Bristol Players and Umpires featured heavily in the recent Slowpitch Softball World cup in Plant City Florida, USA.
Katherine Golik, Kirstie Leach and David Lee all performed well in an extremely exciting Championship over 5 days at the World Headquarters of Softball in Plant City, Florida. Pete Saunders ( our very own Umpire in Chief last year ) was also present as one of the sports top officials from GB, along with our ex BSA Chairman, Chris Moon.
The temperature in the southern USA had been below freezing for many days prior to the Event and only warmed up to a balmy 12 – 15 degrees when the event began. Many of the evening floodlit games however were played in very cold conditions that got down to 2 degrees c at one point
GB Were opposed by 2 ‘AAA’ US teams from Fort Walton Beach and California as well as teams from Canada, Turks & Caicos Islands, France, Bulgaria and Curacao. Most of which contained US based players.
Having managed to over come Canada, France and Curacao in the first three games GB lost to the very powerful US Fort Walton beach and US Ink Daddys teams to finish 3rd in the round robin section of the competition. If GB were to get to the Final they had to win their last RR games against Bulgaria and T&C and then face The only unbeaten in the event, Fort Walton Beach with their many ex military players.
The Saturday Saw GB cruise past T&C in the morning and then turn in a hugely powerful batting display against a faltering US Fort Walton Beach, even when FWB rallied and began scoring runs in bunches GB never let up and after nearly 2 & half hours came out 33 – 24 winners and the recovery was on … with floodlights now on and temps dropping fast GB now had to meet US Ink Daddy for the second time and attempt to raise the bar yet higher … again GB exploded out of the blocks with a sustained 13 run barrage of base hitting and excellent running, making the score 13 – 0 at the top of the 2nd. Predictably, Ink Daddys came back eventually but too little, too late , GB win 13 -9 in a shorter but no less intense and hard fought game. The GB team were ecstatic , they’d now won against every team in the event.
All, the Bristol GB players had played a significant role in the these two famous wins, Kirstie and David scoring home runs, Kirstie Hitting 8 for 9 at bats, David pitching, Kirstie and Katherine making great infield and outfield catches to shut the Yanks down.
On Sunday Morning the two US teams now had to play off to see who would meet GB in the Final .. INK daddy’s Prevailed over a FWB team that had run out of Steam they then showed their class by stepping up their game in the final and holding GB to just 3 runs to Win 13 -3
Although disappointed to lose the final GB declared themselves satisfied with Silver medals and the runner Up Trophy.
All BSA participants should be proud of their colleagues achievements. It was Katherine’s first taste of international Softball and she extremely excited to be chosen and went a long way to making herself a permanent fixture in the G Squad, Kirstie and David have both played many times for GB but both were struck by the talent emerging from the GB development squad. If You think you have what it takes to join GB march towards world domination (?!) feel free to talk to any of the BSA representatives or to David, Kirstie and Katherine.
For even more detail about the world Cup and the games GB played, go to…..
Photo courtesy Yuki Ono.