Kwesi Mugisa, Staff Reporter
St. Hugh's High School's Kristi-Ann Watson attempts to slide to safety before being tagged by Pembroke Hall's Kemesha Nelson in action from the Jamaica Amatuer Softball Association's senior schoolgirls league at Excelsior High School on Thursday. St. Hugh's won the match 13-4. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
St. Hugh's High School were crowned champions of the Jamaica Amateur Softball Association senior girls league following an exciting 13-4 victory over Pembroke Hall at Excelsior High School on Thursday.
Despite the apparent discrepancy in scores the game was a close one, with the score at the top of the sixth innings being 13-9 after a huge run by Pembroke Hall.
However, with bad light stopping play the inning was incomplete and the game was reversed to the fifth inning where St. Hugh's had led 13-4.
The game got off to an even start with the score at the end of the first innings locked at 2-2 following runs scored for Pembroke Hall by Kerri Ann Jones and Natalee Cunningham with Kristi Ann Watson and Shanique Chambers scoring for St. Hugh's.
However, in the second innings Sharika Simpson stole bases before sprinting home off massive hit into right field by Shanique Chambers, which had also brought Roxsene Bryan in from second base.
Unable to cope with Simpson, who finished with 10 strikeouts and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, Pembroke Hall found it difficult to score and in fact did not do so for the next three innings.
This saw St. Hugh's, through runs from Bryan, Simpson, Watson, Chambers, Peta-Gaye Wolliston and Shonoya Ayton in the third, plus another from Bryan in the fourth, build a seemingly insurmountable lead.
Looking to close out the fifth innings, which they could have done with a clear 10-run margin, St. Hugh's seemed to lose their way a bit, giving up two quick runs to Pembroke Hall, before managing to score only two themselves.
"We knew we had a good team and they played well. It was a good game, but we made too many errors towards the end," said St. Hugh's coach Anthony Malcolm.
"We have been to a couple of finals over the years, it's nice to win again and I hope that we can continue to do well," he added.
Most of St. Hugh's errors came with the tiring Simpson still pitching at the start of the sixth inning, as Pembroke Hall, came roaring back into the game when they scored five runs and were still batting when bad light forced the game to be called off.
Danita Meggoe, finished with four strikeouts and six walks for Pembroke Hall.
"We just didn't execute, but the preparation was lacking. It has been a rough road so we are happy to have got this far," said Pembrooke Hall coach, Maurice Stanley.
"But we fought right to the end. The girls never gave up, they were still upbeat. At the end of the day somebody had to win," he said.