By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
After an earlier triple to right center, Kaynesha Stoutt singled in That’s Ya Problem’s last at bat to break a shot out, as Synergy closed the weekend Atoms-Astros Softball League with a 4-1 Sunday night victory.
Thea Cooke and That’s Ya Problem’s Valissa Brathwaite engaged in a thrilling pitching duel that saw Synergy taking the early 2-0 lead before adding two more runs in their last at bat.
“The plan was to come in, score first and play defense, but actually try to play the game on the inside first trying to disrupt their game,” Synergy Coach Neville “Sheep” Smith told Island Sun Sports in an exclusive post game interview. “The team played well and I must say everybody played well. They listened. This is one of the games they played with a coach and listened—that’s the key. Once they listen, they’ll be a team to reckon with.”
Smith commended Brathwaite on her pitching and noted that both teams are evenly matched. With two outs when Stoutt singled, Smith said that was a mistake as he told the catcher they have two strikes no ball and not to have the pitcher pitch a ball.
“I said go outside, but she thought I meant throw a ball on the outside corner, but I meant to waste it,” he explained. “We were in front 2-0 (on the count) so that was a mistake on our part. This victory is a boost for them because this team is considered to be one of the big teams, because we are the big team.”
That’s Ya Problem’s Coach Eli “Yampi” Nibbs, said his team played well but their bats went dead.
“We ain’t bat at all,” he told Island Sun Sports exclusively. “For some reason, we had practice, the team batted well and everything and tonight, our bats fell dead. That’s the only thing that hampered us. But defense was there.”
When Stout drove in their lone run, Nibbs said Coach had given her the bunt sign—though he wasn’t happy with it—they’re playing as a team. He said with a bunt they could have caught Synergy sleeping, since Stoutt tripled in her previous at bat.
“But anyway, she came up with a dice hit, so we broke the shutout,” he noted. “So I’m feeling happy.”
The loss was the second for the defending champs who won the last league in 2017, before Hurricane Irma destroyed the territory, the E. Walwyn Brewley Softball Park and set the league back over three and a half years.
“All we have to do is to practice harder,” noted Nibbs of That’s Ya Problem fell to Lady Hawks, 6-5 in their opener. “I’m not frightened, because we’re meeting three times and we have a long way to go. All we have to do is to get some practice and we’ll do good.”
In the other women’s game, the Lady Hawks downed the West End Warriors, 9-2.
On the men’s side, Neville “Sheep” Smith fanned 13 as Storm won their first game after an opening loss, beating the Albion’s Hot Shots, 8-4, on Saturday night. Power Outage subdued Los Macarrecios, 12-4, on Sunday.