Our last match of the 2009 season was the rescheduled game against Raiders Green. Sadly, we weren't able to maintain the initiative from that abandoned match, where we were seven up after our first inning. This was a close match, with neither side managing to dominate with their batting but errors in the field keeping the scores ticking round. Kate pitched well, and we had some great base hitting from Julian and Vic (hitting to right field to avoid the strong fielding at Third and Short Stop). We'd managed to post a three-run lead by the bottom of the seventh, but the Raiders had home team advantage and managed to get runners on bases without losing any outs then made the runs they needed to take the game.
This leaves us on the same points as the Tornadoes, but they played fourteen games and we played fifteen, and if I understand the cobbled-together league rules for this season properly we are going to have a 14/15ths multiplier imposed on our final points. This would leave us in the bottom three of eleven by .8 of a point, so if there's a Division Six next year we'd be relegated to it. Well, technically, it would be Division Three due to the planned splitting of the league into two.
It hasn't been as successful a season as we'd all have liked. There are areas where we have all improved, but game after game could have gone our way and didn't. Sometimes umpiring decisions went against us - this time, Matt ran into First, was called safe by the field umpire, who was then overruled by the plate umpire on their judgment call. Sometimes we had personal matters intrude into our softball - three of the Original Wolves, including one of our starting pitchers, going through redundancy through the season, for example (well, that's my excuse for turning up at the wrong park the other week). The heavens themselves intervened when we were on our best form all year in the match that was rained off. Still, though, we have to look at ourselves and how we could have done better. Batting overall is coming along well, but we need to make more of it and build the big innings that bring wins. We need to be able to have confidence in each other in our proper fielding positions, and to keep cool heads to make the right tactical choices quickly and decisively. As Michael says, when we play to our ability and work together as a team we can be a force to be reckoned with. We have the Winter ahead of us, with bi-weekly indoor training lined up. We are going to practice, to build up on what we've already achieved, and take it further. This was the toast at the pub after the game: "next year, whatever decision we end up in, they are not going to know what hit them - HERE'S TO NEXT SEASON!"