Cayman women rally to win invitational opener

The Cayman Islands National Women’s Softball Team opened the 2018 Heroes Day Invitational Softball Tournament with a come-from-behind 13-12 win against their visitors from Cuba at the Field of Dreams Thursday night (18 January).

Cayman was forced to rally from being down three times in the game, they trailed by a run going into the seventh and final inning. In the bottom of the inning, the scores were levelled when Mollyann Moore scored from a Wyvonne Forbes single. Then up stepped outfielder Daneliz Thomas to the plate with two runners on base. She blasted a line drive to the second base fielder but it was too hot to handle and got through to the outfield, allowing the winning run to score.

“First thing going through my mind was that I needed to make contact,” Thomas told CaymanSportsBuzz.com in a post-game interview. “I just kept focused, kept my head in the game and got the last run.”

Thomas described the game as a confidence-builder for the remaining games, adding she was optimistic that they would win the remaining games.

Cuba had jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first inning and added three more in the top of the third before Cayman added three of their own in the bottom of the inning. After Cuba added another in the top of the fourth, the local side had a monster inning with six runs.

The visitors then added four runs in the top of the fifth to take a 10-9 lead that was overcome in the bottom of the fame when Cayman scored twice to make it 11-10 in their favour. The Cuban ladies looked in charge when they scored two runs in the top of the sixth and kept the hosts scoreless.

With the home crowd urging them on, Cayman kept Cuba from added to their tally in the top of the final inning before they stuck to the script and put two on the board to win the opening encounter 13-12.

Cayman Islands National Women’s Softball Team

The teams meet again on Friday (6:30 p.m.), Saturday (4:00 p.m.), Sunday (4:00 p.m.), Monday (4:00 p.m.) and Tuesday (6:30 p.m.).

The tournament hosted by the Cayman Islands Softball Association also features three men’s teams: Cuba, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. Cuba beat the hosts 11-3 on the opening night.

Head of the Jamaica delegation, Marvalyn Campbell, said the men’s team was looking forward to the opportunity to compete against their Caribbean neighbours.

“We are actually kick starting our development programme in Jamaica…so welcomed the invitation and thought it was an excellent time to come and to participate and play against Cuba and Cayman,” she told CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

Campbell said while they came to have fun, their aim is to win the tournament. “The team is fairly experience with a combination of senior players and players attending university. They have been playing together for at least five years. They know the game and they have been playing well,” she said.

The Jamaican team has its eyes on the prize.

Cayman Islands plays Jamaica on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, Cuba and Jamaica meet at 2:00 p.m. and Jamaica faces Cayman Islands at 8:00 p.m. On Sunday, Jamaica and Cuba face each other for a second time (2:00 p.m.) before Cuba and the Cayman Islands have their rematch (6:00 p.m.). Play also continues Monday before the top two teams meet in the finals at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

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