With half the league eliminated from title contention, the remaining four Nevada County fast pitch softball teams will battle it out today at Memorial Park for the right to fight for the championship Thursday.
Starting off the semifinal round is a 6:30 p.m. matchup between the top seeded Event Helper and No. 5 seed A-Z Supply. Event Helper cruised into the semi’s with a 10-3, first round victory over Towers Casino, and A-Z edged past Eva’s All-Stars, 6-5, to advance to today’s matchup.
Event Helper is currently riding a 15-game winning streak and finished the regular season tied for the most potent offense with 129 runs scored and an average of 9.2 runs per game.
The Event Helper offense is led by league batting champ Daryl Allen, who finished the regular season with an impressive .588 batting average to go with six doubles, two triples and two home runs. Ben Maddux, Dave Stafford and Kyler Caldwell all bring .400-plus batting averages into the game.
Event Helper also has the stingiest defense, allowing just 12 runs during the regular season.
A-Z isn’t without punch, though, boasting the league leader in RBIs in Chad Garvey with 19. Garvey also leads his team in batting average at .425 and home runs with four. Guy Selleck, Bruce Porter and Kyle Selleck all bring .300-plus batting averages into the game.
In the second semifinal, the No. 2 seed Precision Pump Dirtbags take on the No. 6 seed Gold Country Automotive. The Dirtbags advanced past Rockwell Family Dental in the first round, winning 16-6 in a mercy-rule shortened game, and Gold Country shocked the No. 3 seed Bulldogs, coming back from 6-1 deficit in the third inning to win 9-8.
The Dirtbags, like Event Helper, scored 129 runs during the regular season and bring five guys to the plate that bat better than .400. Jimmy Ripley leads the team with a .536 average, and Zach Littleton bats .533. The power comes from Tyler Chew and Doug Robinson, who are tied for the team lead in home runs with four. Robinson tallied 19 RBIs this season to tie him with Garvey for the league lead.
Gold Country will rely on the solid bats of Nick Johnson, Matt Custer, Dillon Hadley, Justin Nicholson and Walter Carson, who all bat at or better than .400.
The Dirtbags and Gold Country get started at 8 tonight.
For complete standings and stats for the Nevada County Fast Pitch League, visit http://allprosoftware.net/ncfp/default.htm.