Category Archives: Rascals

Season Review Day 10. PSL All-Stars Shine at Hit and Run 6

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The London based PSL All-Stars make it back to back London team success at  Hit and Run 6. The  annual 8 team event is aimed at helping developing teams provide game time to new players.

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This year, along with four teams who play within the Windsor and Maidenhead league, there were 2 London based teams PSL All-Stars and COMO hotels, Herts Buzzards from Hertfordshire and the longest travellers of the day, Eastbourne Bombers. The first half of the day saw the 8 teams compete in a 2-group round-robin and from the first games it was clear the days front runners would be PSL All-Stars and RG Blue Sox.

The Round Robin – Group 1

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The All-Stars started with an 15-8 win over the Eastbourne Bombers, while the London based Hotel team COMO edged passed home team Rascals 13-12 in a thriller. Round two was a little more convincing all around COMO put 20 on the Bombers in a 20-7 win, the All-Stars posted 19 as they beat the Rascals 19-9. With both winning teams from the opening round playing winning their second games it meant the Cup/Plate divide was already decided before the last round. That last game was simply a way to decided the semi-final line up. In another 13-12 score line, the All-Stars pipped COMO for top place. The Bombers and Rascals played out an exciting 11-11 draw that left both teams in same 3rd and 4th order they started the game in.

The Round Robin – Group 2

Group 2 started with a local match-up at the Blue Sox and Hurricanes faced off. The Blue Sox triumphed in a 11-8 in a close encounter. The other teams in the group, Herts Buzzards and Bracknell Scorchers, played in the other opening game. Again, a local team came out on top as the Scorchers won 13-6. Unlike group 1, round two in group 2 pitted the two winning teams from the first round against each other as the Blue Socks and Scorchers played out another local derby. As the first round, the Blue Sox over came their local rivals 14-5. The other game was the highest scoring game of the day as the Hurricanes beat the Buzzards 20-10. Going into the final round, the Blue Sox already had a Cup place booked and the Buzzards knew they would be in the plate. The Hurricanes and Scorchers would play for the last Cup place. It was the Scorchers who sealed the place with a 15-5 win. The Buzzards pushed the Blue Sox all the way and took a lot from a narrow 10-6 defeat.

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The Semi-finals

The Cup semi-finals saw the local teams fair very differently. The Scorchers found the All-Stars too strong and went down 30-1, the Blue Sox had a much tighter encounter and only just overcame COMO 12-11 to set up the final that looked on the cards from the start. The Plate semi-finals saw both local teams fair a lot better as both overcome their oppositions, Rascals beating Buzzards 21-9, while the Hurricanes went on to beat the Bombers 14-2.

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The Finals

The Rascals have been perennial finalist over the 6 years of the competitions, but have consistently fallen short, and 2018 was another instance of that as the Hurricanes, who only just missed out on the Cup competition, took the Plate title with a convincing 18-8.

The Cup final was an encounter that was a fitting end to the day, both teams unbeaten on the day and both playing well. The was also a first appearance in the Cup final for both teams, the All-Stars had been Plate runners-up last year, while the Blue Sox had the same fate in 2016. This year both teams took the next step to Cup Final and it was the All-Start who took the crown as they squeezed past the Blue Sox 12-9.

clip_image002The standard of play and popularity of the event have gone from strength to strength over the past 6 years and looks to continue next year, now with a new winner’s name on the Roll of Honour.

Come and Try Softball

MSC LogoWe run sessions on Friday’s throughout the year to enable anyone interested to try Softball. If you think you would like to give Softball a try, or to learn more about Maidenhead Softball Club and to get involved in Softball, contact us on maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com.

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Season Review Day 7. Rascals Grove to a Disco Ball Title

clip_image0022018 was the year the Rascals won their first ever trophy with victory in the “Grove” Final at Disco Ball. This was the third time the Rascals have entered this Disco themed development tournament and the first time they have progressed beyond the semi-final stage.

Made up mostly of the team that was putting in good league displays but getting little reward, there probably wasn’t much optimism that the team would get any future than in past years.

It is amazing what a lot of glitter can do for a teams performances.

Getting their Grove on Early

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The Rascals got off to the best possible start with 10-5 win over Baffins. In a small group event, winning early is key and while the Baffins had fought back from 6 runs down, the Rascals showed early league form and held their nerve and the lead.

