University of Nottingham’s Softball squad have clinched national university gold, erasing the heartache of last year’s agonising last minute defeat at the hands of close rivals Loughborough.
Hosted at Farnham Softball and Baseball club in Slough earlier in October, the Nottingham Arrows didn’t drop a game all weekend on their way to the BSUK National University Softball Championship title defeating Loughborough in the semi-finals and Portsmouth in the final.
The Nottingham squad featured a winning mix of experience and fresh talent; Luke Nelson and Luke Sibbett, veterans of multiple finals, were joined by current GB squad members Robbie Studhome and Matt Tomlin alongside former youth GB player Fran Meakin.
A strong team performance over the weekend kept Nottingham Arrrows' opponents at bay with the team sailing through the group stages before reaching the playoffs against old foes Loughborough. Nottingham jumped to an early lead in the semi-final and held on to set up the final against Portsmouth. With spectators on the edge of their seats, the game went to the final second – Luke Nelson taking a base on balls as time expired. This handed Nottingham the 10-8 victory thanks to Studhome’s two run go-ahead earlier in the inning.
1st team captain Alec Newton commented; “It feels great to win the title after four such narrow defeats and having missed out to Loughborough at last year’s Spring Nationals. This time, we simply weren’t going to let the opportunity pass us by!”
Club President Kate Winfield added; “I’m so proud of the club; we put the disappointment of losing last year behind us and came back stronger to win this title.”
“A lot of hard work has gone from our student and volunteer coaches to reach this point. With so many players new to the sport when they join university, 9 in the first team alone (!), it’s a huge achievement for our coaching team to have got us ready to play and win at this level.
University of Nottingham’s B team, also held their own in the competition showing the depth of talent emerging within the club. Featuring just three returning players from the 2016-17 season, the Nottingham Archers finished 13th, with victory against an established UEA squad the highlight of their weekend.
UoN Softball are now back in training, working hard to prepare for the defence of their title at Spring Nationals in 2018. As well as league fixtures this term, the EMIC tournament hosted at the University’s Riverside venue will be a good opportunity to test their progress against some of the region’s top squads.
For more information about club sport at the University of Nottingham visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport/clubdirectory or email email@example.com.
Posted on Thursday 26th October 2017