By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE Arnette’s Sporting Lounge Hitmen may not have had the type of regular season that manager Darren Stevens anticipated, but he noted that his defending men’s champions are poised to turn things around in the New Providence Softball Association’s postseason.
The Hitmen pulled the curtain down on the regular season Saturday night in the Banker’s Field at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex with a win by default over the pennant winning Sting Truckers in the feature game.
The men’s opener was also not played as the BTC Elite Warriors won by default as well over the D&K Smokers.
Friday night’s regular season finale was almost a duplicate of the men, except that one game was played with the Black Scorpions pulling off a 10-6 win over the College of the Bahamas Lady Caribs, while the pennant winning Sigma Wildcats won by default over the Electro Telecom Lady Hitters.
When the playoffs start on Thursday, the Wildcats (17-2) will play the Lady Caribs (9-11) and the Brackettes (12-7) will meet the Scorpions (12-8) on the ladies’ side. On the men’s side, it will be the Truckers (16-4) against the Chances Mighty Mitts (4-15) and the Hitmen (13-5) will battle the Elite Warriors (11-7).
Stevens said the regular season certainly wasn’t indicative of the calibre of play of his Hitmen, but he knows his Arnette’s Sporting Lounge will be much better in the playoffs.
“We had some ups and downs early in the regular season, but right now we are trying to get sharpened up for the playoffs,” Stevens said. “We’re trying to work hard on getting our offence together so that we can be more consistent.”
As the defending champions, Stevens said everybody comes hard to play his Arnette’s Sporting Lounge night in and night out.
“We strive off challenges like that, even though we had some little ups and downs that almost caused the team to defuse,” Stevens said. “But I think that made us a little stronger.”
Just how strong they are will be determined whenever they play the Elite Warriors, who have been giving the Hitmen the fits all year. Whenever the two played, you could expect for the park to be lit up with fireworks between them.
“They are coming gunning for us. They are a new team and a few of the players who played with us last year went over to play with them,” Steven said. “They are trying to create a rivalry, but it doesn’t matter to us. Whoever we play, we will have to go through them. We just want them to keep their car running because it’s going to be good morning, good afternoon and good night.
Infielder Keiron Munroe, who has been one of the Hitmen’s key offensive weapons, said if there’s one good thing going in their favour is the fact that they are hitting the cover off the ball.
“Our pitcher is in great shape and as long as we play defence behind him, we will be in good shape,” said Munroe, who can also pitch if he has to. “We’re not feeling any pressure as the defending champions. We’re just going to play it one game at a time and hopefully we can come out with the win, Our goal is to get back to the championship, but we have to take care of BTC first.”
And nobody knows how difficult it will be more than ace pitcher Alcott Forbes.
“We got off to a very slow start, but right now everybody is clicking on all cylinders,” Forbes said. “The playoffs is the most important time of the year. You work so hard to get here, but it’s just a step to get into the championship. So we have to get through BTC to get them. BTC have us. They are a first year team, so there’s some things they have to do to get to where we are as a championship team. So we’re not going to waste anytime on them at all.”
While the regular season ended Saturday night, here’s a look at the final game played on Friday:
Scorpions 10, Lady Caribs 6
The Black Scorpions closed out their regular season on a high note as they held off the College of the Bahamas in a close encounter in the lone game played over the weekend.
Marvel Miller helped her own cause as the winning pitcher by going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, driving in four runs and scoring another. Lathera Brown was 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored and Shirlene Mackey was 1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.
Ashanti Darville was the losing pitcher. She also went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Helena Curry was 3-for-4 with two RBI.
The Black Scorpions scored one run on a hit in the first, three runs on three hits in the third, one run on two hits in the fifth and five runs on as many hits in the sixth for the win. The Lady Caribs came up with six of their runs on five hits in the sixth.
Here’s a look at the final regular season standings:
Teams W L Pct. GB
Sting Truckers 16 4 .800 -
Arnette’s Sporting Lounge Hitmen 13 5 .722 2
BTC Elite Warriors 11 7 .611 4
Chances Mighty Mitts 4 15 .222 101/2
D&K Smokers 3 16 .157 121/2
Sigma Wildcats 17 2 .894 -
Sigma Brackettes 12 7 .631 31/2
Black Scorpions 12 8 .600 51/2
College of the Bahamas Lady Caribs 9 11 .450 81/2
Electro Telecom Lady Hitters 8 12 .400 91/2
Proper Care Lady Sharks 1 19 .050 161/2