By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE Sigma Brackettes and the Arnette’s Sporting Lounge Hitmen are now in the driver’s seats of their respective New Providence Softball Association ladies’ and men’s best-of-seven championship series that could wrap up at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex on Tuesday night.
On Saturday night, the Brackettes prevailed with a keenly contested 3-2 victory over the pennant winning Proper Care Pool Lady Sharks to snatch a 3-1 lead in the women’s series. And the pennant winning Hitmen powered past the Andre Gardiner Construction Buccaneers 9-5 to also go up 3-1 in the series.
Hitmen 9, Buccaneers 5
In a showdown that was scoreless through the first three innings, Arnette’s Sporting Lounge struck first with four runs in the top of the fourth and Andre Gardiner Construction levelled the playing field as they answered with four of their own in the bottom of the frame.
The Hitmen, however, pulled away as they exploded for five runs in the sixth and the Buccaneers could only respond with one in the seventh.
Hosea Hilton went 1-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored, Richard Bain was 3-for-4 with a RBI and run scored, Martin Burrows was 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored and Keiron Munroe was 2-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored to pace the winners’ offensive attack.
Alcott Forbes went the distance for the win and Thomas Davis was tagged with the loss after he came in relief for starter Avery Rolle in the fourth.
Shequille Delancy went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer in the fourth, finishing with two RBI and two runs scored and Jordon Gibson was 1-for-3 with a solo homer also in the fourth as he had one RBI and a run scored.
Lady Sharks 2
Sigma got on the scoreboard early, scoring all three of their runs in the first inning and they held Proper Care Pool scoreless until the seventh when they fell short by producing just two runs in what turned out to be the most exciting game of the series so far.
And although they are now in control of the series, Brackettes’ manager Mario Ford said it isn’t over until it’s over. “We have to win one game and they have to win three games,” he said.
“We will come out on Tuesday and play Brackettes ball. If we can do that, we will be able to put them away. But if we allow them to get into the game, it could be a totally different story.”
Zella Symonette went 1-for-3 with a run scored, her daughter Kenese Symonette was also 1-for-3 with a RBI, Shervette Taylor was 1-for-2 with a run scored and Ruthann Simms was 1-for-2 with two runs scored to lead the Brackettes’ limited offensive attack.
Ernestine Butler-Stubbs went the distance to beat out Alex Gabriel on the mound for the win.
Marissa Burrows was 1-for-2 with two RBI, Trekia Munroe was 2-for-4 and Rochea Morley was 1-for-3 in a more stingy losing effort.
The Brackettes could wrap up the title with a win in Tuesday’s opener at 7pm. That is slated to be followed by the men’s encounter at 8:30pm with the Hitmen also in the same position. If either the Lady Sharks or the Buccaneers win, they will play game six on Thursday.
The two winning teams will go on to represent the NPSA in the Bahamas Softball Federation’s National Round Robin at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex over the weekend of October 31 and November 3. Teams from the affiliated Family Islands will be in town to compete for the national titles.