Wagga softball powerhouse South Wagga Warriors went directly to their fifth grand final in as many years when they batted their way to an 11-3 thrashing of Turvey Park in the qualifying semi-final
A full-strength Warriors team signaled what was to come right from their the very first batter.
Shae Skillen hit a right field home run to start the match, only to have this taken off the Warriors score as she failed to touch second base on her way around the diamond.
But, not to worry, the next three batters, Jess Swaysland, Montana Kearnes and Jane Kearnes all had strong outfield hits and were all batted in by Kristy Tennison.
Turvey managed to have Amanda Lenon and Amanda Gooden reach third and second, respectively, but both were left stranded when the third out was made.
Both teams were shut out in their second and third innings, leaving the score at 3-0 with half the game gone.
In that period Swaysland, Montana Kearnes and Carmel Hutchinson had hits for the Warriors, while Paris Hall, Jane Wadley and Gooden hit safely for Turvey Park but they weren’t converted.
However that all changed in the top of the fourth.
Skillen, Montana Kearnes (home run), Jane Kearnes and Layhnee Kearnes all crossed the plate for the Warriors to take the margin to seven runs and the threat of a premature finish with the mercy rule being applied.
There were shutouts in the bottom of the fourth and top of the fifth before Turvey Park hit the scoreboard with Gooden and Lenon scoring in the bottom of the fifth.
The Warriors again scored runs when Montana Kearnes, Jane Kearnes, Kira Hallam and Jess Grant made it to home.
With the Warriors now leading 11-2, application of the mercy rule was now inevitable unless Turvey produced a drastic change of form with the bat.
Turvey did score another run in the final innings when youngster, Charli McNaughton hit a two bagger which batted in Hall.
Going down 11-3 suggests Turvey will have a tough game against Saints in next week’s preliminary final.
They will need to bounce back if they are to meet the Warriors again in the grand final on March 24.