Homerun Hornets retain Milton Keynes Softball League trophy

Wed 13 Sep 2017

The Homerun Hornets withstood a strong fightback from the Roundabout Rhinos in the Milton Keynes Softball League playoff final to hang on to the trophy they won last season.

The final marked the end of a second successful season for the league, which is run by the Milton Keynes Diamonds Softball Club.  Four Milton Keynes teams – the Homerun Hornets, Willow Lakers, Double Ds and the Roundabout Rhinos -- have battled it out all season with the Towcester Tigers, Northants Praetorians and Herts Buzzards.

The Rhinos finished top of the table in the regular season, advancing straight to the final and leaving the Hornets and Tigers to play a semi-final to decide who would join them.  A nail-biting 9-9 draw failed to separate the two, so a replay was required, which the Hornets won by 14-11.

The final

The Rhinos v Hornets final took place at Woughton-on-the-Green Playing Fields after some early drizzle cleared away.

The final was made possible by a number of volunteers setting out the pitch and outfield fence, while DJ Craig Holmes providing some rather interesting baseball stadium organ music.  Like last year, Jake Clarke showed his burgeoning talent for light entertainment, taking on commentary duties.

The Hornets got to work early by taking a 7-0 first-inning lead.  The Rhinos tried to stem the swarm of Hornets runs and James Bradley’s juggling catch would have impressed the audience at Britain’s Got Talent.

Then the Rhinos charged into action with some good hitting from Jon Reynolds and Liz Knight.

But the Hornets continued to build on their lead, thanks to patience at the plate from Kim Davies and Leanne Reynolds, who was cheered on by her Hornet-fanatic sons throughout.  By the bottom of the fourth inning the Hornets led by 17-6, with pitcher Alan Davis giving little away and supported by some fine catches from Trevor Morley, Cathy Ford and Chris Borah.

Then the Rhinos started to clip the Hornets’ wings, reducing the arrears to 17-11 by the end of the fifth inning.  Jon Reynolds took over as the Rhinos’ pitcher and this resulted in a Reynolds v Reynolds family duel.  Thankfully, he didn’t knock his wife’s teeth out with a wild pitch!

Eventually, the Rhinos’ charge came up short, with Robyn Hillyard taking the final catch and the game finished 19-13 to the Hornets.

Winter play

From October, the softball action in Milton Keynes will move to an indoor venue at Radcliffe School, Wolverton.

Beginners are always welcome and the MK Diamonds are looking for businesses to sponsor the Milton Keynes League or individual teams. 

There is more information on www.mksoftball.co.uk or on Facebook, and the league’s email address is: mkdiamondssoftball@gmail.com.

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