Fresh faced and properly rested after an 8-month off-season, the St Luke’s softball team – The Saintly Swingers – returned to Regents Park yesterday for the first game of 2018.
After a break-out season in Division 5 last year, captains Jade ‘I Only Do This For The Exercise’ Leighton and Rory ‘Beer’d’ Gilbride knew that starting on the right foot against Keko London was absolutely essential in the race to the championship.
We caught up with Captain Gilbride as he was mid-splits during the warmup.
“It’s been a long, hard winter, but we’ve signed some top talent to the squad, and I’m incredibly excited to see what this team can do. The first game always has some risk about it, but with our game sense and expert ball-handling I feel like today could be our day.”
And what a day it was.
Jack ‘The Glass Hamstring’ Harris was up first to bat. Brandishing the new bat (purchased through St Luke’s generous ‘joiner’s gift’ scheme), he hit the very first delivery well – a fizzing ball that soared toward the outer boundary. Taking extra care not to tweak any of his many (well-developed) muscles, he trotted round the bases to collect the Swingers’ first home-run of the season.
Jack’s homer set the tone. Ross ‘Batting Eyelids, Slogging Balls’ Ritchie clocked up home run after home run, while on the mound Greg ‘The Spin King’ Danford reprised his role as pitcher with peachy deliveries all game long.
But as predicted by Cpt. Gilbride it was the new signings that made the real difference throughout the game. Solid batting and fielding performances by Jenny ‘Yes, I’m Actually From The Block’ Busby, Hannah ‘Can We Go To The Pub Yet’ Clark, Rob ‘Sandford Rob’ Sandford, and Callam ‘Nibble This, Pitches’ Atwal, got the Swingers on-base regularly, tightened up the fielding, and resulted in a storming 23-9 victory after just 5 innings.
We caught up with MOTM Ross Ritchie after the game.
“That was, without doubt, the best I’ve ever seen this team play. All over the pitch we were crisp, turned on, and playing with each other like a proper team. If we’re firing on all cylinders this early on we’re set to go all the way this year. Today really put the ‘fun’ back in ‘fundamentals’ – a solid team win.”
Shout outs also due to returning players Jo ‘I’m at Second Base’ Boyle and Tom ‘I’m only at First Base’ Carver.
Saintly Swingers 23: 9 Keko London