By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
With both his men and women’s teams holding commanding 3-0 leads expectations were high last Friday night for a double sweeping celebration for Coach Terry “Chino” Chinnery, in the BVI Softball Association Berth “Big Man” Henley League Championships Series.
The Pythons completed a sweep of the Hawks to 3-peat as Women’s champions on Friday, but his Men’s Power Outage squad—leading their best of seven series 3-0—failed to deliver, losing twice to the Pirates forcing a game six at 7 p.m. this Friday.
Never leading, the Hawks made two a valiant attempts to seize the lead and earn their first victory. They had two runs off two hits in the bottom of the third and cut the deficit to 4-2. However, the Pythons returned in the top of the fourth sparked by Valissa Bratwaithe’s 3 run homer—one of her two on the night—to extend their lead to 8-2.
The Hawks load the bases in bottom of the fourth with one out, scored off a single, a walk and fielder’s choice, then Chinnery moved his starter Thea Cooke and replaced her with catcher Shanequa “Bam Bam” Fahie. Fahie got two infield outs to quell the threat, preserving the score at 8-5 and earned the victory. Hawks’ Laura Issac of St. Thomas was the losing pitcher.
The Pythons—who won titles in 2011 and 2012 as their was no 2013 league— added another five in the top of the fifth en route to a 19-9 triumph for their 59th straight victory and a 3-peat.
Bratwaithe powered the Pythons offense with 7 RBIs on a 2-for-4 night. She scored twice. Tafara Phillip went 2-4 with 4 runs scored. Hawks’ Jheane Niles had a 3-for-4 night with 2 runs scored and a run batted in. Khiayah Doward was 2-for-4 with a run scored and 2 runs batted in.
“I wish all my girls were here because they have worked hard for what they have accomplished and they practice year round so, I’m really proud of them,” Chinnery said. “I’ve watched some of them from time they we in different PE classes and asked them to come and play with me and they started as little kids—a lot of the girls on the Hawks too. I knew they would have eventually won some championships, but to win 59 straight—that’s unheard of.”
In arguably the best game of the season in the men’s division with the league’s two best pitchers—Pirates’ Allen “Woodrow” Smith and Power Outage’s Neville “Sheep” Smith, Friday’s game was a classic pitchers duel.
The game ended regulation tied at 0-0 before the Pirates’ Travis Malone—who was 2-3—singled in the eight inning tie breaker for a 1-0 victory preventing a Power Outage sweep.
On Sunday, the Pirates jumped out in front, allowed Power Outage back in the game with errors but scored three crucial runs in their last at bat for an 8-5 triumph, forcing game six on Friday.
The Pirates’ Khalif Henley enjoyed a 3-for-4 game including a double and 2 runs scored. Rico Penn had a hit in four at bats with 2 runs batted in.
Power Outage’s Levron Saurauw was their top hitter going 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored.
Woodrow collected his second victory while Sheep notched his second defeat.
“I didn’t want to put the media or anybody on alert but for the first three games, I had an elbow injury so I really couldn’t do anything but rest it,” noted Woodrow who was glad for the August Festival break. “I think I’m back now. I think the momentum is on my side, hope to use it on Friday night.”
Chinnery said Woodrow pitched a smart game, wasn’t throwing as hard as before, mixed his pitches and his guys made contact but nothing solid. “We have to regroup and come back Friday and Sunday and win one of those two games,” he said.
Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway