The VSBL Women's competitions continue to impress, with Essendon holding the top spot in Division 1, followed by Springvale in Division 2.
Women's Division 1
Newport Rams 6 v Essendon Bombers 7
Essendon has improved to a 8-0 record after hanging on for the win in this back and forth battle.
The Rams opened with three early runs, giving one back to the Bombers in the first before Essendon tacked on four in the second.
The third was quiet before the Bombers scored one more in the fourth. Newport powered back with two in the fifth and eventually tied the game at six apiece in the top of the sixth.
With the game on the line, Essendon pulled through with a run to protect their undefeated record, denying the Rams of their first win in the process.
Allie Bebbere covered 3.66 innings on the mound for Essendon, with four hits, four walks, four strikeouts, and three earned runs. Emma French covered 1.33 innings with four hits, a walk, and two runs. Victoria Brown gave up one hit and a run in an inning of work as well.
Courtney Foura had three of the team's RBIs while Abbey Kelly and Tayla Weldon had one each. Kelly, Foura, and Sam Deeble had three singles apiece an Megan Kelly had one.
Essendon looks to stay undefeated this upcoming weekend as these two sides face off again, this time at Newport.
Doncaster Dragons 4 v Springvale Lions 10
Doncaster pitchers gave up 13 hits to Springvale in a tough loss, their fourth of the season. The Dragons have dropped three of the last four despite some close matchups, although the Lions proved tough to beat on the mound in this game.
Belinda Cannington, Brooklyn Hutton, and Jessica Johnson took turns on the mound for Doncaster as Chelsea Stewart led the way offensively with two RBIs on a pair of singles and a double. Rebecca Wright had two hits while Johnson, Cannington, and Jamie Bastian had one each.
Both teams go into the next game at Doncaster with 4-4 records.
Women's Division 2
Geelong Baycats 1 v Springvale Lions 9
The Lions improved to a 6-1 record after cruising to victory over the Baycats.
Springvale scored two in the first and another two in the third before tacking on one in the fourth and a final four in the fifth. Geelong's lone run came in the final inning.
Springvale plays Preston fresh off the bye next while 2-4 Geelong visits Footscray.
Footscray Bulldogs 18 v Essendon Bombers 2
The Footscray lineup of Jody Hamilton, Jen Holmes, Caitlin Hoy, Kelly Jewers, Alanna Kappler, Sabrina Kinlough, Amanda Napier, Rhea Sandoval, and Tiffaney Shawcross certainly got the job done, racking up their highest run tally of the year.
Four Footscray runs scored in the first, followed by five in the second and seven in the third. Two final runs came around in the fourth while the only Essendon runs of the day were in the second.
Second-place Footscray goes into the next round v Geelong with a 5-1 record on 53 runs scored and 23 given up. Third-place Essendon has three wins and four losses with 73 runs for and 77 against. The Bombers have a bye next.
Women's Division 3 East
Berwick City Cougars 5 v Bonbeach Bluejays 17
The Bluejays were busy on the base paths as they won their third game of the season in high-flying fashion.
Both sides scored one in the first, but Bonbeach started to pull away with five in the second. The Cougars got one run in both the third and fourth as well as a final two in the fifth, but it wasn't enough as Bonbeach kept scoring, with seven in the third and four in the fourth.
The fourth place Bluejays have a 3-4 record with 76 runs for and 67 runs against, while the fifth place Cougars are 2-3-2 with 72 runs for and 78 against.
Bonbeach visits Wheelers Hill and Berwick hosts Moorabbin next.
Cheltenham Rustlers 1 v Moorabbin Panthers 15
The Panthers kept up their fast pace with another double-digit win on their way to an 8-0 record.
Five wins in both the first and the second got things started, and Moorabbin kept the runs coming with four in the third and a final run in the fourth. Cheltenham's lone run came in the third.
The Panthers have scored 128 runs while giving up just 41. Their next game is at home v Berwick while Cheltenham goes into the bye with a 2-4-1 record on 63 runs for and 87 against.
Sandringham Royals 5 v Wheelers Hill Warriors 10
The Royals and the Warriors both put some offence together but ultimately it was the Warriors game with early runs making the difference.
Sandringham went scoreless in the first three innings before scoring two in the fourth and three in the fifth. Meanwhile Wheelers Hill scored five in the first, one in the second, three in the third and one in the fourth.
This marked Wheelers Hill's sixth win, as the team sits second at 6-1 with 98 runs for and 54 runs against. Sandringham is third at 5-2 with 76 runs for and 50 against.
Wheelers Hill hosts Bonbeach and Sandringham plays Pakenham Black at home next.
Pakenham Pumas White 18 v Pakenham Pumas Black 15
The battle of the Pumas was a high-scoring affair as both sides opened with four runs.
Pakenham White scored seven more in both the second and the third, while Pakenham Black put up four in the second and seven in the third, falling just short in the big run rally.
Both teams are 1-6 going into the next round. Pakenham White plays Springvale fresh off the bye as Pakenham Black head to Sandringham.
Women's Division 3 West
Newport Rams 14 v Fitzroy Lions 15
The Rams and the Lions fought hard with big at-bats, but ultimately the Lions broke the tie in the bottom of the fourth to take out their fourth win.
Newport had a 4-3 lead after the first, but by the end of the second it was a 7-4 Fitzroy advantage. Newport added three in the third but gave up seven to Fitzroy, so the Rams had to work overtime to put up seven in the fourth. Fitzroy just needed one run and they got it in the bottom frame to seal the deal.
4-4 Fitzroy sits fourth on the ladder with 94 runs for and 90 against, while Newport is 2-6. Fitzroy hosts Melbourne and Newport hosts North Western next.
Doncaster Dragons 0 v Melbourne Demons 10
The Demons improved to a 7-1 record after this strong shutout victory.
The team has scored 116 runs and allowed just 39 so far, with the next game at Fitzroy. Doncaster hosts Geelong in hopes of strengthening a 6-2 record with 94 runs for and 60 against.
North Western Titans 17 v Geelong Baycats 3
The Titans scored seven early runs and followed up with a three-run second and seven additional runs in the third. Geelong kept them from scoring again in the fourth while the Baycats added to their one run in the second with a pair in the final frame.
Ella Wilson, Hannah Lindsey and Bri Telord pitched for Geelong as the team collected two hits. The Baycats visit Doncaster next while third-place North Western heads to Newport in search of win number six.