Sparx en route to reclaiming title

SPARX Hyne will throw everything at Aztecs Apaches next week after earning the opportunity to go back-to-back in the Softball Maryborough women's competition.

Sparx advanced through to this year's grand final with a tight 6-4 victory over Incas Mercury at Fairfield Park on Saturday.

The defending champions used a three-run opening inning and a solid outing from pitcher Hayley Hinchliff to hold off Mercury.

Karen Hansen was the pick of the Sparx hitters, getting on base during all three of her bats - once through an error and twice as a result of hits.

Sarah Steley, Kali Bunt, Melissa Kellaway, Catherine McSween and Hinchliff also notched up hits in the preliminary final.

Ashleigh James smashed a double to drive home Incas' opening run, while Shakeya Baker went two-from-two, including a double in the fourth inning to help her team stay in reaching distance.

But the difference maker was Hinchliff, who struck out five batters in five innings and gave up just seven hits.

Hinchliff will need to be at her absolute best against a tough Aztecs Apaches in next week's grand final.

Apaches defeated Sparx in convincing fashion last week, winning 8-3 on the strength of Kellie Muller, Brooke White and Reen Paea's bats.

Aztecs Cherokees, meanwhile, wrapped up the B-grade title after beating Sparx Sirens 18-3 in game two of the best-of-three series.

The Cherokees got off to a flying start with Mel Warren producing a single and a double in the 11-run opening frame.

Warren went three-for-four for the match, while Debbie Robinson made two hits.

Shelly Fisk was the Sirens best player, making two hits while leading off in the first and third innings, while Sharon Mallam lined a two-run double.

RESULTS

A-grade preliminary final: Sparx Hyne defeated Incas Mercury 6-4. (Sparx advance to grand final against Aztecs Apaches)

B-grade grand final series game two: Aztecs Cherokees defeated Sparx Sirens 18-3. (Aztecs win series 2-0)



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