All three senior softall preliminary finals on Saturday were hard fought.
In C Grade scores were tight all the way through. Early Loxton Blue led by 3 runs but Renmark`s Scott Jones gave his side a boost and the lead with a four bagger. Both teams batted and fielded well pulling off some great plays however time ran out for the Loxton side with Renmark advancing to the Grand Final against Waikerie next Saturday 18-16. Best players were Scott Jones, Hamish McDonald and Gemma Letton for Renmark and for Loxton Blue Jesse Symens, Julie-Anne Wooldridge and Caren Hammerstein.
The B Grade was decided in the last innings. Cobdogla with only one win for the season went into its clash with Loxton as the underdog but it put up a great fight to keep the favourite on its toes. Some brilliant catching by both sides was a feature amongst some fine fielding and batting. Loxton`s greater aggression around the bases gave it the advantage for it to break clear and win 10-5. Best players for Loxton were Michelle Bradtke, Kathy Johnson and Sarah Peltz and For Cobdogla Jesse Passmore, Rachel Harrow and Josh Pascoe. Loxton will now meet Renmark in the Grand Final.
The Grand Final ‘rehearsal’ between Loxton and Cobdogla ended the day with the third exciting contest. Cobdogla showed enough to suggest it can go the distance with the talented Loxton lineup. Scores stood a 3-3 after three innings but Loxton was desperate to keep its winning streak intact. In the sixth it really came out firing to get six runners home while holding Cobdogla scoreless. The match contained some real highlights including Loxton`s Emma Nykiel grabbing a double play in the second innings and team mates Kylie Loxton in the fourth and Haylee Symens in the seventh doing likewise. Julie Cook also produced a double play for Cobdogla in the fourth. Best players named were Emma Nykiel, Cara Venning, Kylie Loxton (Loxton), Chloe Passmore, Jo Gregory, Bron Smith (Cobdogla). The two rivals meet again next Saturday in the real deal for the premiership.
In Primary Grade Berri with an allround team effort defeated Loxton (best Anna Langham, Mare Hartwig, Chloe Sharrad) 17-10 and in a close finish Waikerie (Hayden, Makala, Cody) won 14-13 from Monash (Reagan Phillips, Harrison Smith, Bryce Scott-Johns).
Renmark Blue won 16-8 against clubmates White. Again Blue relied on a fine team performance for the win while for White the standouts were Evan McAllister, Hannah Brown and Lochlan O`Brien.