TAMWORTH softball is almost halfway through its season, and both divisions are still wide open.
This year there are four sides in the Riverside League, and six sides in the more social Riverside Cup.
Tamworth Softball spokesperson Rebekah Kingdom said both numbers and enthusiasm are up this year.
“We have two more teams than we did last year and there is lots of interest in the junior programs as well,” Kingdom said.
Last weekend in the Riverside Cup the Diamond Scorpions competed against their sister team Diamond Pythons with a final score of 20-16.
The United Numbats won with a score of 18-4 against the United Fruitbats.
The rivalry between these daughter/mother teams is always high and the games fiercely contested.
The United Oldbats went into the third inning seven runs down, but ended up defeating South Strikers 10-9.
In the League Cup South Strikers defeated United Wombats 20 to 8 and the Diamond Tigers took on United Kia Bats, winning 20-6.
The KIA Bats, or Kiwis In Australia Bats are exactly that, all expat Kiwis living in Tamworth.
“They are a top side with a lot of former rep players,” Kingdom said.
“Once they get organised and have some more game time they will be very tough to beat.”
Halfway through the season the Riverside Cup leaders are the United Numbats on 22 points, just two points ahead of the Diamond Scorpions.
The Oldbats are on 16 points, with the Sliders, Fruitbats, Pythons, and Sliders trailing.
The League is tight at the top with three points separating the top three teams.
South Strikers are at the front with 19 points, with United Wombats only one point behind them, and then the Diamond Tigers on 17.
The KIA Bats are well behind on nine points and looking for a strong finish to the season next year.
Before the senior games on Saturdays, the softball fields are full of kids involved in either the Batter Up program or Mod-Ball.
Batter Up caters for kids from the age of three up and teaches basic skills and an introduction to the game.
“This term we did throwing, hitting and playing as a team and next term they will play games,” Kingdom said.
“When they are old enough or good enough they progress to the Mod Ball, which is for girls under 13.”
“It is great for the future of the sport to see so many kids involved this year.”
There is one more round left in the League to be played this Saturday, although the Cup and junior divisions have already broken for Christmas.
The competition will start up again the first weekend in February.