At the weekend 5 Sliders and a baby joined with 6 members of Belfast Cubs Softball Team to venture down to Carlow and take part in the Irish Open Softball Tournament as the Sliding Cubs. First up was a 9am game against one of the tournament favourites, Dodder. After a decent start (3-1 at the 1st) it all fell apart as simple catches were dropped and too many overthrows made as the Sliding Cubs lost 19-2. Next up were the Wicklow Wolves. A slow start cost the Northerners with too many people getting stranded on base. A rally of 4 in the final innings made the score respectable but Sliding Cubs were disappointed to lose 8-6. Things improved in the next game against the Suspects. The infield tightened up as Chris dived around to stop anything coming his way and Jenny made an outstanding catch on one knee. It was 5-5 going into the last and getting tense when Chris smashed a homerun to get the win by a point.
Another tough game was next against Maraly Martyrs. The Sliding Cubs got off to a good start, scoring twice but Marlay proved too good getting a 11-3 win. The final game of the day was a cracker against Loaners. A familiar pattern had developed of slow starts. Batting proved difficult with the usual big hitters (apart from a Chris home run) losing form at the wrong time. Fielding had become a bit tired and the score was 5-2 going into the last. Then suddenly the game burst into life. Chad smashed one into left field bringing Cubby and Jenni home. Tim and Andrew both got base hits before Dan hit one over the left fielders head. Ignoring his base coach he headed for home only to be faced with the catcher waiting to tag him out. With nowhere to go he stepped one way before diving the other dodging the tag and getting the score injuring himself in the process. A hold to one gave the Sliding Cubs an 8-6 win.
The next day games were shortened because of rain. First up were the Hippities. A grandslam homerun gave the Dublin team an early lead. Tim hit a homerun to start things off in response as the Sliding Cubs scored 4 of their own. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and the game ended in an 8-5 loss. The final game of the day was played in the rain against a big hitting 2Pak. Some huge hits gave the outfield plenty of running to do with the ball often ending up over a fence or behind the stand. Christina took a good catch in right field early on but it took until the fourth innings for the Sliding Cubs to get a score. In the end it finished 12-1 to 2Pak.
It was a great weekend of softball and a lot of fun on and off the pitch but the Sliding Cubs were frustrated not to get a couple more wins that were there for the taking and finish higher in the table. There were plenty of great individual moments – Homeruns for Chris x3, Tim x2 and Dan, Cubby’s pitching kept us in many games, Tim had a solid weekend on 1st, Jenni took a great catch above her head on one knee, Chris threw himself about making plenty of crucial stops at shortstop, Ali consistenlty got outs from 3, Andrew out of position in outfield took a catch and hit well, Jay and Donna both fielded well, Christina marked her first games back from maternity leave with a catch and a couple of hits, Chad had some huge hits into right field and Dan spent most of the weekend shouting either from outfield or the stand (there was some fielding too)!
We’re already looking forward to IOST 2018!