Rams keep the wool over Vikings as Skins tournament returns to traditional home for 10th year

Derek Goforth Midwest Times
Rams the winners at the 10th annual Skins tournament.
Camera IconRams the winners at the 10th annual Skins tournament. Credit: Supplied

Rams softball club have enjoyed the last couple weeks booking spots in both division one grand finals while also taking out the 10th annual Skins tournament in Tom Price.

Originally started as a way to garner interest and grow the sport in the north West as all other previous tournaments had ceased.

It is an invite-only competition with six teams and has been hosted by the different teams each year with Geraldton hosting twice, Bunbury and Exmouth one time, with Perth and Tom Price also hosting three times each.

This being the 10th year, the tournament returned to where it all began with Tom Price, Rams, Bunbury Steelers and three Perth-based teams — Vikings, Joondalup Outlaws and Pirates — battling for the title.

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The Midwest Rams have been the most successful team in the competition, previously winning five times.

Team organiser Paul Valenti spoke at length about the importance of the tournament of the softball calendar.

“Although winning is great, it has become an event more about bringing people together for a bit of fun and banter,” he said.

“The weekend is about the culture, the people and friendships formed and a place to catch up with new friends every year while playing some ball on the side.

“The Rams team was made up of our local club players with three players from Geraltdon also playing for Joondalup (Josh and Sean Thompson and Ash Walker) and three Gero men joining the Pirates (Tane Brott, Nik Valenti and Garth Coker).

Perennial powerhouse Vikings went through undefeated while Rams finished the preliminary rounds with six wins, two draws and two losses.

Rams played off against Vikings for the fifth time in a final (record is now 4-1 to Rams) winning 9-2.

Vikings started their division 1 Perth League pitcher in Brody Ridley, and Rams were able to consistently get on base and score runs throughout the contest with all players contributing with the bat.

Rams’ Shane Clark was named grand final MVP with club president Dean Pascoe was the overall MVP.

Martian Nik Valenti won the overall best fielder award and made the All-Star team along with Dean Pascoe and Leon Chapman from Rams.

Paul went on to speak about the special place Tom Price has in the softball WA map.

“It’s the third time the tournament has been in Tom Price and each time Rams have beaten Vikings in the final,” he said.

“Each time I believe has been some of the best complete games Rams have played in any competitions since I have been playing for them (25+ years).

“The fielding was extraordinary, base running was on point to put pressure on the opposition and consistently hitting the whole game.”

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