Tue, Nov 28, 2023 11:51 AM

Saints eclipse Stoke Eagles


Peter Jones

The Saints men’s softball side scored two clear-cut victories over Nelson-based rivals Stoke Eagles at Lansdowne Park on Saturday.

The teams have enjoyed a close rivalry in recent seasons, with fortunes fluctuating, but this time it was the home side’s turn to dominate, winning game one 7-0 and following up with a 9-2 victory.

In the first game they set the tone early. A home run to lead-off batter Braden Healy in the bottom of the first inning was followed by a run to second batter Drew Roberts, who working his way around the bases and came home on a pass ball to put immediate pressure on Stoke hurler Riley Power.

With Will Macdonald pitching strongly for Saints, backed up by some smart work from his infielders, Eagles struggled to consistently put bat to ball.

Will Macdonald gets airborne as he sends down another pitch.

Saints added three runs in the second, Roberts, Sam Kenny and Callum Hayton rounding home plate to stretch the lead to five. Healy produced another strong left field drive, forced an error and jogged around the bases for his side’s sixth at the top of the fourth, then Hayton sealed the deal, wrapping up a complete performance.

Eagles made a much better start in game two, Matt Lowe and Jack Rennie scoring in their first inning. Unfortunately, that was all they managed as Saints’ batters quickly took a liking to Rennie’s pitching, scoring five runs in their first turn at bat, including a home run to Kenny and three-base hits to Tyler Bird and Campbell Gill.

Dane Gill in the batter's box. 

Further home runs to Kenny, Bird and Healy completed a highly-satisfactory outing for the local lads.

In the women’s competition, Wairau scored a 23-1 win over Saints while Waitohi beat Central 25-8 and Saints 22-5.

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