Bristol Bats suffered a tough loss in the BBF A semi-final at the weekend going down 4-3 to Bracknell Inferno.
Needing to score two runs in the bottom of the final inning and with the base loaded, the Bats were unable to convert the chance to reach the national final next weekend.
It was a tight, high quality game of baseball with the Bats scoring first with two runs in the first inning.
Inferno levelled it up in the third but the Bats pulled ahead in the fifth before the Bracknell side scored a run in both the sixth and seventh innings.
The game was a pitcher’s battle with Ty Porter and Josh Boulton both having good games from the mound for the Bats.
They struck out 11 Bracknell players and gave up just three walks between them.
Shortstop Alex Brown and Boulton led the Bats offense with three hits each with Billy Garrett, Neptali Ortega-Gutiérrez and Jamie Hartley each driving in a run.
“Despite the disappointment of losing a game we could have won, I am really proud of the whole team and the effort and commitment they have shown during this successful season,” said Ortega-Gutiérrez, the Bats player manager. “We are the 2022 SWWBL champions and we will be looking to retain that title and win the national final in 2023.”
On the club’s second field at Somerdale, the Bobcats needed to win both games of their double header against reigning champions the Belles to advance to the final of the BBF women championship.
The Bobcats won the first game 12-7 behind great pitching by Laura Hirai, who struck out 8 Belles, and strong hitting by Molly Bingaman and Rebecca Cottrell who drove in five runs between them.
The second game went the way of the Belles who ran out 13-7 winners to end the Bobcats quest for a trophy.
“We were very close to getting to the final but despite the second game loss, we put up a good fight against a team who have been undefeated over the past two seasons,” said Carlson Charles, the Bobcats coach and manager. “The team has worked hard this season and this was reflected in some great fielding and executing three runs downs this weekend.”
All the games at Somerdale marked the passing of Queen Elizabeth II with two minutes silence, Union Jacks flown at half mast and players wearing black armbands.
“Overall we have had a great season on and off the field with all our teams improving their regular season records from last year,” said club chairman Richard Evans. “The highlight was obviously the Bats being crowned SWWBL champions in Cardiff but we should also mention the Badgers getting through to the BBF AAA wild card game and the Bobcats coming within a whisker of the women’s national final.”