Final places confirmed for Premier Nationals

Tue 11 Aug 2015

The final games of the 2015 National Softball League season were played at the Diamond Series 3 tournament on the weekend of 8-9 August at Farnham Park, and the eight teams that will go forward to Premier Nationals have now been determined.

This year, the Premier Nationals, which will decide the co-ed slowpitch National Champion for 2015 and a place in the 2016 European Slowpitch Super Cup, will be played on 22-23 August at Farnham Park along with all the other National Championship grades: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

While the top places in the NSL standings were not in doubt coming into Diamond 3, there were certainly questions about who would take the eighth and final place at the Premier Nationals, and a number of teams -- LNZ, Legends, Maniacs and Thunder -- popped in and out of that place as the weekend progressed.

But when the music stopped, it was Thunder who got the chair, and they will join Chromies, Slammers, Pioneers, H2O, Blue Steel, Bristol Bees and Windsor Knights in the chase for the National Championship title on 22-23 August.

Thunder achieved this result on the back of a 3-1 record in NSL games played at Diamond 3, including an 18-3 win over Maniacs and a 17-11 victory over Greensox, as well as a 7-0 forfeit win over LNZ for a game not played.

Meanwhile, among the other challengers for the eighth position in the standings, Maniacs suffered six NSL losses over the weekend including a game-not-played forfeit, the Greensox won four but drew one and lost three, Legends were 1-2 and the Terriers 2-1.

Top of the pile

Chromies wound up winning the NSL title, finishing just one game ahead of Slammers and Pioneers, who tied for second place.

There was some controversy over the fact that the Chromies were given three forfeit wins under NSL rules for games that were unable to be scheduled, in part because their opponents did not participate in all five NSL events.  But these games were all against teams that failed to crack the top eight, and Chromies did have an 11-5 win over Pioneers at Diamond 3 to help lift them to the top of the standings.

Bristol Bees, who only joined the NSL this year, had an excellent first season to finish in sixth place and qualify for the Premier Nationals.  Two other teams that improved significantly in 2015 were Slammers, who recalled their glory days by finishing joint second after several mid-table years, and Windsor Knights, who have been near the bottom of the NSL table in recent times but moved up to seventh place.

The competition for places in the middle of the standings was fierce throughout the season, and as the table below shows, the five teams that finished just outside the Premier Nationals places were all within a game of each other when the NSL season came to and end.

Final standings

Here are the final National Softball League standings for 2015:

Chromies 20 5 5 --- 275 160
Slammers 19 6 1 1 265 193
Pioneers 19 6 1 1 280 156
H2O 16 9 1 4 242 185
Blue Steel 15 8 3 4 234 167
Bristol Bees 13 12 1 7 217 242
Windsor Knights 12 13 1 8 253 291
Thunder 12 14 0 8.5 231 229
Legends 10 16 0 10.5 219 237
Greensox 8 15 3 11 212 294
Terriers 8 15 3 11 210 25
LNZ 8 16 2 11.5 158 241
Maniacs 8 16 2 11.5 224 231
Warriors 4 21 1 16 156 298


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