Maximum Effort for the BASA
Due to a slight delay due to the morning game between the Mariners and Bucs, the Belfast Northstars had to wait a little later than expected to extract a measure of revenge against the Greystones Mariners.
A certain left hander stood in their way.
As he has done time and time again since first suiting up for the Northstars, Melvin Woods was utterly dominant on the hill, shutting down the visitors offence quickly and efficiently from the outset.
Sean McMahon led off in what will be his last game for a while and was quickly driven home by Colin Woods to open the Belfast scoring. After a couple of hit batters to load up the bases, Mike McConville continued his impressive rookie season with a 2-out 2-RBI single to make the score 4-0. They would load the bases again in the second but Greystones would show their mettle and sit down the heart of the Northstars order.
Kevin O’Hare would start the next inning with another hit-by-pitch only to be knocked in by coach Sean Shackley, making the score 5-0. Colin Woods would bring in two more in the next. Melvin Woods would see his no-hit bid broken up by the Mariners bats which refused to be awed by his velocity – unfortunately for the visitors, the Northstars defence isnt too shabby either.
Gord Cuthbert, playing second base on the day showed his savvy and nuance, starting a double steal with Shackley in the fifth and turning a double play himself in the top of the 6th. Not content with that outing, Cuthbert would drive in the last two runs of the game in the bottom of the 6th, giving Melvin Woods his shutout and taking the Belfast Northstars to 10-2 on the year.
The Aces of the Belfast Softball Club turned up to a very damp Hydebank on Sunday with revenge on their minds after an early season loss against the Belfast Angels.
On this day, the revenge was served cold (and rainy).
Missing a couple of personnel, the Halos bled in rookies Heather Paton and Kate McConville and it proved to be a fiery introduction into Softball Ulster.
The game started sensibly enough, the Aces scoring one run in each of the first two innings. Unfortunately it took the Angels until the third before scoring off Chris Barr; by that time they were already 9-2 behind their visitors. Even home runs from Colin Woods and Gareth Horne as well as a rangey catch by Chris Shields could not lift the Angels to within reach.
One solid inning of defence and one more roundtripper from Colin Woods in the seventh inning were the final highlights for the Halos.
Leading off, an early start for Sean Shackley and his Northstars (10-2) as they travel south-west to Peace-Link Park in Clones to take on the Cavan Comets (11am, 2pm). Already having welcomed the Comets to Hydebank, the Stars are already 2-0 in a season series that has been punctuated by Stephen Hunter’s first home run, an expertly placed and timed bunt by Josh Cuthbert and a breakout performance by Kevin O’Hare.
The first game saw a quality start by righthander Colin Woods in a 13-3 win and the second showcased the depth of the Northstars pitching staff with Mark Smith, Gord Cuthbert and Melvin Woods all dovetailing to give the Belfast side a much harder fought 13-8 victory. Always a dangerous side, the Comets will not be underestimated.
On Sunday afternoon and Monday evening, the Belfast Angels (2-4) will be matching up against the Belfast Sliders looking to improve on their record in the league on Sunday at Hydebank (2pm) and to advance in the CT Cup on Monday at Newforge (7pm). Having already lost to the Sliders in the last inning in their first game this year, the Angels have found themselves looking up at a few teams in the Softball Ulster league. As we move through the halfway mark in the 2016 season, the Halos will look to turn a corner and start climbing the table once more.
At the same time as the Angels game, the Razorbacks (0-2) will be kicking off at Newforge (2pm) against the North Dublin Pirates. The Hogs have shown great improvement week-to-week, and with some new talented players still joining the organisation, they feel they are ready for a breakout performance and Sunday afternoon may be it. With the Pirates in a similar boat with their winning percentage, something will have to give.
by Neil Boyd
For more information on how to join the teams of the BASA, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the club through www.belfastbaseball.co.uk.
#GoHalos #GoStars #GoHogs