ST. JOHN — The first no-hitter of the week highlighted Thursday’s games in the second day of the Eastern Caribbean Amateur Softball Confederation’s Women’s Fast-Pitch Tournament Qualifier.
Richelle Van Gennip came one batter from having a perfect game in Curacao’s 11-0, four-inning victory over Jamaica in the day’s opening game at the National Park Ball Field in Cruz Bay.
In Thursday’s other games, the British Virgin Islands routed St. Maarten 11-1 in four innings, Aruba got its first win by holding off St. Maarten 9-4, and the U.S. Virgin Islands wrapped up the day by downing St. Maarten 8-3.
That leaves a three-way tie atop the standings between the USVI, BVI and Curacao at 2-0, with a key two-day stretch coming. Aruba is 1-1, Jamaica is 0-2 and St. Maarten is 0-3.
All three of the frontrunners will play their final three round-robin games over the next two days — the U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands today (including a head-to-head matchup between the territorial rivals), and Curacao on Saturday.
The top four teams after four days of round-robin play advance to Sunday’s final games, with the third- and fourth-place teams playing in the bronze-medal game at 1 p.m., followed by the championship game between the first- and second-place teams at 4 p.m.
The tournament champion automatically qualifies for the upcoming Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, scheduled for June 23-July 8 in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Four games are on the schedule for today at the National Park Ball Field. St. Maarten opens against Jamaica at 11 a.m., followed by the British Virgin Islands facing Aruba at 2 p.m.
The BVI then takes on the U.S. Virgin Islands at 5 p.m., followed by the USVI playing Curacao at 8 p.m.
More on Thursday’s games in the ECASC Tournament Qualifier:
U.S. Virgin Islands 8, St. Maarten 3: The USVI remained undefeated in the round-robin tournament by staving off an early challenge from still-winless St. Maarten.
St. Maarten went up 1-0 in the top of the second inning. But the USVI broke through in the bottom of the third, with Rhea Benjamin connecting on a three-run home run to key a five-run inning.
The U.S. Virgin Islands added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, and a solo run in the sixth. That was more than enough to overcome St. Maarten’s last-gasp scoring efforts, with solo runs in the top of the sixth and seventh innings.
Kiara Richards went the distance to get the win for the USVI, giving up just one earned run off six hits and a walk, with one strikeout.
Shatienne Kock took the loss for St. Maarten, allowing five runs off six hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings, with one strikeout.
Zulaima Croes came on in relief, and allowed three runs off five hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Benjamin finished with two hits, two runs scored and three RBIs. Akia Frett and Roneice Pharoah each had three hits, one run scored and one RBI, and Diamond Callwood had two hits and drove in a run for the U.S. Virgin Islands (2-0).
Milvienne Henriquez and Jennysela Tromp had two hits each for St. Maarten (0-3).
Aruba 9, St. Maarten 4: Aruba won its first tournament game, but it needed a late outburst to hold off St. Maarten’s rally.
St. Maarten had pulled within 5-4 after scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Aruba put on four runs in the top of the seventh, keyed by a two-run double from Jennysela Tromp.
Yee Mei Cheong got the win for Aruba (1-1), giving up four runs off two hits and six walks over five innings, with two strikeouts. Rudlyn Ras got the save, closing with two shutout innings, with two hits and three strikeouts.
Margaritha Hassell took the loss for St. Maarten (0-3), allowing nine runs off 17 hits over 6 1/3 innings, with two strikeouts.
Sayanne Geerman had three hits, three runs scored and four RBIs for Aruba, with Tromp also getting three hits and driving in three runs.
Marquilla Ambrosina had a hit and three RBIs for St. Maarten, while Shanirah Illidge had a hit and drove in a run.
British Virgin Islands 11, St. Maarten 1 (4 innings): Javlyn Frett nearly had a shutout in the day’s second game as the British Virgin Islands also remained undefeated in round-robin play.
Frett threw a two-hitter to get the win for the BVI (2-0), giving up an unearned run to St. Maarten in the bottom of the first inning. Frett also gave up two walks and struck out three.
The run cut the BVI’s lead to 2-1 after one inning, but they would respond by scoring two runs each in the top of the second and third innings, then ending the game with five runs in the top of the fourth.
Tamisha York took the loss for St. Maarten (0-2), fiving up six unearned runs over three innings off three hits and six walks, with one strikeout. Russeline Zimmerman pitched the fourth inning in relief, allowing five runs (only two earned) off five hits, with one strikeout.
Jelisa Potter had three hits and two RBIs for the British Virgin Islands, with Claudy Scatliffe driving in two runs, and Sheniqua Fahie Akira Phillips each getting a hit, scoring twice and driving in a run.
Vannessa Eusebius and Gullermina York had one hit each for St. Maarten.
Curacao 11, Jamaica 0 (4 innings): Curacao starting pitcher Richelle Van Gennip came close to a perfect game in shutting out Jamaica to remain undefeated in round-robin play.
Van Gennip struck out six to get the win for Curacao (2-0). The only runner to reach base for Jamaica was Marsonnette Roberts, who was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the first inning.
Cachetne Barrett took the loss for Jamaica (0-2), allowing 10 earned runs off 11 hits and six walks over four innings, with two strikeouts.
Jandely Ricardo had two hits, two RBIs and a run scored for Curacao. Anais Piar also had two hits and scored twice, Suheidy Faneyt had a hit, two RBIs and two runs scored; and Deidra Da Costa and Ashanty Alexandre had one hit, two RBIs and a run scored each.