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2019 NSL2 Nationals

NSL2 Nationals

The NSL2 Nationals were played alongside the NSL1 competition at Farnham Park, and also provided a feast of good softball in pleasant early autumn conditions, marred only by an hours’ worth of cloud and drizzle in the middle of Saturday afternoon and some cold gusts of wind on Sunday that at times had pitchers struggling to cope.

The top four teams to emerge from the NSL2 round-robin to contest the playoffs were, in order of finish, the NSL2 league winners Blitz Bombers from London, Tempest from Manchester, the Honey Badgers from Glasgow and the Naturals from London.

While NSL1 teams had opted for a Page Playoff format to settle their tournament, with no placing games, NSL2 teams had opted for semi-finals and a final to settle things at the top and placing games to settle places 5-8.

In the placing games, SPAM, who just missed out on a playoff place, defeated Bristol Bees 14-4 to claim fifth place and the Terriers beat Ninos Privados 13-4 to claim seventh. Full standings are below.

Meanwhile, in one semi-final, the Honey Badgers edged out the Naturals 7-5 and in the other, Tempest defeated the Blitz Bombers 7-3.

NSL2 final

The NSL2 final was something of an anti-climax, but only because Tempest, who had just managed to edge past the Honey Badgers by 9-8 in the round-robin on Saturday, put on an awesome display of consistent power hitting that produced a 22-2 four-inning mercy rule win on Sunday.

Tempest scored seven runs in the top of the first inning, four in the second, three in the third and then eight more in the top of the fourth, racking up 21 hits including two home runs, five triples and four doubles. The Honey Badgers committed only three errors but were overwhelmed by line drive after line drive to all parts of the field.

David Howes, Luis Arrevillagas, Linni Mitchell and Amilcar Gomez had three hits each for Tempest, and Jordan Colton, Becci Wadeson and Emma Agostini each chipped in with two.

In response, the shell-shocked Honey Badgers could muster only two runs in the bottom of the third inning on four straights singles – their only hits of the game – plus a sacrifice fly, with the RBIs going to Paul Sweeney and Kyle Wilson.

MVPs for the final, both understandably from Tempest, were Luis Arrevillagas, who had a home run, a triple and a double, and Linni Mitchell, who added two singles and a triple to the attack and drove in four runs.

NSL2 standings

Final standings in the 2019 NSL2 Nationals were:

1 – Tempest
2 – Honey Badgers
3 – Blitz Bombers
4 – Naturals
5 – SPAM
6 – Bristol Bees
7 – Terriers
8 – Ninos Privados

The 2019 NSL2 league winner was the Blitz Bombers, who will be promoted to NSL1 for the 2020 season.

2019 – Tempest
2018 – Manchester Mavericks
2017 – SPAM

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