Summer Slam sizzles in international debut

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The Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball Series arrived with a bang at Blacktown International Sportspark.

Six teams, Riot, Fury, Panthers, Bandits Emeralds and Lightning, made up of players from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Italy, France and the United States took to the diamond with fences reduced to 180 feet, loaded bases to begin the innings and a shot clock bringing the action thick and fast.

The Bandits took the honours of the world’s first winner of The Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball Series defeating the Lightning 6-5 in the shorter three innings format.

Stacey Porter and the Panthers didn’t take long to adjust to the new rules as Porter belted a grand slam home-run off just the second pitch of their game against the Fury, going on to win 6-3.

It was one of many highlights keeping the crowd on their feet all night with the format geared towards capturing the attention of the softball world.

“I’m so pumped, we were pumped before the game, we knew this was going to be a big thing,“ said Jade Wall who also smacked a home-run for the Emeralds in their first win of the tournament over the Riot.

“There are so many turns in this game, you can be losing and then you can be winning just like that, just like we did tonight.“

Lightning and Fury added their names to the winner’s circle while the Bandits stole their second win of the night over the Emeralds to lead the tournament.

Softball Australia CEO David Pryles said the inaugural Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball series is off to a strong start and can only grow from here.

“The Summer Slam is everything fans love about softball packed into an exciting, action-packed 30 – 45 minutes of game time,“ said Pryles.

“Congratulations must go to our players, coaching staff and umpires who have all embraced this new format, I look forward to the next couple of days and the crowning our inaugural Summer Slam champions on Wednesday night.

Following the opening day of the Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball Series is as follows:

1 Bandits 6

2 Emeralds 5

3 Lightning 5

4 Fury 4

5 Panthers 3

6 Riot 1

For Box Scores click here.

For points system and rules, click here.

Games start Tuesday at 5:10pm AEDT with live coverage on FOX SPORTS Australia and Kayo from 5pm AEDT

Ben Utting