Stacey Porter and her Aussie Spirit side are looking with optimism to the future after finishing just out of the medals at the XVI Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan
In a dramatic penultimate day of the championships the Australian team snatched a last gasp 2-1 win over Mexico to guarantee they would finish no lower than fourth.
Porter was on the diamond for the moment the Aussie Spirit clinched the victory.
After both sides were scoreless through the first seven innings, the Aussies began the bottom of the eighth trailing 1-nil, and with Melinda Weaver placed on second base. A sacrifice bunt by Stacey McManus turned out better than expected when the Mexicans made a fielding error. She then moved through to second when they elected to walk Porter, loading the bases for Leigh Godfrey, who took a 1-2 pitch and hammered it to right-centre field to score home Weaver and McManus.
Needing to then beat third-placed Canada to earn at least a bronze medal, the Aussie Spirit, ranked fourth in the world, were beaten 12-nil. They had earlier during the round games beaten the Canadians 2-nil, losses to Japan (8-1) and China (1-nil) their only hiccups as they placed second in their Group (B) behind Japan.
From 23 bats for the tournament Porter had four hits and made it to the home plate on six occasions, twice off her own bat.
She also took 32 catches, had 14 put outs (being the final player in a play that results in an out) and 17 assists.
The Aussie Spirits’ focus now turns to qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
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