Season update: Softball Division 1 is a tight competition
12/06/2024 2 Minute Read

Season update: Softball Division 1 is a tight competition

With 9 game weekends behind us and the season in full swing, it’s time to take a look at our Belgian Softball D1 competition.

Let’s take off with the standings. 2023 Champs Beveren Lions are leading off the board with 13-4 after the first two competition months, but runner up Hoboken Pioneers is edging closer. With just one win behind the leader, they’re experiencing a very strong season. Merchtem Cats have recently added two American players to their roster, immediately assisting them to additional wins and 3rd place in the rankings. 

MSG Phoenix, who ruled the regular competition last season, is lower down the board this time around, at 4th place. In places 5 and 6 we find Antwerp Eagles and Gent Knights. The latter made their comeback in first class, but will have to fight hard to keep their spot.  Overall, the race to the 2024 Belgian Series is pretty neck and neck. All the teams are quite close to one another and wins/losses have proved to be hard to predict at times, with some surprising results in the past weeks.

Pitching wise, Beveren Lions have an incredible strongholder in the circle. Sara De Graeve is the only pitcher who has managed to keep her ERA below 1, with 0.73 on the counter. The second lowest ERA amounts to 3.25 and is credited to Claudia Banchelli (Hoboken Pioneers). With 59 K’s, De Graeve is also well on her way to taking the lead in terms of strikeouts. A tough challenge for the opponents in the batter's box. 

Speaking of a batter’s box, the bats were on fire this spring. Specifically that of Hoboken Pioneers’ newest import player, Riley Donovan. She tops the charts in several offensive stats: AVG (.646), RBI (33), Runs (27), Hits (31), 2B (8), 3B (8), OBP (.708) and to top it off a wowing SLG of 1.208. In terms of Home Runs, we see that Merchtem Cats dominate the leader board. Maya Van Droogenbroeck holds the top spot with 7 full rounds around the bases. 

Beveren Lions also have a top swinger in their midst. Among the top batters, we’ve found a remarkable player. Youngster Gitte Janssen is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. With an .476 AVG, 3 Home Runs, 25 RBI and 13 Stolen Bases in her first full season in first division, she’s an astonishing run producing machine.

It will be an intriguing rest of the season. Visits to the fields will be worthwhile for the following match-ups.