By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE defending champions Sunshine Auto Wildcats, playing their third game in three consecutive nights, saved their best performance for the last as they whitewashed the Hennessy Panthers 22-0 in the New Providence Softball Association's double header in the Banker's Field at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex on Saturday.
The performance came after the Wildcats got nipped 4-3 by runners-up Johnson's Lady Truckers on Thursday night and, in a make-up on Friday, they avenged the loss by holding off the youthful Platinum Lady Sharks 9-6.
Also on Saturday night, Platinum routed the BTC Warriors 12-3 in the ladies' feature contest.
In the men's feature contest on Friday, the Commando Security Truckers knocked off the Chances Mighty Mitts 9-1 to make up for their embarrassing 25-0 blowout loss to the defending champions C&S Hitmen on Thursday.
• Here's a summary
of the games:
Veteran Linda Knowles proved that she can still throw the ball, tossing a one-hitter with two strike outs and walking three to get her third victory in as many starts this season for Sunshine Auto in just three innings of play as the game was stopped by the mercy rule.
"I feel good. I am just trying to get back in shape so I can help these young girls and let them know I still got the ball," Knowles said. "The ball is still in my court. I just have to stay in shape and I know when I'm needed, I can come out and deliver."
To back her up offensively, third sacker Thela Johnson, the ace of the pitching staff, was 2-for-3 with three runs batted in (RBI) and scored as many times, while catcher Ruthann Simms was 2-for-3 with two RBI with two runs scored as well. Left fielder Daria Cambridge was 2-for-3 with four runs; second sacker Mechelle Moss was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored and centre fielder Tyrice Curry was 1-for-4 with a run scored. The Wildcats scored four runs in the first and second and 14 in the third to pull off the abbreviated rout.
With the team they have this year and the way they are gelling, Knowles said despite having lost just one game so far, the Wildcats will be the team to beat this year.
"Expect for us to win the pennant and the championships," she said.
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Lady Sharks 12,
Lady Warriors 3
Designated player Sophia Cartwright had a perfect 2-for-2 night with four RBI and two runs scored to lad Platinum to another victory. Catcher Dachae Stubbs was 1-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored and second sacker Kayshell Robinson was 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.
Taylor Cartwright was the winning pitcher for the Lady Sharks, who came up with six runs in the first inning, four in the second and two more in the fifth in the abbreviated victory.
The Lady Warriors got all three of their runs in the fourth.
Left fielder Vandette Smith was 2-for-3 with a run scored to lead BTC.
Wildcats 9, Lady sharks 6: Thela Johnson delivered a 2-for-3 plate appearance to help her own cause on Friday with a RBI and two runs scored; her battery mate Ruthann Simms was 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored; shortstop Larikah Russell was 1-for-2 withtwo runs scored and center fielder Tyrice Curry was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Johnson was the winning pitcher, giving up six hits with seven strike outs.
Center fielder Darniesha Woodside was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and shortstop Aliyah Johnson was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Sari Albury was the losing pitcher.
Truckers 7, Mighty Mitts 1: Winning pitcher Eugene Pratt, in helping his cause, blasted a solo homer to lead of a two-run third inning to secure the win for the Commando Security on Friday.
Anthony Bowleg, Diego Hutchinson, Shaquille Williams, Lamar Walkins, Peran Rolle and Winston Seymour all scored a run as the Truckers rolled to one in the second, one in the third, three in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Steffan McKenzie had a two-out walk and eventually scored the only run for Chances.
Travis Smith was the losing pitcher.
Lady Truckers 4, Wildcats 3: Valencia Gibson got the win on the mound and Johnson's catcher Shavette Taylor went 1-for-2 with a RBI to help in their victory on Thursday.
Mechelle Moss suffered the loss, while Lashonda Bethel went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Thela Johnson was 1-for-2 with a run scored and Larikah Russell was 1-for-2 with a RBI.
Hitmen 25, Truckers 0: Alcott Forbes pitched a no-hitter with six strike outs and he helped his own cause offensively by going 3-for-5 with a double, driving in two runs and scoring four times.
Right fielder Keiron Munroe was 3-for-4 two doubles, four RBI and three runs scored; first baseman Hosea Hilton was 2-for-3 with two three-run home runs for six RBI and two runs scored and second baseman Philip Johnson was 4-for-4 with two RBI and four runs scored.
C&S produced seven runs in the first, four in the second and 14 in the third for their abbreviated massacre.
Dwayne Dean was tagged with the loss.
Here's a look at the team standings
Teams W L Pct. GB
Sunshine Auto Wildcats 8 1 .888 -
Johnson's Lady Truckers 7 2 .777 1
Platinum Lady Sharks 5 2 .714 2
BTC Lady Warriors 3 6 .333 5
Hennessy Panthers 2 7 .222 6
Aliv Strykers 0 7 .000 7
C&S Hitmen 9 1 .900 -
Commando Security Truckers 7 4 .636 21/2
BTC Elite Warriors 3 7 .300 6
Chances Mighty Mitts 1 8 .111 71/2
7 pm Aliv Strykers vs BTC Lady Warriors (L).
8:30 pm Chances Mighty Mitts vs BTC Elite Warriors (M).
7 pm Johnson's Lady Truckers vs Aliv Strykers (L).
8:30 pm BTC Elite Warriors vs C&S Hitmen (M).