A “W” on the board and time for a Mexican, Mexican Mashup to be precise. This was a game decided by a tactical mistake by the Mashup. Their pitcher has a game to forget and it was a mistake not to replace them sooner than they did. Unfortunately, by the time they did two innings in, the damage had been down and the 14 runs had been conceded. The Mashup did very well to pull it back to 16-13 and it was even their grasp to win the game, but the Rascals showed resilience and not a small amount of skill to end the game on an outstanding tag play at the plate to end the Mashups revival.

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Unbeaten going into the last game!

The last game of the group stages was a match-up of the two unbeaten teams. This was indeed uncharted territory for the Rascals. Usually this is when they working out which final they will be going to watch. The opponents, Bristol Bam, would test the Rascals to the full. The Rascals did very well and kept in the game, they pushed Bristol Bam all the way, but in the end just fell short going down 7-4.  This was just a minor trip on the Disco floor. Two wins and only 1 defeat, this was already a good day.

Semi-Final Time

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Second in the group meant a semi-final against Game of Throws, a familiar foe on the tournament scene. On paper, Game of Throws where the stronger, more experienced team, but Rascals started on the front foot took an early 5-3 lead and following some power hitting and intelligent base running took the game 12-4 with an impressive performance.

Grove Final Time

Victory in the Semi-final set up a final against the Tournaments host team, Disco Inferno. It isn’t good form to beat your hosts at their own party, so totally against protocol the Rascals raced into an 8-0 lead. Whether it was shock, or maybe manners, but the Inferno let the Rascals play. When they did finally get something going late on and get on the board, it was too late to stave off the inevitable. The Rascals saw out the final inning of the game and were very deserved 9-3 winners, and off to lift their first trophy.

20180630_20015020180630_20060320180630_200759 - CopyThis is a fantastic achievement for the club’s development team, the new players excelling themselves and were ably led by Silvia Rosenmayer. To top it all off, Bala then picked up the MVP award for the final.

The team of 2018 have set the bar for the team of 2019, the Glitter ball is pride of place in the club’s 2018 honours list.

Come and Try Softball

MSC LogoWe run sessions on Friday’s throughout the year to enable anyone interested to try Softball. If you think you would like to give Softball a try, or to learn more about Maidenhead Softball Club and to get involved in Softball, contact us on maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com.

Season Review Day 4. Like Fine Wine, Rascals League Season in Review

IMG_1116Like a fine wine that gets better the longer you leave it, the Rascals got better the longer they played. With a very big squad to accommodate including a number of new players, it was not unexpected that it might take time to get the perfect blend. But, persistence and a lot of hard work on the training field paid off

 

A Good Start.

The season got off to the best possible start with a home win and a pretty convincing win at that. To get that first “W” on the board is all important with a new team and the bonus of scoring twenty plus runs was a real tonic.

The Drought

With that early victory under their, there was a lot of confidence going into the first away day of the season. That trip ended in a 13-11 defeat against the RG Blue Sox 2. Looking back, it was a game the Rascals should have gotten something more from and that may have changed the way things panned out over the next few weeks.

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As it was, that first defeat was the start of a run of 4 games without a win. The schedule also didn’t favour the Rascals as their next two fixtures we against the then lead leading Scorchers 2 and then the previous year’s Division winners, the Wildcats. The Scorchers 2 were two strong in every department and the 23-6 margin of victory was fair. The Wildcats can into town having recovered from their early season woes with a very strong team. In recent years the Wildcats had inflicted some heavy defeats on the Rascals, and this first encounter of the year followed that pattern as the Rascals went down 27-4.

clip_image002IMG_1842IMG_1835As we entered June, the opportunity to end the winless run was presented to the Rascals as they entertained the then bottom placed Scorchers 1. A close game again evaded the Rascals as the Scorchers 1 chalked up their first win of the year, 32-21.

Hurricanes Epic Part 1

Mid-June, the Rascals hadn’t won since opening night and while they had played well in patches, they hadn’t quite got the breaks and converted their good play into points. Away at the Hurricanes that changed. In one of the best performances of the season, the Rascals showed both their ability to score freely and then be strong in defence. This game looked over in 3 innings as the Rascals overpowered the Hurricanes defence as they raced into a 17-2 lead after 3 and half innings. The game looked over as the Hurricane came to bat in the 4th, but the host had other ideas and going into the last inning the Hurricanes had reduced that lead down to just two runs with the winning runs on base. It took a fine game saving catch from Anne-Laure Bugeja with the Hurricanes posed to complete a remarkable come-back.

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We Spoke too soon.

