The stage is set for VSBL Women's finals after a strong end to the regular season. Well done to all players on a great season and good luck in the finals!
Women's Division 1
Essendon Bombers 3 v Doncaster Dragons 8
This matchup was close to start with both defenses tough in the first, but Doncaster got on the board with three in the second. The third and fourth were scoreless again before Essendon tied it at three in the fifth. Doncaster scored a final five runs in the sixth to seal the deal on win number five.
Essendon's Abbey Kelly pitched 5.66 innings, giving up eight hits, two walks, and two HBP. Only one of the eight runs scored during her time on the mound was earned. She struck out two. Courtney Foura had a scoreless pitching appearance for under an inning.
Doncaster's Jessica Johnson gave up just two earned runs in four innings with two hits, two walks, a HBP, and two strikeouts. Belinda Cannington handled 1.33 innings with four hits, an earned run, and a strikeout. Jamie Bastian threw 1.66 scoreless innings with one hit, two walks, and two strikeouts.
The winning offense included Cannington's big double and four RBIs, Bastian's two RBIs on a pair of singles and a triple, and Rebecca Wright's two RBIs. Keeley Harrison singled twice while Erin Collins and Chelsea Stewart also had base hits.
Foura and Megan Kelly had one RBI, one single, and one walk each for Essendon, while Emma Davenport and Kayla Adams doubled and Jasmine Bentley, Sam Deeble, and Emma French singled.
8-2 Essendon finishes in first place with 101 runs scored and 53 given up. Doncaster is third with a 5-5 record and 77 runs for v 67 against. Essendon plays Springvale and Doncaster plays Newport in the semi-finals.
Newport Rams 4 v Springvale Lions 6
The Rams gave it a good effort late in the game but ultimately Springvale squashed the rally. The Lions scored two in the first, one in the third, and three in the fifth while keeping Newport off the board until the final inning.
Morgan Doty pitched for Newport, striking out five during her time on the mound, while Gabby Bevan handled 5.66 innings with eight hits, two walks, one HBP, four unearned runs, and one strikeout.
Springvale's RBIs came from Hanami Campitelli, Shae Lillywhite, Emily Devine, and Siobhan Stephenson. Lili Cavanagh, Hannah Jackson, and Simone Wearne had singles on the day.
Doty singled and doubled for two RBIs while Kira Jansen had three base hits and an RBI for Newport. Bronwyn Gell, Georgia Page, and Danni Teasdale singled.
Newport finished 1-9 and plays 5-5 Doncaster again in the semi-finals.
Women's Division 2
Essendon Bombers 15 v Preston Pirates 3
The Bombers cruised to their fourth victory of the year, scoring six in the first inning and another two in both the second and the third. Three runs in the fourth and another two in the fifth got Essendon into the double-digits.
Preston scored twice in the first and once in the third, rounding out the team's first season. Essendon goes into the semi-finals with a 4-4 record on 88 runs for and 80 against. The third-place side plays Geelong after the 2-5 Baycats had a bye this round.
Footscray Bulldogs 13 v Springvale Lions 4
The Bulldogs scored five runs in the first to start things off, and by the end of the second it was a 6-2 ballgame. Six more Footscray runs came in the third and another in the fifth, while Springvale scored two to end the game.
First place Footscray has seven wins and one loss with 80 runs for and 36 against. Springvale finished second with seven wins and two losses on 116 runs for and 36 against. These two teams meet again in the semi-finals.
Women's Division 3 East
Wheelers Hill Warriors 8 v Moorabbin Panthers 11
The Panthers prevailed to protect their undefeated record and finish on top of the ladder. The first inning was scoreless but it wasn't long before both teams got on the board, Wheelers Hill with seven in the second and Moorabbin with two. The Panthers added another two in the third but won the game with seven in the fourth, all while Wheelers Hill got just one more.
The 10-0 Panthers have scored 156 runs and given up 57 with the first finals game at home v Sandringham. Wheelers Hill finished third with a 6-2-1 record on 111 runs scored and 70 given up. The Warriors play Berwick in the semi-finals.
Bonbeach Bluejays 10 v Pakenham Pumas Black 11
The Pumas ended the season on a high note with a seven-run comeback. Bonbeach led 2-1 after the first but Pakenham was ahead 4-3 at the end of the second. Both sides scored seven in the third as the close game continued through the last inning.
This result put Bonbeach in sixth place to end the season with three wins, five losses, and one draw on 91 runs for and 83 against.
Pakenham Black finished 2-7 with 48 runs for and 132 runs against. Pakenham White had the bye and finished 1-7 on 59 runs for and 121 runs against.
Berwick City Cougars 10 v Cheltenham Rustlers 2
The Cougars finished fourth to score a spot in the finals as they climbed up the ladder in recent weeks. Berwick jumped out to a 3-0 lead and kept on rolling, giving up just one run to Cheltenham in the second and another in the sixth. Berwick had three runs in the fifth and four in the sixth.
The Cougars finished with a 3-4-2 record on 90 runs for and 97 against. Cheltenham finished in seventh place with a 2-5-1 record. Berwick plays Wheelers Hill in the semi-finals.
Sandringham Royals 13 v Springvale Lions 8
The Royals had the upper hand in this matchup with four runs scored in each of the first three innings. A final Sandy run came in the fourth while Springvale scored three in the first and five in the third.
Sandringham wraps up the regular season in second place with seven wins and two losses on 92 runs for and 58 against. Springvale finished fifth with a 3-5-1 record. The Royals play Moorabbin in the semi-finals.
Women's Division 3 West
Fitzroy Lions 7 v Doncaster Dragons 14
The Dragons led 6-1 after the first and followed up with another seven in the second. Fitzroy held Doncaster to just one more in the third, and although the Lions put up six in the fourth, it wasn't enough to make up the deficit.
Doncaster finished second with eight wins and two losses on 128 runs for and 71 runs against. The Lions are fourth at 4-6 with 112 runs scored and 116 given up. Fitzroy plays at North Western and Doncaster visits Melbourne in the semi-finals.
Newport Rams 12 v Geelong Baycats 8
Newport jumped out to an early 7-1 lead and didn't stop there, scoring another five in the second. Geelong got back in the game by holding Newport from scoring in the third and fourth, plating seven of their own in the third.
Hannah Lindsey struck out two in her first inning on the mound, although a few Geelong errors made it a tough frame. Jen Mason covered the remaining three innings, recording 2 K's as Michelle Searle kept things under control behind the plate.
Sarah doubled and tripled before coming home on an error for an unofficial inside-the-park home run with two RBIs on the day. Lindsey singled twice, Jen Renouf plated two with a big single, and Bri Telford and Magda Boros singled.
Newport finished fifth and Geelong finished sixth with great seasons featuring both new and returning players.
Melbourne Demons 11 v North Western Titans 0
The Demons wrapped up the regular rounds with a shutout victory, thanks to runs scored in four out of five innings. Melbourne put four on in the first, followed by three in the second and another in the fourth. Their final three runs came in the fifth inning.
Melbourne finished atop the ladder with nine wins and one loss on 139 runs for and just 50 runs against. The Demons host Doncaster for the semi-finals on Saturday 13 March at 1:00pm.