MK Softball League back in business
It seems a lifetime ago since the Homerun Hornets lifted the 2019 Milton Keynes Softball League trophy. Training has of course continued, through rain, shine and even a snow blizzard, but it has been great to be back in competitive action.
Six teams are taking part in the league this year. With record numbers attending training, there is a large influx of rookies throughout all the rosters.
Milton Keynes Softball is, of course, ten years old this May. To celebrate, longstanding members Adam Bee and Robyn Hillyard who were present at the first ever MK Softball session ten years ago, threw the ceremonial first pitches to get things started before the first match.
In the season opener, the Rhinos got off to a great start beating the DDs 23-10. A nine run fourth inning did most of the damage for the Rhinos. Rhinos MVPs were first base Leah Holmes and pitcher Stephen Vallance. John Reynolds of the Ds led the fightback with two homeruns and Rachel Hunter also impressed taking the mound for a few innings in her first league game for which they both received MVP honours.
Next up were the reigning champions, the Hornets versus the Willow Lakers – a re-run of the 2019 final and the inaugural league game back in 2016. The game started in torrential rain before a lightning strike caused a delay. After the resumption, fine pitching by Lakers MVP Adam Bee restricted the dangerous Hornets line-up and the bats were firing – led by female MVP Lauren Shkurko and rookie Hannah Priestley. The game ended 26-9 but was not as one sided as it sounds, and the Hornets put up a good fight with Ashley Goodfellow (RC) and Chris Flynn (SS) chosen as the Hornets MVPs.
Mid-way through the game, MK Softball celebrated its tenth birthday with Chairperson Leah Holmes sharing a history of the league, before presenting longstanding chair from 2016-2020 Hedley Bevan with a gift – a brand new chair of course!
In the third game of the season, the OddSox (2018 champions), debuted their new look line-up and defeated the Towcester Tigers 22-17. MVPs were Lizzie Cooke (1B) and rookie Sean McGinn, who batted 1.000 in his first three at bats and took a fine juggling catch at shortstop. Jonathan Mandel (P) and Hannah West (1B) picked up the MVP accolade for the Tigers after the closest game of round one.
All in all, a great start to the season and alongside league matches, training has continued to take place alongside with coaching available for different intensities and abilities. Despite the Baltic weather we’ve seen record turnouts with rookies improving week by week.
Bring on June! And some sunshine please!