The New Forest Thunder Knights split a tough home matchup with the Cardiff Merlins II on Sunday, as the second half of the season got underway with plenty of runs.

After a two week break, the Knights were a little sluggish out the blocks in game one, with a number of costly errors presenting the Merlins with the opportunity to ramp up the score.

A final 19-10 scoreline in no way reflected the way that Rhiannon McMah pitched, as she made her debut on the mound for the home side. With a strikeout in the fourth inning McMah also made the ‘play of the day’, as she consistently hit the zone and forced the Merlins to put the ball in play.

Despite the loss there were a number of other standout plays, Rob Holbrook took a difficult pop up with the wind blowing dirt up into his face, Dan Churchill picked up a hit with a drive over the head of the second baseman and Marcus Senior tripled for the second time this season.

Sam Williams also had an excellent game as he drove in three runs on three hits, taking his RBI total to 18 on the season. Williams was also excellent behind the plate, catching two full games in difficult conditions.

Marcus Senior had an excellent day at the plate

Game two saw the Knights bounce back, taking the game 13-6 to move their season record to 9-7.

Eddie Donald continued his excellent all round day with some extremely difficult catches in the outfield. After bouncing back from a shoulder injury, Donald was named player of the day as he recorded three hits across both games, alongside the aforementioned defensive performance.

The home side’s defense improved drastically in the second game, giving Andy Moore support across the whole field. McMah took a standout catch on the run in Right Field, as did Alex Frampton in centre, and Rozi Hathaway made a number of excellent stops at second base.

Senior continued his fantastic season at the plate, keeping his batting average at .690 with two more hits, driving in three runs in the process. On the season, Senior is third nationally in runs batted in, first in runs scored and second in on base percentage.

With the Summer Cup looming in a few weeks, the Knights are back in action at home against Merlins I next weekend.

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