By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
MICHAEL ‘Vida’ Ingraham and Rudy Fox would have probably preferred to transfer their explosive regular season batting average for a chance for their Chances Mighty Mitts and Iradez Hitmen respectively to play for the New Providence Softball Association’s championship crown.
Ingraham and Fox had their individual pursuits matched by Lamar Watkins of the Commando Security Truckers as for the first time in quite some time, there was a three-way tie for the men’s batting title in the New Providence Softball Association. They were all tied with a .500 average.
The only difference was Watkins and his Truckers went on to win the league championship title as well. On the other hand, the second place Truckers dethroned the Hitmen in their playoffs, while the Mighty Mitts were knocked out by the pennant winning BTC Elite Warriors.
The Truckers, by the way, went on to regain the league title by getting by the Warriors.
The trio shared the spotlight with Ruthann Simms, the female batting champion, whose Johnson Lady Truckers played for the title.
Ingraham’s stats included 21 hits with 24 runs batted in and 19 scored in his 42 at-bat. Fox, in just 32 at-bat, had 16 hits with eight RBI and 15 runs scored, while Watkins had 24 hits with 15 RBI and 27 runs in his 48 at-bat percentage. Sherman Ferguson of the Warriors finished fourth after going 21-for-45 with 23 RBI and 28 runs scored for a .467 clip and Alfred Ferguson of the Sports Center Dorsey Park Boys rounded out the top five with a .464 average on 13 hits, 12 RBI and 18 runs in 28 at bats.
In a closely contested battle in all of the other batting categories, Watkins had the most hits with 24 and was followed by Ingraham, Ferguson and Jeffrey Woodside, also from the Warriors, all with 21.
Ingraham also finished in a three-way tie for the most RBI with 24 as he was joined by Zhivargo Archer of the Warriors and Courtney Smith of the Truckers. Ferguson was right on their trail with 23.
Some of those RBI from Ferguson came from his league-leading most home runs as he cracked a total of seven. Archer came in second with six and both Garfield Bethel of the Truckers and Eric ‘Pappi’ Johnson of the Warriors were tied for third with four apiece.
The most runs category was won by Bethel with 29, beating out Ferguson, who trailed with 28. Olando McPhee and his Truckers’ teammate Watkins, along with Jordan Gibson of the Warriors, were tied for third with 27.
The best pitcher in the league was Avery Rolle of the Warriors with an impressive 9-0 win-loss record. However, his 5.80 percentage was the third best in the earned run average (ERA) that saw Deval Storr of the Panthers top the list with 4.48 with Leroy Thompson of the Truckers in second with 5.19.
Martin Burrows Jr, who was turned into the workhorse for the Hitmen, pitched the most innings with a total of 59 1/3. Rolle was next with 54 1/3 and Victor Grant of the Mighty Mitts completed the top three with 52.
Burrows Jr also had the most strike outs with 75, beating out Grant, who came in second with 66 and Storr, who ended up with just 37 after they made an early exit during the regular season.
On the ladies’ side, Simms went 24-50 with 19 RBI and 20 runs scored to top the batting chart. Not too far behind was Raquel Cooper of the Lady Stingers, who went 22-for-46 with 15 RBI and 33 runs scored for her .478 average. Daria Cambridge of the College of the Bahamas Lady Caribs was third with a .473 clip after she went 26-for-55 with 19 RBI and 29 runs scored.
Two more Lady Stingers rounded out the top five as Vonetta Nairn took fourth place with a .463 average from her 25-for-54 plate appearance with 20 RBI and 26 runs scored. Melissa Hall got the fifth spot going 22-for-48 with 245 RBI and 22 runs scored.
Bommer G’s Tyrice Curry, who was eighth in the batting race, led in three different categories.
Curry had the most hits with 33, followed by Sunshine Auto Wildcats’ Mary ‘Cruise’ Sweeting with 31, Nadia Thompson of the Lady Stingers with 27, Cambridge with 26 and Nairn with 25.
In the most runs scored, Curry came home 45 times to beat out her Bommer G team-mate Shaquelle Bain, who had 37. Jeanette Hilton of the Wildcats, had 36 and Michelle Thompson, also of Bommer G, was fourth with 35. Team-mates Thela Johnson and Raquel Cooper both had 33 for a tie in fifth place.
And Curry ripped four home runs for the crown. Hilton and Johnson were tied for second with four apiece and Michelle Thompson was fourth with two.
Mary Sweeting won three of the four categories for the pitchers.
The only won she didn’t win was the best ERA, which went to Mechelle Moss of the Truckers with 4.83. Brittany Clarke of Bommer G was second with 4.92, while Lady Stingers’ Thela Johnson was third with 5.12 and Valencia Gibson of the Truckers came in fourth with 5.12.
Sweeting, who had the fifth best ERA of 5.62, had the most wins with a 12-4 record, but Diva Burrows was perfect in seven games. Johnson got third at 7-6 and Moss and Gibson trailed at 6-2 and 5-2 respectively.
In 30-or-more innings pitched, Sweeting topped the chart with 94 2/3. Johnson was next with 79 1/3, Charity Rollie of COB had 53 2/3, her team-mate Ashanti Darville was fourth with 49 1/3 and Moss (46 1/3) edged out her team-mate Gibson, who had 41.
And in the strike out category, Sweeting mowed down 98 batters to lead the field. Johnson was the runner-up with 79, Darville had 40, Rolle 35 and Gibson 32 to complete the top five.