The fourth edition of the Chichester Fastpitch Tournament featured five teams from the UK and abroad battling it out at Oaklands Park Softball Field on the weekend of 14-15 October in fine Sussex weather.
Competing along with the host team, Chichester Falcons, were Team London, headed up by Chiemi Saito; Patriots from Paris, led by Will Notue; the Ghosts from Paris, coached by Anthony Anastasio; and a new team to fastpitch, the Vikings from Gosport, who play in their local slowpitch league, captained by Jaane Rowehl.
Each team played four games in a round-robin spread across Saturday and Sunday morning before the tournament moved to a playoff bracket and finals.
The Ghosts were strong in the early stages of the tournament thanks to some fine pitching from Estelle Mayer.
Vikings, extremely well organised and bolstered by the presence of experienced pitcher Sam Grafton, held their ground well and notched up a few wins, while Chichester struggled a little in the early stages.
Team London were classy as predicted, with several GBFL stalwarts in their ranks including Tiernan Evans and Jose Fermin toeing the rubber.
The Patriots, as usual, had a large squad with plenty of depth and talent, playing with style and good spirit.
At the end of play on Saturday, the pitching machine came out for the now legendary home run derby. Each player had five swings to try to hit the furthest, the winners being Josh Bristow and Crista Reed-Thomas, both representing the Falcons.
The round robin stage ended with Ghosts on top, Falcons on the bottom and Vikings right in the middle.
However, Chichester rallied through the playoffs to find themselves in the final with Team London, while the Patriots and Vikings battled for fourth and fifth place, leaving Ghosts to take an automatic third place.
Vikings completed a superb weekend by winning over the Patriots to take fourth.
The final played out as a classic pitcher’s duel, with the Falcons’ Hugh Scorgie taking on London’s Jose Fermin in a tight and low-scoring game which was close until the last inning, at which point the Falcons managed to break away and take the winner’s trophy.
The game was live-streamed on Facebook and can be watched here: https://fb.watch/nLZxxJPRW4/.
1 -- Chichester Falcons (GBR)
2 -- Team London (GBR)
3 -- Ghosts (FRA)
4 -- Vikings (GBR)
5 -- Patriots (FRA)
MVPs for the tournament were Estelle Mayer (Ghosts) and Ieuan Gale (Falcons).