BSF Leagues Round-up: August 2019

Sat 17 Aug 2019

The slowpitch season moved towards a climax in July for most leagues around the country.  Below are reports on what happened in some BSF leagues during the month just past.

 

Solent Softball League

Division One:  The Itchen Knicks wrapped up their third consecutive Division One title in July with wins over each of their divisional rivals.

Meanwhile, the Solent Sluggers went down to the Division Two Southampton Spitfires in the only other fixture in July and that sets up a tantalising August finish in the top division, with the Chichester Falcons, Solent Sluggers and Portsmouth Dodgers separated by just two points with lots of softball left to play.

Division Two:  The Southampton Spitfires chased down the target set by the University of Portsmouth Shafters (who finished their season early because of their university term) with four wins in July to take the Division Two title with a couple of games to spare.

At the other end of the table, the Southsea Sharks had a vital win over the Zombies by 21-6 at Tangier Field before both teams lost to Division Three opponents.  At the time of writing, the Sharks trailed the Zombies by two points with a game in hand in a relegation battle that could go into September, when the Sharks will play their last game against the Dodgers.

Division Three:  In Division Three, the Redbridge Raiders are still in with a shot at the division title despite the Baffins Brewers having avenged their earlier defeat to their title rival with a 25-10 victory at Testlands.

The Brewers then defeated the Southsea Sharks to finish their season in a strong position and set the Raiders the task of having to win their final two games of against tricky opponents.

The Raiders responded with a close 16-15 win against already-promoted Division Two champions Southampton Spitfires and the Raiders will win the division with a win away at the Hurricanes in Eastleigh.

At the foot of the table, the Vikings got their first-ever victory at home against the Supermarines by a score of 10-8.  With two games remaining for the first-year team, they could yet finish off the bottom of the division.

 

Greater London Softball Mixed League: Majors

Majors Division 1

Division 1 is shaping up to have an interesting race at the top this season.

Mescalitos (27 points, two games to play at the time of writing) recently lost to Mi6 (27 points, three games to play) which might decide the division crown.  Mi6 will be hungry to regain the title after losing it to the Mescies last year.

A strong Coyotes team is currently resting comfortably in third place on 24 points with two games left to play.  Newcomers to the division Meteors Black have held their own and currently sit in fourth place with 18 points and three games left to play. 

LNZ started strong and have settled down with 15 points with one game left to play, but have SPAM, Fuzzy Ducks and the Muppets all nipping at their heels with 12 or 9 points. 

SPAM, who have three games left to play, have been mainstays in the top flight since 2015, while the Muppets (two games left to play) have been there since 2012.  The Fuzzy Ducks (12 points with two games left to play) have bounced up and down between Majors 1 and 2 the over the past couple of years. 

None of these teams will go down without a fight, and it’s safe to say that both the top and bottom of Majors 1 will be fun to watch over the last few games.

Majors Division 2

Majors 2 has been chaotic as always, with any team capable of beating any other team on any given night. 

That said, it seems as though a few teams are pushing for promotion, which makes a difference from past years, as historically Majors 2 teams try not to not to get promoted or relegated. 

The Base Invaders, who have had a meteoric rise from Minors 3 in 2013, are currently leading the division along with Mezcalitos Ninos and BBG.  All three teams had 24 points with two, two and one games left to play respectively.  The Ninos, by beating Private Is last week, only clouded who will get promoted to Majors 1.

These teams are followed by MouseRat (who have also had a meteoric rise from Minors 3 in 2015).  Any of these four teams could snag a promotion spot, so the top half of the division will surely have an interesting last few games.

The Private Is have 18 points with two games left to play, followed by the always-scrappy Mob, who have 15 points and three games yet to play.  Dazzlers (12 points) and Raiders Gold (9 points) are currently in the relegation danger zone. 

The Dazzlers have only one game left to play, and the Raiders have three, so expect a lot of movement in the bottom half of Majors 2 before the 2019 season closes.  The Raiders have The Mob still to play, with the fate of The Mob not yet certain. 

Majors Division 3

After prematurely offering to host a promotion party in 2018 (which was promptly spoiled by the Base Invaders), the Pirates have finally punched their ticket to Majors 2 for 2020 as division champions. 

The OddSox will also be heading up to Majors 2 for 2020, after a brief and uncharacteristic visit to Majors 3.  

The middle of Majors 3 is a bit of a mess – Tecumsehs and Thundercats are on 18 points, both with just one game left to play, while Richmond Swingers and the newly-formed Meteors Oblivion are on 15 points with Meteors having one game left to play. 

Bringing up the rear are Cheetahs with 12 points but three games to play at the time of writing, which means they still have a shot at leapfrogging some of the teams above them.

Finally, there is Raiders Blue with 9 points and two games to play. 

No one has been eliminated from contention yet, so the last few games of the season will be a race to stay afloat, and the Cheetahs v Raiders game on 6 August would have been one to watch.

 

Greater London Softball Mixed League: Minors

Minors Division 1

Game of Throws are currently in position to take the Minor’s Iron Throne, sitting pretty at top of the table with two games in hand.

The Tornados and the Chargers will be hoping to snatch one of the promotion spots, especially with Soft Boiled going through a mid-season slump.

At the other end of the table, all is to play for.  Bat to the Future have suffered since their three wins at the start of the season and are now sitting behind three other teams, all on four wins, while Raiders Red look to be on red alert unless they can find some late-season wins.

Minors Division 2

The undefeated Mafia seem to be running protection on the Minors Division 2 top spot, with Disco Inferno and Pimlico Buccaneers fighting for the second promotion place behind them.

The rest of the teams will be looking to secure another year in the division.  High Voltage, who are yet to find their spark, will be hoping for a win before the end of the season, while the Golden Sombreros are currently a win above the Tigers due to a draw and two Tiger forfeits.

Minors Division 3

Minors 3 is the tightest of all the Minors divisions, with six teams currently on seven or eight wins, but the Beavers and the Parrots are looking to run the zoo as they have played the fewest games.

Meteors Green and Raiders Orange are currently bringing up the bottom of the division but have still remained competitive, collecting four and three wins respectively.

 

Cardiff Softball League

The first week of July saw the end of the nine-team round-robin phase in the Cardiff Softball League.

The Hammers finished on top with an 7-1 record, and were joined in qualifying for Division 1 by the Hurricanes and Wet Socks (both 6-2) and the Red Socks and Chaos (both 5-3).

The remaining four teams entered Division 2 for the second phase of the season together with a brand-new team, the Cardiff Blue Jays, put together from new players who joined the league over the first few months.

The Blue Jays are the third new team to join this season, along with The Kites and the Canna Braves, taking the league up to 10 teams.

Chaos has emerged as title favourites in Division 1, with comfortable wins over the Valley Wet Socks and the Hammers as well as a tied game against the Hurricanes, which means that Chaos are the only unbeaten team left after three rounds. 

A win over the Red Sox in Round 4 will ensure that Chaos are Cardiff League champions for 2019 with a week to spare.

In Division 2, Teirw'r Taf, the league's only Welsh-speaking team, have won three out of three so far, including a crucial 17-10 victory over Thunderbats in Round 2.  Another win in their Round 4 game against Canna Braves will see the Teirw be crowned Division 2 champions and win their first silverware in the Cardiff League.

This will be a reward for their perseverance and enthusiasm, which has never waned over the years despite some difficult early seasons.

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