The wait is finally over as VSBL Women's Division 1, 2 and 3 returned to the field over the weekend for their first games in over eight months. Offence was the name of the game as nine out of 11 games hit the double digit mark and over 200 runs scored total across all three divisions. Women's will play again on Saturday as the competition gets well underway.
Women's Division 1
Newport Rams 2 v Springvale Lions 9
The reigning premiers picked up right where they left off with a solid victory over the Rams. Starting pitching was key for the Lions as they kept Newport at bay and ensured the club's women's program went three for three on the day.
Newport will look to even things up at Doncaster while Springvale heads to Essendon this Saturday.
Essendon Bombers 10 v Doncaster Dragons 9
The Bombers held on for a narrow one-run victory over the Dragons to secure the club's second win of the day.
The first inning was a big one as Essendon scored seven runs with eight hits. Coach Duane Davenport says the players showed support for each other in the field, contributing to the win. "We had composure in the field when Doncaster came back and put us under pressure and team situational selfless batting," Davenport said.
Abbey Kelly collected three hits, Emma Davenport threw out two runners and Emma French closed out the game to round off a solid day pitching.
Adequate defence such as shortstop Courtney Foura's unassisted double play at a critical point in the game also made made a difference.
"To ensure we have a good start, we need to keep working hard on the training track and continue our solid defence and team at-bats," Davenport added. "We also need to keep having fun on the field."
Essendon will try to ride that momentum going into a big matchup at home v Springvale, while Doncaster takes on Newport in search of win number one after a close result in the first round.
Women's Division 2
Footscray Bulldogs 1 v Springvale Lions 7
Fantastic pitching work ensured a Springvale win on Saturday afternoon, keeping the Bulldogs to a solo run. The Lions will look to maintain this fine form heading into a round two clash with Essendon. Footscray has a bye before playing Preston in the third round.
Essendon Bombers 22 v Preston Pirates 10
The Bombers banded together to get a double-digit lead on the board, despite great efforts from the Pirates in their first game. Preston has the chance to get a win on the board with an upcoming game at Geelong after the Baycats' bye while Essendon hosts Springvale for round two.
Overall, Essendon Women's Coach Duane Davenport is pleased with the opening weekend results. "We have had a great start to the season with some strong recruits in both grades and our existing group working hard," Davenport said.
Women's Division 3 East
Pakenham Pumas White 11 v Springvale Lions 15
The Pumas put up a great effort but they fell just short against a hard-hitting Springvale side. The Lions' determined lineup will play at Sandringham this weekend while the Pumas have a bye ahead of a round three matchup v Sandringham.
Berwick City Cougars 5 v Moorabbin Panthers 19
Moorabbin won the 2019/20 VSBL Women's Division 3 East Grand Final, and the Panthers have carried that form into the start of the new season with a comprehensive win over the Cougars.
"Overall it was a well-balanced game and a great start," Moorabbin Coach Adrian Fielden said. "Kat Morris pitched well over three innings, giving up a few runs early and then settled in to shut down the Berwick hitters."
14-year-old Hayley Fielden made her first pitching appearance on the women's team, taking the mound in relief and giving up one run and a strikeout.
Kat Morris, Ruby Dale, Jess Thompson and Jo Schutt all recorded multiple hits, including several hard-hit doubles for Dale and Thompson.
Moorabbin heads to Wheelers Hill this upcoming Saturday while Berwick looks to bounce back at home v Cheltenham after the Rustlers' first round bye.
Wheelers Hill Warriors 12 v Bonbeach Bluejays 5
While both sides had their moments of offence, the Warriors outlasted the Bluejays to bring home the win. Wheelers Hill hosts Moorabbin for the second round while Bonbeach plays Pakenham Black as the reigning VSBL Women's Division 3 South premiers look to get a win on the board.
Sandringham Royals 13 v Pakenham Black 3
The Royals enjoyed a 10-run road win with impressive hitting and pitching against the Pumas. Sandringham has a big game at home v Springvale coming up while Pakenham will visit Bonbeach in search of an even 1-1 record.
Women's Division 3 West
Newport Rams 15 v Geelong Baycats 12
The Rams opened the game with six base runners and five runs scored. The Baycats battled back but Newport had a 5-3 lead at the end of the first. By the end of the second inning, it was 6-5 in favor of Newport.
The Rams had three hits and three runs scored in the third, but Geelong answered with seven runs to take a 12-9 lead. Newport dug deep to get six more runs in the fourth before closing out the game with a win.
Newport looks to go 2-0 with a game at Melbourne while Geelong plays Fitzroy at Merri Park this weekend.
Fitzroy Lions 10 v Doncaster Dragons 13
It was a run fest on both sides but the Dragons pulled off the win with some smart teamwork at the plate. The Lions will look to continue their strong hitting as they face Geelong at home, while Doncaster hosts North Western for a big game.
Melbourne Demons 14 v North Western Titans 9
Melbourne and North Western went toe-to-toe on the field, but the Demons managed to secure the victory ahead of a round two clash with Newport. North Western heads to Doncaster in search of another strong offensive performance.