BaseballSoftballUK brings Softball to the Corporate Games

Fri 20 Jul 2018

By Luke Stott

The weekend of 23-24 June featured the latest edition of the UK Corporate Games, and with softball featured as one of the core sports, BaseballSoftballUK was on hand to ensure the smooth running of the competition.

The Corporate Games, an event where professional organisations compete against one another in up to 23 different sports, are held across the globe, with the largest European event being held this year at Keele University near Stoke-on-Trent.

Day One

On a sunny Saturday morning, six co-ed slowpitch softball teams from Vodafone, Places for People, IBM and Willis Towers Watson assembled to take part in the group stages of the Corporate Games softball tournament under the watchful eyes of BASU-qualified umpires and administrative staff.

Each team played each other in a mini-league which decided who would play in the final and the third and fifth place playoffs.

With last year's champions, the Nationwide Panthers, unavailable, the perennially strong team from Vodafone saw their chance to regain the title they had nearly achieved 12 months previously.  A strong start against the rookie team from IBM gave them more than enough momentum to end the day undefeated, with four wins out of four.

Having whetted their appetites last year, however, Wilson Towers Watson (WTW) brought three teams to the Corporate Games this time around and their first team, the Wildcats, managed to end the day with a 3-1 record, the one blemish coming courtesy of Vodafone.

Their colleagues in the Swingers and the Manchester team would end the day in fourth and fifth place respectively, with the Places for People Kestrels Team occupying third place thanks to two wins, a loss, and an entertaining draw with WTW Manchester.

A great side story to the day was the rapid development of the IBM team, who, having suffered a heavy defeat to Vodafone to begin the day, showed tremendous improvement as the day wore on and could consider themselves unlucky to be propping up the table at the end of play on Day One.

Day Two

Day Two brought the end of the group stages, with Vodafone maintaining their unbeaten form and sailing serenely into the final.

Who would join them would provide huge drama, though.

Having beaten their Manchester office, the WTW Swingers found themselves in third place with one game to play.  That game's opponents?  The team lying in second place, their colleagues the Wildcats.

An excellent game ensued between the two WTW teams and when it was over the Swingers had proven victorious and had rocketed from fourth at the end of Day One to occupying a place in the final.

The final

With the round-robin stage completed, the final was contested by Vodafone and the WTW Swingers.  The Wildcats had to make do with a third-place play-off against the Places for People Kestrels, and IBM took on the WTW Manchester office for fifth place.

The finals would prove a game too far for all three WTW teams, with Vodafone proving undeniable in their quest to bring home a gold medal and the Places for People Kestrels team gaining a measure of revenge over the Wildcats to secure bronze. 

The IBM Team, after having gone 0-4 on Day One, rallied to win both their games on Day Two to finish fifth overall, a fantastic achievement given the inexperience of the squad.

Get involved

If you're interested in getting your workplace involved with softball, you don't have to wait for the next Corporate Games.  Instead, you can sign up for a Hit The Pitch Company Day where BaseballSoftballUK will provide all the equipment and expertise you'll need to get your entire office playing!

Click here for more information.

Final Standings

  1. Vodafone
  2. Wilson Towers Watson Swingers
  3. Places for People Kestrels
  4. Wilson Towers Watson Wildcats
  5. IBM
  6. Wilson Towers Watson Manchester


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