By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
MAINSTAY pitcher Thela Stevens said the best is yet to come from her Sunshine Auto Wildcats.
The pennant winning Wildcats, winners of the last three straight ladies’ fastpitch titles in the New Providence Softball Association before the break over the past two years because of COVID-19, advanced to the championships with a two-game sweep over the Johnson’s Lady Truckers. The Wildcats completed the sweep on Saturday night at the Banker’s Field 17-6 thrashing after stopping the Lady Truckers 13-3 in the opener on Thursday night.
Now they await the winner of the series against the RAB Operators and the University of the Bahamas Mingoes.
“It was awesome. It was great, but we still could take it up another level,” said Stevens, after she contributed her share of the spoils with a four-hitter and seven strike out performance on the mound.
Offensively, she also did her damage going 1-for-4 with two runs batted in (RBI) and two scores, highlighted by a two-run in-the-park home run in the top of the fourth.
“I almost cleared the fence (in centre field), but I could live with that,” Stevens said. “More to come.”
More could only come in the finals when they face either the Operators or the Mingoes. The Operators took a 1-0 lead in their series on Friday with an 11-7 win and will play game two on Thursday. “It doesn’t matter,” said Stevens when asked who they prefer to face. “Like I tell them, my motto is ‘any nine would do.’ Just bring them on.”
Sunshine Auto, managed by Anthony Bullard, showed by their hit parade in the clincher on Saturday that they are ready for whoever they face.
Second sacker Crystal Taylor was 2-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored; third sacker Ciara Bowe was 2-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored; shortstop Larikah Russell was also 2-for-5 with three runs and center fielder Tyrice Davis was 2-for-5 as well with a RBI and a run scored.
Vintage Ernestine Stubbs, who was assisting manager Sydney ‘Baylor’ Fernander in coaching, came out of retirement and gave up 12 hits with a pair of strike outs for the loss. Second sacker Amariage Taylor was 1-for-1 with a RBI and two runs scored and left fielder April Davis was 1-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored to lead the Lady Truckers’ offensive attack.
Operators 11, Mingoes 7
Designated player Michelle Thompson was a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored and third sacker Melinda Bastian was also perfect, going 3-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Diva Burrows got the win on the mound and Ramona Hanna was tagged with the loss.
Second sacker Kericka Kelly was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored for the University of the Bahamas.
Wildcats 13, Lady Truckers 3
Shortstop Larikah Russell went 2-for-2 with a RBI and three runs scored to pace Sunshine Auto in their opener on Thursday.
Winning pitcher Thela Johnson was 1-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored, while tossing a one-hitter with six strike outs on the mound.
Third sacker Ciara Bowe helped out going 1-for-2 with two RBI and catcher Aaliyah Ferguson was 1-for-2 with two runs scored.