks, and the courageous, fabulous women for giving baseball a go and letting it love you back!
This is not the last you'll hear from this lot.