Operators snag first win of the season

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The Nassau GuardianSend an emailAugust 3, 2022 178 3 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 The RAB Operators (1-2) got their first win of the 2022 New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) season on Saturday, taking down the Johnson’s Lady Truckers. SIMBA FRENCH

The RAB Operators (1-2) and the Johnson’s Lady Truckers (3-2) had a back and forth game on Saturday, and after seven innings it was the Operators who got a 24-23 victory for their first win of the 2022 New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) season in a game that took three hours to finish.

In the late game at the Banker’s Softball Field at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex, the defending women’s champions Sunshine Auto Wildcats (4-0) won 15-5 over the University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes (1-3).

In the first game, the Lady Truckers appeared to have the game wrapped up, going into the bottom of the seventh inning ahead 23-18. However, the Operators responded.

Errors played a major role in the high-scoring affair by both teams, and the bottom of the seventh inning was no different. The Operators’ bottom of the order was up first but they rose to the occasion, coming away with three consecutive hits before handing over the comeback to the top of the order. Leadoff batter Brendia Ferguson got out. The next two batters after Ferguson, Vanessa Sawyer and Shavone Dames, came home and tied the game at 23 runs apiece.

The Operators had a runner on third base with just one out. Tyla Miller went up to bat and got a hit that Lady Truckers’ pitcher Sari Albury fielded. Albury threw to first base and got Miller out, but veteran Melinda Bastian scored on the play and her team celebrated their first win of the season.

“The mindset in that final inning was that the game was not over until they get three outs,” Bastian said. “We were down by five runs and we needed six runs to win. It was not over until we said it was over so we just went out there and fought. My mindset on the final play was ride or die. I was the winning run and I had to go hard. It feels good to come out with our first win of the season. We did not have some key players as they are off the island for the holiday, but we hung in there. I expect us to do well this season. We have a strong team once we get all of our players out.”

Operators’ second baseman Brianna Knowles was the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game. She went 3-for-5 with one run batted in (RBI) and scored two runs. On the Lady Truckers, Albury went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and scored three runs. She had an in-the-park home run.

In the late game, the Wildcats had a somewhat uncharacteristic start on offense, scoring just three runs in the first two innings. The Mingoes’ defense is much better this season than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted play. They got some key catches and recorded outs in those two innings.

The Mingoes had a difficult time in the batter’s box as they had just two hits. They got on the scoreboard in the third inning but the Wildcats led 6-2 heading into the top of the fourth inning. In the fourth and fifth innings, the Wildcats picked up the intensity on defense. The Mingoes scored just one run in those two innings combined. The Wildcats led 9-3 after five innings.

It was an offensive sixth inning for the Wildcats as they were able to score six runs to take a 15-3 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Mingoes scored two more runs but it was not enough to get the game extended to seven innings.

Winning the MVP Award in this game was Wildcats’ pitcher Thela Johnson. She was impressive on both sides of the ball going 3-for-4 with a RBI and scoring three runs at the plate and striking out four batters from the mound.

Next up on the NPSA schedule is a game between the Lady Truckers and the Mingoes at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Following that game, the men return to action with the C&S Hitmen (1-1) taking on the Renegades (0-4) at 8.30 p.m.


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