It looked like the Hurricanes games was the turning point, Going into the game against the title chasing Rattlesnakes, confidence was high. Unfortunately, unlike the previous week, the Rascals came up against a team right in form. The Rascals did very well to hold the Rattlesnakes to just 3 runs in the first two innings, the area the Rascals couldn’t get going was their batting, 3-0 become 10-0, then 16-0 after 4 innings as the Rascals failed to convert their runners in scoring position into actual runs. The Rattlesnakes controlled the game from the start and 16-0 was in the end a fair reflection of the game.

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You don’t always get what you deserve.

The next encounter was a enthralling 7 innings of hard fought game against the Blue Sox. This was the Rascals best all-round team performance of the season. On defence the Rascal’s did not commit a single fielding error, so it had to be a very good performance from the Blue Sox to win 15-9. The difference in the end was the batting, the Blue Sox hitters found a couple more gaps than the Rascals, and when the Rascals needed a bounce to go their way, it favoured the Blue Sox.

Building to a climax

It was starting to look like the Rascals would have one of those seasons as they faced their longest trip of the season with an away to the BA Flyers. The Rascals performances have been getting better and better and against the Flyers this continued as they quickly jumped into a 13-4 lead after 3 innings. In extremely hot conditions 13-4 became 18-4 after 5. Two years ago, the Rascals had lead 10-1 going into the 6th inning and lost and when a poor 6th inning saw the Flyers reduce the deficit to 18-10 history looked to be repeating itself, but this time around 4 runs in the last gave the Rascals their third win of the season 22-10.

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The up and date rollercoaster of the season continued. A good win then followed by a tough fixture as week 10 paired the Rascals against the title chasing Scorchers 2. This was another good performance from the Rascals and they were in the game at 14-10 till the 6th inning. It took a gear change from the Scorchers to finally put enough on the scoreboard to end a valiant Rascals challenge. 21-10 doesn’t really reflect how close the game was and how close the Rascals came to denting the Scorchers title chances.

The Run

After Scorchers 2, came Scorchers 1. Having pushed their sister team so close, the Rascals showed how it could have gone seven days ago. The final score of 33-17 was even a little misleading as to the total dominance shown by the Rascals, who lead 33-6 at the bottom of the 6th. A little compliancy crept in near the end, but that takes nothing away from a result that saw them score over 30 runs for the first time this season.  One win was followed by two as the Wildcats forfeited. Then, just like buses, a third came in the the return fixture against the Hurricanes.

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It all ends in the rain.

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After 13 weeks of glorious sunshine and some fantastic ball, the final game of the season saw the heavens open. A rain and hail-soaked Rascals couldn’t raise themselves for one final game. The Rattlesnakes took control from the off, scoring 5 to the Rascals 1 in both the first and second inning, which was extended to 13-2 in the third as they shut the Rascals out. The high point of the game was the 4th as the Rascals scored twice and held their hosts to zero, but that was it for the evening as a 7 run 5th ended the game and the season.

What did it all mean?

The Rascals finished 6th.  While this was a place lower than last season, this was the first full season for half of the players and this bodes well for 2019.

Come and Try Softball

MSC Logo_thumb[1]We run sessions on Friday’s throughout the year to enable anyone interested to try Softball. If you think you would like to give Softball a try, or to learn more about Maidenhead Softball Club and to get involved in Softball, contact us on maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com.

Mixed Opening Week for the Maidenhead Teams

All three Maidenhead teams began their 2018 league program with mixed outcomes. The Maidenhead Rebels hosted the Windsor Knights at North Maidenhead Cricket Club.

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The Rebels did very well to survive their first season in the top flight and played the Knights on opening night last year too. Then they lost 23-3, this time they managed to score more runs, but last seasons league runners up powered to a 31-10 victory. There were positives to take from this result and Rebels season won’t be defined on games against last season’s top 4 teams. The Royals travelled to TV Typhoons on the same night. Fresh off their impressive outing at WMSL First Ball, a lot is expected of the Royals this season. A 3rd place finish last year is the minimum requirement this term, but with the improvements in the squad there is optimism this team can go all the way. This expectation was not damped as they won 24-4. Next up for the Royals and Rebels is their first meeting in the club derby.

The Maidenhead Rascals started their season at home the BA Flyers. The teams finished 4th and 5th respectfully last season. Like the Royals, the Rascals came out on top 24-4 behind a very strong batting performance. Division 2 is sizing up to be very competitive this season and this was a very good start from a team that contains all the current group of development players. The Rascals next game is tough away trip to RGF Blue Sox 2, one of the Divisions favourites and joint runners-up from last year.