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Geraldton softball preliminary finals: Close finishes set up exciting grand finals

Derek GoforthGeraldton Guardian
Paul Valenti hitting a home run for Rams.
Camera IconPaul Valenti hitting a home run for Rams. Credit: Derek Goforth/Derek Goforth

Rams, Batavia Blaze and Marlins softball clubs celebrated over the weekend as their teams secured spots in the Geraldton Softball Association league grand finals.

Rams took an early lead in the men’s division one preliminary on Saturday late afternoon and held on in a tightly contested game. Paul Valenti’s early over-the-fence home run set the tone for the game, scoring two runs for Rams.

Damon Valenti also managed to emulate his uncle’s achievement and kept Martians in the running. Both Rams and Martians performed well in the field and at bat.

The 3-2 for the Rams victory sets up an exciting final against Suiside, who have dominated throughout the season.

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In the men’s division two game played on Saturday afternoon, Blaze took an early lead over the Rams with a 5-1 score in the 3rd inning but Rams levelled the score in the fourth, leading to a close game until the final inning.

Rams managed to pull ahead, but Blaze clinched the victory with the final bat of the game.

Blaze player/coach Adam Gilchrist was full of praise for his team.

“I’m super proud of what the team has accomplished making into their first div two grand final. We are all looking forward to battling with Suiside next weekend,” he said.

The Marlins’ women emerged victorious in both the division two and one preliminary finals.

In the women’s division two game on Friday evening, Pi’s took an early lead, holding a two-run advantage until the 4th inning when the Marlins launched a comeback, scoring three runs in quick succession. The Marlins sealed the victory in the 5th inning, winning 5-3.

Both Suiside and Marlins showcased exceptional fielding skills in the women’s division one game on Saturday afternoon, with outfield players from both sides making crucial catches throughout the match.

Taryn Purcell pitched a solid game once again, supported by standout performances from Jaimee Davies and Jade Newnham, which enabled Marlins to recover from an early deficit and secure the win in style.

Charli Bidwell displayed fine form for Suiside, securing several key catches in breezy conditions, but it was the Marlins who emerged victorious 9-6.

Marlins will face Rams in the grand final, with Dion Harrison’s Rams ladies in excellent form and well-rested for the match.

“I’m confident for the girls’ game; we have had a brilliant year and set ourselves a goal. I just want the girls to stick to their guns have fun and play hard,” Harrison said.

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