Extra time for softball finalists

IPSWICH softballers are facing some overtime this weekend.

Last weekend’s washout means the Ipswich Softball Association is hosting both rounds of semi-finals this Saturday and Sunday at their Chubb Street Leichhardt headquarters.

But for teams like Bombers A/A2 Ladies a win on Saturday is a must if they hope to be playing again on Sunday.

The Bombers finished third in the minor premiership, equal on points with second placed Musketeers but with an inferior for and against.

They play Tigers on Saturday afternoon for the right to progress to Sunday’s grand final qualifier against the loser of Saturday’s other game between minor premiers Raiders and Musketeers.

Bombers coach Toni Jeffreys is confident her team has the firepower and experience to get them through.

“We’ve got new blood and a pitcher who’s been on form this season,” she said, referring to Miranda Plumb.

“She’s an absolute cracker.

“The team is very good with the bat and has a good mixture of senior players with a lot of experience, combined with the energy of the teens.

“The combination of the two (youth and experience) is always great in a team. A little bit of new blood has given everyone a lift.”

Jeffrey’s is referring to the likes of outfielder Tegan Essom.

“She’s come into our outfield and is all over the place,” Jeffreys said.

Meanwhile, experienced campaigners Loretta Mulrain and Kerri Lucas, at third base and short stop respectively, give the team vital experience to get them through the tight moments.

“This year I can’t say we’ve got a weak spot,” Jeffreys said.

“I’m extremely happy with everyone in their positions.”

The key to victory on Saturday is likely to be going hard at the ball in the field, according to the coach.

“I back my pitcher to contain their batters and my batters to push the runners around the diamond,” she said.

Which is not to say Jeffreys does not respect her rivals.

“They’ve got a young team,” she said.

“It is always challenging physically but I think mentally, our experience will get us through.”

Jeffreys is trying to keep her focus purely on Saturday’s match but, should the Bombers progress, is confident they can back up Sunday with no loss of form or intensity.

While Raiders finished the regular season top, Jeffreys believes Musketeers are the team to beat in the finals.

“Their pitcher (Kassy Edwards) has been out most of the season and we haven’t seen a lot of her,” she said.

“I dare say they’ll bring her back for the finals.

“We beat Raiders last time we played them which would have knocked their confidence a bit.

“We beat them quite soundly.

“It has been a tough little comp this year,” she said.

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