By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
SIGMA Wildcats’ infielder Jeanette Hilton and Sting Truckers’ outfielder Lamar Watkins are the New Providence Softball Association’s 2014 ladies and men’s batting champions respectively. The top pitchers are Wildcats’ Mary ‘Cruise’ Edgecombe and Arnette’s Sporting Lounge Hitmen’s Alcott Forbes.
The performances are highlighted in the league’s end of the regular season statistics that was produced by chief statistician Rozina Taylor just before the start of the NPSA’s Carl ‘Bang Bang’ Johnson best-of-seven championship series that got started last night in the Banker’s Field at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.
Hilton, who joined her brother Hosea Hilton (a member of the defending champions Hitmen) in the postseason, won her first league batting title with a .528 average as she leads the field of the top 20 batters in 25 or more times at bat. The first sacker, in 38 at-bats, had 19 hits, including a home run, driving in 13 runs and scoring 23 times for the top honour.
She was followed by the Black Scorpions’ centrefielder/catcher Lathera Brown, who had 43 at-bat with 22 hits and runs and 11 RBI for a .512 clip.
No other player batted over .500, but the College of the Bahamas Lady Caribs’ youthful catcher Helena Curry completed the top three with her 38 at-bats, 16 runs, 18 hits and six RBI.
Although she rounded out the top five at .451, Black Scorpions’ mainstay pitcher Marvel Miller had a solid season, leading in two of the six individual offensive categories. She had the most hits with 23 and the most RBI (runs batted in) with 20.
The most runs were scored by COB’s infielder Tyrice Curry with 27 and the most home runs were by Electro Telecom Lady Hitters pitcher/infielder Thela Johnson with two, while COB’s outfielder Jodei Clarke had the most BB (walks) and stolen bases with 17 apiece.
As for the pitchers, Miller posted the most innings pitched with 86, 16 more than her nearest rival, COB’s Ashanti Darville with 70. Miller also had the most strike outs with 75, five more than Johnson’s 70 and she posted the best win-loss record at 10-4, ahead of Sigma Brackettes’ ace Ernestine Stubbs, who was 7-4.
However, Edgecombe edged out Miller in the all important best ERA (earned run average) in 20 or more innings pitched at 1.56. Miller trailed with 1.63 and Johnson concluded the top three at 2.16. Johnson topped the most BB issued with 56, well ahead of Darville’s 44 for second.
On the men’s side, Watkins had a sensational season in leading the Truckers to the pennant. He led the top 20 batters with an average of .532 with his 47 at-bat, 25 hits, 22 runs, eight RBI and one home run. Forbes was the only other batter to reach the .500 mark when he finished in that spot with 28 at-bat, 14 hits, 20 runs, 21 RBI and two homers.
Forbes’ team-mate, outfielder Rudy Fox, completed the top three with a .480 clip. He had 25 at-bats, 12 hits, 10 runs and three RBI.
Watkins, a versatile basketball player, also led the most hits category with 25. Forbes was tied with Truckers’ infielder/pitcher Eugene Pratt with the most RBI with 21 each, Keiron Munroe of the Hitmen scored the most runs with 34, Sherman Johnson of the BTC Elite Warriors had six home runs, Munroe and Garfield Bethel of the Truckers shared the most base on balls with 20 and Courtesy Smith of the D&K Smokers had a total of seven stolen bases.
Forbes was the top pitcher with the best ERA of 2.38, while Thomas Davis of the Truckers had the most wins with a 10-2 record. Davis also had the most strike outs with 94, while Jeffery Woodside of the Smokers led the most innings pitched with 60 2/3 and gave up the most walks with 88.