The seasonal woes continue for Ezi Finance Whanganui Braves as they struggle to field a team each week in the Manawatu Premier Senior Men's Softball League.
Meanwhile, Castlecliff Club Mustangs had the bye at the weekend in the Senior Men's Reserve grade, while Athletic remain unbeaten and lead the Manawatu Women's Premier division ahead of second-paced Kingswood Anahera.
After seven innings, 24 runs scored and a nearly two-hour game, coach Kay Kotuhi-Brown was happy with her Whanganui Athletic women's result on Saturday.
Kingswood Anahera took Athletic to the wire, even when the blue visiting team should have finished the game in the fifth innings.
It was a game of Kingswood youth vs Athletic experience. Athletic's shortstop Paula Darlington started the game with a spectacular triple play, that only an experienced smart player would have pulled off without thinking.
"She knew exactly what she was doing and the team knew where they needed to be. Triple plays don't happen a lot and it was so great to see, even the opposition coach acknowledged it," Kotuhi-Brown said.
Athletic scored every innings with Darlington, Fiona Campbell, Cathryn Kilmister and Geri Hemi hitting long three baggers during the game. The Kingswood girls didn't give up on the bat as they started hitting in runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Final score 17-7 to Athletic with Campbell averaging .750 with the bat.
The Athletic men's team came out victors after beating Blue Sox 16-5 in the 4th innings on Saturday. Santana Patea led the way from the mound, pitching a solid game with the help of catcher Lenox Fold.
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Patea only walked three batters in the game compared to his opposition pitcher Boston Scoon-Walter who walked 12. Athletic started the first innings scoring six runs and continued to bat well, with Jon Procter batting safely three times into the outfield to average 1000 with his bat.
This weekend the scheduled men's reserve grade clash between the only two Whanganui-based teams - Mustangs and Athletic - will be played at home at the Whanganui Ballpark to save the players from the 50-minute drive to Palmerston North. The match time was to be set last night, but would be after the completion of the junior grade games on Saturday.
Athletic woman will play Kingswood Angels on Diamond 1 at Bill Brown Park in Palmerston North at 3.30pm, while Braves are set down to play Blue Sox on Diamond 3 at 3.30pm if a team can be fielded.