Play-off race set for photo-finish
After a year away, the MK Softball League looks more competitive than ever, with three teams tied with 2-1 records and leading the play off race.
In the first game in June, the Rhinos continued their strong start to the season with a 27-13 win over last year's finalists, the Lakers. Strong Rhinos batting saw them take an early lead, the Lakers pulled back (lead by a home run from Adam Bee) but the gap was too large. MVP honours went to James Bradley (P) and Leah Holmes (1B) for Rhinos, and for the Lakers Tilly Jones (3B) & Dave Foster (2B). A fantastic first league game for Dave as well as Rhinos rookies Kurt Marthinussen & Jason Hulford.
Next up was the DDs against the Odd Sox, with the Ds picking up their first victory, running out 21-10 winners. DDs MVPs were Chris Benton (SS) and Nikita Shkurko (3B), and for the Sox Loren Reynolds (LF) & Tim Welch (P).
The Towcester Tigers also got off the mark with an impressive 24-8 win over reigning champions, the Hornets - led by strong performances by MVPs Hannah West and Josh Rollins. For the Hornets Chris Borah (after a whopping three home runs) was awarded MVP alongside Leanne Reynolds.
Next up the Rhinos had the opportunity to take their unbeaten charge into the play offs, but fell one run short, 15-16, against the Odd Sox - led by MVPs Sean McGinn and Loren Reynolds - also celebrating her birthday. One run wins are nothing new for the Odd Sox who secured three en route to the 2018 title. Rhinos co-captain Steve Lamb led the comeback that just fell short but picked up the MVP award for the team alongside second base Vickie Robson. Despite losing the Rhinos became the fastest team to reach 400 runs scored (in 21 games) with their 9th run.
The final game of June saw the Lakers return to winning ways scoring 21 to the Ds 12 with Jake Clarke pitching a complete game and hitting a homerun, all while captain Adam Bee watched the second half of England v Germany from the sub bench. The win put the Lakers on top of the all-time win list in the MK League. Their MVPs were Lauren Shkurko (1B) and Richie Murray (SS), and for Ds Jon Reynolds and Shosh Dzialoszynski.
With no team unbeaten, the play offs look impossible to predict and the calculators may be needed come the end of the season. At the moment, the Rhinos top the table ahead of the Lakers and Odd Sox - all with 2-1 records.
Jon Reynolds leads the home run race with six, and Chris Borah is close behind on four, with rookie Sean McGinn in third with three.
It's also been great to see three new umpires join the roster, Robyn Hillyard, Fyona Shannon and Chloe Love. All of them have done a fantastic job, and we are so thankful to have them volunteer. Don't forget to show them and our coaches your appreciation!