Pioneers and Blitz take the early lead in NSL standings

Mon 15 May 2017

The first weekend of play in the BSF’s National Softball League for 2017 took place at the opening Diamond Series tournament on 13-14 May at Farnham Park, and the early pacesetters are last year’s National Champions Pioneers in NSL 1 and Blitz in NSL 2.

This year, with 12 teams each in NSL 1 (A-grade) and NSL 2 (B-grade), the league schedule will be played out solely at the three Diamond Series tournaments, with each team playing every other team twice.

The top eight teams in the league standings after all games have been played will progress to the NSL National Championships at Farnham Park on the weekend of 2-3 September.

The remaining Diamond Series and NSL weekends are 10-11 June and 29-30 July.


NSL 1‚Äč

In NSL 1, Pioneers and Chromies, who have shared the last eight national championships between them, and 10 of the last 11, are tied at the top of the table with 6-1 records, but the Pioneers hold a slight edge in runs conceded.

Chromies’ only loss came at the hands of H2O, last year’s national runners-up and eventual A-grade winners at Diamond 1, while Pioneers’ defeat came, more surprisingly, at the hands of the Greensox, who took the game 11-10 when a last-inning Pioneers’ rally fell just short.

Blue Steel and H2O are tied for third place with 4-2 records (Blue Steel have an edge in runs conceded), while the Knights, who managed to draw three of their seven games on the day, are fifth.

The remaining NSL Nationals places (though it’s early days!) are held by the Manchester Greensox, Legends and Bristol Bees, all with 3-3-1 records, while the four teams that will need to up their game at Diamonds 2 and 3 to get into those places are LNZ, Thunder, the Travelling Dodgers (who were promoted from NSL 2 after last season) and the Leeds Terriers, the only winless NSL 1 team on the day.

The fact that there were six draws on the day, and 15 other games decided by five runs or fewer, suggests that NSL 1 is going to be a competitive league this season.

NSL 1 standings after Diamond 1 are:

 

TEAMS W L D PCT GB RF RA
Pioneers 6 1 0 .857 --- 82 30
Chromies 6 1 0 .857 --- 84 37
Blue Steel 4 2 1 .643 1.5 59 55
H2O 4 2 1 .643 1.5 83 59
Knights 3 1 3 .643 1.5 62 39
Greensox 3 3 1 .500 2.5 53 59
Legends 3 3 1 .500 2.5 76 77
Bees 3 3 1 .500 2.5 68 80
LNZ 2 4 1 .357 3.5 66 81
Thunder 1 4 2 .286 4 49 66
Travelling Dodgers 1 5 1 .214 4.5 46 62
Terriers 0 7 0 .000 6 28 111


NSL 2

Results from the first weekend of NSL 2 also suggest a competitive league, with 16 games decided by five runs or fewer (though only one draw was recorded).

The early table-setters, Blitz, had some tough games, defeating the Outlaws by 8-7, SPAM by 6-3 and Mavericks by 13-9, but still emerged undefeated with a 7-0 record at the end of the day.

Close behind them are KKs, who suffered only one defeat, though they also scratched out one-run wins over Ninos Privados and the Portsmouth Dodgers.

SPAM, the Misfits and the Naturals are all tucked in behind the top two with 5-2 records (SPAM have the fewest runs conceded), while Warriors, Bees B and the Maidenhead Royals fill out the remaining NSL Nationals places, at least for now.

The teams that will be trying to claw their way into those places over the next two Diamond Series tournaments are the Mavericks, Outlaws, Ninos Privados and the Portsmouth Dodgers, the only winless team in NSL 2.

NSL 2 standings after Diamond 1 are:

TEAMS W L D PCT GB RF RA
Blitz 7 0 0 1.000 --- 113 41
KKs 6 1 0 .857 1 94 63
SPAM 5 2 0 .714 2 61 57
Misfits 5 2 0 .714 2 65 60
Naturals 5 2 0 .714 2 97 76
Warriors 4 2 1 .643 2.5 94 63
Bees B 3 4 0 .429 4 60 75
Maidenhead Royals 2 5 0 .287 5 55 89
Mavericks 2 5 0 .287 5 68 76
Outlaws 1 5 1 .214 5.5 60 75
Ninos Privados 1 6 0 .143 6 38 81
Portsmouth Dodgers 0 7 0 .000 7 43 92

 

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