Split decision: Ipswich’s two women’s sides in final duel
AFTER washouts and a "strange double-header'', both Ipswich Musketeers teams will battle it out in Saturday's Greater Brisbane League (GBL) South women's competition semi-final.
The Musketeers baseball teammates will clash in a knockout duel having split their recent series at Tivoli.
Musketeers Blue defeated Musketeers Red 12-0 in the first game before Musketeers Red out-hit Musketeers Blue 8-6 in the second clash during the qualifying rounds.
The Ipswich teams will now line up at 2.30pm on Saturday at Regents Park (Southern Stars home ground).
The victorious side will advance directly to the grand final, facing the winner of the other semi-final between Southern Stars and Wests.
Musketeers player/coach Lyndsey Campbell said having Ipswich's two teams playing each other in the semi-final felt strange, especially after the recent double-header.
"We train together as a squad and help each other out. Both teams went in to win,'' Campbell said.
"No one held back. I think it's great that we won a game each.''
In the first match between the Ipswich sides, Kasandra Liston pitched the whole game and threw exceptionally well.
She was also helped out by some great defensive plays.
Kirsten South took three amazing fly balls in left field.
Campbell said the Musketers Red team kept hitting to fielders and the Blue team kept making the outs.
"It was perfect defensive baseball,'' she said.
"The Red team's pitcher went down with heat in the first inning, so we had to do a bit of a shuffle around early.
"Blue have always had the ability to hit, and hit they did. They found the gaps.
"There wasn't much the Red team could do really. They Red girls tried really hard and did what we could, but the Blue team was too good.''
The second game was a vastly different clash.
"The Red team was out for blood. We had to redeem ourselves,'' Campbell said.
Musketeers Red scored six early runs before Kate Deegan held the fort on the hill.
"She threw very well. It was as if the teams switched,'' Campbell said.
The Musketeers Blue batters kept hitting it to the fielders.
However, when Sandie Nicholson got to the second game from work, "the little pocket rocket'' was instantly effective.
"She throws a lot harder than most pitchers the girls have faced previously,'' Campbell said.
The Musketeers coach said Clara Nguyen was a standout for Musketeers Red in that game.
"It's her first year playing and didn't let the speed of the pitch affect her,'' Campbell said.
"She was great.''
With a great defensive effort from both teams, the second clash came down to the wire, level at 6-6 in the last inning.
Musketeers Red finally sealed victory after a walk from Kate Deegan and a hit from Campbell that set up the go-ahead run on second base.
Deegan stole third and scored the winning run on a wild throw.
As the teams prepare for their semi-final showdown, Campbell also praised Jess Dycueco, who had never played first base before.
"She did a really good job. I wish I put her there earlier,'' Campbell said.
"She will be my starting first base from now on.''
Ipswich Musketeers are defending premiers in the competition.
With two teams this season, Musketeers' main threat is competition leaders Southern Stars, assuming they qualify for the grand final.
"Both our teams had a shocker against them (in the qualifying rounds),'' Campbell said.
"They are a fairly well rounded team but both our teams are better. And I have no doubt that whoever plays them in the final will win on the day.
"The good part is we are guaranteed a team in the grand final for the second year in a row.''
Campbell said the confidence of her players was among the impressive aspects of the season so far.
However, the washouts have been frustrating.
"While we fell short of our goal of finishing first and second, I am still happy as a coach to be second and third,'' Campbell said.
"We could potentially go back to champs, which is a very exciting thought.
"It shows the true potential of women's baseball in Ipswich. I think this is only the beginning as what is to come at the Muskeydome.''