Stars align for Zodiacs as June Softball Carnival continues to grow

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Zodiacs celebrate their finals win
Camera IconZodiacs celebrate their finals win Credit: Jake Santa Maria

It’s one of the biggest weekends on the Australian softball and Geraldton calendar as the Geraldton Softball Association hosted the annual June Carnival at the weekend.

The June Carnival is the biggest women’s softball tournament in the southern hemisphere as hundreds of softball players from all around the state gather in Geraldton for two days of non-stop action.

Games are played across the diamonds of the Utakarra ballpark as well as Towns Oval.

Mayor Shane Van Styn was on hand to throw the ceremonial first pitch in what is also a huge boon for the local economy, with most hotels and Airbnb’s sold out.

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“A huge thank you to the Geraldton Softball Association with 48 teams, 173 games on 11 diamonds and around 1000 folk injecting well over $1 million into the local economy,” he said.

“Sorry my opening pitch was a little rusty, looking forward though to pitching for the 50th year anniversary in two years’ time.”

The carnival features teams competing across six divisions and playing seven round-robin games, with the top two going straight through to the final.

A tweak this year introduced tiebreaker rules with a runner starting on second at the start of each inning to encourage quicker games by providing more chances to score but also chances for quick outs and double plays.

Locally Rams, Marlins, Batavia Blaze and Pi’s entered teams but many sides were made up of a mix of players from around the regions, with fun and camaraderie the objective for many players at the carnival.

At the top, last year’s finalists Base Invaders and Zodiacs once again dominated the division, with Zodiacs’ loss to the Base Invaders the only defeat to either side.

But they flipped the script in the final as they smashed an off-colour Base Invaders, who made plenty of errors in the field, 9-0 to bring out the mercy rule in a demolition of the defending champions.

Dion Harrison spoke at the close of the tournament in the absence of President Denise Bell.

“This sort of tournament does not happen without the helpers, sponsors and all the rest of it and all the local clubs in the association,” he said.

“Thank you guys, it was a really good tournament and a lot of work goes into organising it.’’

The presentations were also a chance to recognise two longstanding servants of the association as Tracy and James Thompson were presented with life memberships.

“I’m lost for words, I don’t know what to say, everything I do is for the love of the game and you guys are like family,” James said.

Finals Results

Div 6 Purple

Bad Attitude 23 d Redbacks 8

MVP Shari Hibbitt-Murray (Bad Attitude)

Div 5 Pink

Josh’s Angels 5 d Sista Gurls 4

MVP Katelyn Arnold (Josh’s Angels)

Div 4 Orange

Demons 10 d SDSA Swans 5

MVP Andrea Morris (Demons)

Div 3 Blue

AMICI 9 d Shieldmaidens 2 4

MVP Tayla Pedder

Div 2 Green

Attfield D Yellow 14 d Suzy’s Rookies 7

MVP Rebecca Blackburn Attfield D Yellow

Div 1 Yellow

Zodiacs 9 d Base Invaders 0

MVP Ashlyn Hayes (Zodiacs)

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