Chichester Falcons Softball Club embarked on their second trip to the Netherlands to compete in the Almere Windmill Classic Tournament.
A squad of 13 flew out to take on teams from all over Europe and the USA in a three-day event just outside Amsterdam.
Competition was tough but the Falcons managed to pick up a 7-4 win against The Crushers from Portugal, with four fence-clearing homers and a couple of sharp double-plays on the diamond.
The 35-degree heat slowed the pace of the games through the afternoon but the Falcons kept hustling and slugging and fought hard against Almere All-Stars from Holland, Hairy Coos from Scotland and local team The Alphas.
The first day ended with an exhibition match between an All-Stars USA team vs The Netherlands and a fireworks display.
The second day saw more resilient opposition, but again the Falcons held their own and dispatched Almere Alphas 14-6 in the knockout stages to find themselves representing the City of Chichester against the Netherlands national team in the third round.
The proud Falcons were no match for the Dutch maestros but nevertheless enjoyed a good-spirited game which left the Chichester team to pick up the fourth-place trophy – a considerable improvement on last year’s ninth place.
Back on UK soil, the Falcons can now look to build on their strong start in the Solent League, where they currently sit third in division two. The Falcons are also competing on July 25 and 26tin the SSL Summerball tournament in Southampton.
The juniors summer programme starts today for kids aged 11 to 16. This is a six-week fast-pitch softball programme for players of any ability.
Anybody who wants to try softball and join the Falcons should visit www.chichesterfalcons.co.uk or email email@example.com
FALCONS SQUAD (in Holland): David Morris, Nick Harris, James Wheeler, Jason Mercer, Clive Janes, Ben Gottesman, Lucy Morris, Carrie Suhr, Sam McGann, James Mortimore, Matt Oram, Matt Tebb, Madelyn Franco.
* Chichester Falcons turned up the heat in SSL division two with a 23-12 victory over Portsmouth Zombies at Oaklands Park.
A shaky start saw the Zombies look to walk in the first, but pitcher James Wheeler was in no mood for letting up on his home turf and managed to restrict the Portsmouth team to hits just over the infield to put four runs up against the Falcons.
The Chichester side wasted no time in the bottom half and responded with four of their own as rookie Helene Zervas hit a double in her first ever at-bat for the Falcons.
The third innings effectively ended the game as the Falcons racked up eight runs thanks to homers from Dave Piesse, Ben Sawkins and James Wheeler. Centre fielder Harsha Desai hit three singles and David Morris recovered from an awkward infield error to slap himself on to second base with a fierce line drive past the diving Zombies shortstop.
With the Falcons ahead and decidedly more relaxed, the runs continued to pour in as Dave Piesse piled on another two home runs, pinch hitter Sam McGann hit three for four and Lucy Morris continued to hoover up the Zombies batters on first base to keep their run total down.
The final innings saw Emma Brown score from a first base hit thanks to Hayley Collins’ shot past third, while catcher Jake Durup shut out the plate to cap off a fine win to put the Falcons at four and three with five games to go.
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