Loughborough 1s win North West University Indoor Softball title

Wed 21 Nov 2018

Six teams from four universities took to the courts on Saturday 17 November at Powerleague Trafford in Manchester to compete in the first University Indoor Softball Championship held in the North West.

True to form, the Loughborough University first team (shown below) took the title, as they have at so many outdoor softball competitions, but the tournament featured a lot of close games and was highly competitive.

Rules

Games were played on five-a-side astroturf pitches and rules from the Manchester Indoor Softball League were used.  These rules differ from some indoor leagues where points are deducted for outs, and as in the outdoor game, every time a player crosses home plate they score one run.  Home runs are given for players hitting the ball to the back wall.

The first pitch was at 1.00 pm and each team played 11 games of 20 minutes in length (10 minutes batting and 10 minutes fielding.)  The teams played two round-robins followed by finals.

Standings

Final standings were:

1 -- Loughborough 1
2 -- York Flares
3 -- Manchester Maelstrom
4 -- Loughborough 2
5 -- Salford Swifts
6 -- York Sparks

Comments

Luis Arrevillagas, BaseballSoftballUK’s North West Development Manager, said, “With outdoor softball ending in September and not picking up again until April, it’s hard for university teams to get much game time in term time.  We set up this Indoor Tournament to give teams that have been working hard since the start of the university semester in September something to work towards following the National University Softball Championship in October.  The rules are altered to cater for the indoor environment and games are hard and fast with just one pitch.  We wanted to pack in as much game time as possible and the students definitely got a good workout!”

Kate Densley from the University of York (their Flares team is shown below) said, “The University of York brought along two teams, Flares and Sparks, with a mixed bag of experience.  For many of our players this was their first-ever softball tournament, and for others their first time playing indoors.  Everyone absolutely loved it and got loads of game time.  It was a wonderful experience for all, and it taught our new recruits a lot about the game.  To any clubs that don’t partake in indoor softball I’d thoroughly recommend it as a fast-paced and very fun alternative and a great way to keep up practice during the off-season.  We’re very grateful to everyone involved in organising the tournament and we’re looking forward to the next one.”

Baseball SoftballUK North West Coach Linni Mitchell, who organised the tournament, added, “The day was really competitive and it’s so good to see the university teams playing like a well-oiled machine!  Thanks to the captains -- Kate Densley from York, Dani Simmons from Loughbrough, Zoe Le Roux from Manchester and Joe McVicker from Salford -- who took the time to organise their teams, from entering to sorting transport to team sheets and line-ups.  We hope this is the first of many University Indoor Softball Tournaments, and a January 2019 tournament is already in the pipeline.”

Zoe Le Roux, University of Manchester Maelstrom captain (the team is shown below) said, “There were encouraging individual and team performances all round, considering it was some of our members’ first time competing in a tournament, and it was great to see them getting stuck in.  A huge thank you to BSUK and especially Linni for setting it all up.  I can’t wait until January for the next one!”

If your university would like to enter the next University Indoor Softball Tournament in Manchester, contact Linni Mitchell.  

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