Duarte’s double pulls it off for KM

Softball’s co-ed league entered the play-off stages this week with the usual display of entertaining games.

It wraps up on Wednesday with the championship game.

The Field of Dreams was an interesting place to be on Tuesday night with a couple of the top seeds struggling to overcome their lower ranked opponents.

One of the best games was KM Ltd against Ritz-Carlton. In a terrific close match, Ritz were leading in the final inning until Norland Duarte produced a sensational hit for KM to win by the walk off ground rule double after the ball bounced over the fence. KM won 13-12. (KM also deserved to win for having the best uniforms!)

KM coach Gordon Parker said: ‘I told them just to keep their heads about them and just take it one base at a time, not take any chances on the base pass. They came through and got the hits when they needed and walked when they needed to. Norland did well to come up with the big ground rule double and scored the winning run.’

The whole match was pretty close. KM scored a couple in the first inning. Nobody scored in the middle innings. KM edged ahead in the fifth and sixth before Ritz edged ahead at the top of the seventh with two home runs to lead 12-7 before KM scored six in the bottom to come from behind for the dramatic victory.

Parker added: ‘We always felt we could win it because the team was up. We’d started hitting the ball better later in the game and we were pumped up and I just knew we could do it. That was our first play-off game and I’m very confident. When we hit like we did tonight I knew we would come through. We don’t fear anyone.’

Alan Markoff is programme director of the Cayman Islands Little League Co-Ed and also coach of the Digicel Chuggers. ‘Tuesday was the first day of the play-offs. We had three No.1 seeds playing the eight seeds and in two of the games the eight seeds gave the opposition a hard time. Ernst & Young played Digicel very tightly and in the end we won 16-12 but Ernst & Young was leading through the fourth inning. Then TeleCayman was playing KGM GB who didn’t even win a game until three games left and they came on and were leading until TeleCayman prevailed.

‘I thought KM Ltd against Ritz-Carlton would be an evenly matched game and it turned out to be that way. In the fourth game Walkers beat Conyers Dill & Pearman 30-7.’

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