The Yuelamu Eagles triumphed at the Central Desert Shire Softball Tournament in a thrilling final held at Six Mile, Ti Tree. Yuelamu overcame strong performances from reigning champions Engawala and home team Six Mile.
At the bottom of the last scheduled innings with two out and two on base Yuelamu Eagles required two runs to take the lead and the championship. Kirsty, who had starred all day with the bat, added to the atmosphere by striking twice before she hit a line drive to the outfield. The ball was scooped up and thrown to beat Kirsty to first base but not before another Eagles batter crossed home plate and tied the scores.
Yuelamu went on to hold Engawala scoreless in the tie breaker innings despite very close calls. Head referee Sam Fisher excelled in the tense environment managing to keep both players and spectators on side. However Yuelamu were able to survive the tiring Crows in the final innings and went on to outscore them and triumph.
Engawala’s pitcher, Suzie Williams, played a crucial role for her team throughout the tournament and whilst she was unable to win the game for her team the Crows could not have made it that far without her. Suzie’s contribution was awarded the trophy for the tournament’s Best and Fairest.
Yuelamu Eagles will now precede to the NT championships to be held in Darwin in early August where they will take on the best teams from across the Territory. Yuelamu was also awarded with a complete and brand new softball kit and will have their name engraved on the perpetual trophy donated by Karl Hampton.
The tournament was part of the Central Desert Shire’s strategy to increase the number and quality of sports competitions within its communities. The Softball championship is in its fourth year however the Shire is seeking partners to deliver other competitions for men, women and children.
The event was made possible through the dedicated work of Central Desert Shire Council employees and funding from the Department of Health and Ageing and the Northern Territory Government’s NRETAS.