The Navy Ninjas have secured back-to-back championships after earning victory in Sunday’s Peta Edebone Cup Grand Final.
In torrential conditions at Glen Eira Moorabbin Softball Association for the season decider, the Ninjas found themselves 2-0 up against Purple Haze mid-way through the match.
The rain was too heavy for play to continue, and the Ninjas were awarded the victory and Peta Edebone Cup glory.
Ninjas’ franchise ambassador Marina Walker was delighted with the result, although it wasn’t the way she hoped the afternoon would end.
“It’s not the way we would’ve liked to have won. We wouldn’t liked to have played the final out and have a winner, but it is what it is and we did play really well today,” Walker said.
“Winning the first year was awesome, but back-to-back is a satisfying feeling. It’s always good to be involved with competitive softball, we get the most elite players in Victoria out here, which lifts my game and everyone else’s game and it’s great to get supporters down here and boost the sport,” she said.
The strong culture the Ninjas’ have built across the past two years has been pivotal to the team’s success. Taking a light-hearted approach to their preparation has been a strong ingredient of the group’s values.
“The team chemistry is really good, the first year we bonded quickly, it’s a fun team, a good vibe, that’s where the ‘Ninjas’ name came from.” Walker said.
“Coming into our second year we had something to build on which was really good, we were more confident playing as a team.”
“We had a few young players come in and they were awesome in stepping up to the challenge, they slotted in and we all learned a lot from each other.”
The Ninjas’ Jackie Di Siervi capped off the season with the league MVP award, selection into the all-star team and played an important role in the Ninjas’ championship winning team.
She said she’s thrilled to end the season on such a high note.
“It’s really surprising, we didn’t start the season as well as what we wanted, then have come out at the end with a bang. It’s been really good to play with some different players, some young kids, and it’s really exciting to see what’s coming through.” Di Siervi said.
“That was a surprise as well to be honest (winning MVP), I’m feeling good and enjoying my softball.”
“The competition is a really good initiative by Softball Victoria and I think the Fully Loaded format has been really fun. The girls’ have enjoyed doing something different, it’s fun, quicker, exciting, and I think the crowd have enjoyed that component.”
“Hopefully we keep building the league next year and we get even more people watching.”
Head over to Softball Victoria’s Facebook for photos, and stay tuned to the website for the announcement of individual player awards and the all-star team in the coming days.
Image: Thanks to Change of Focus photography