WATCH: Portsmouth's softball elite put through their paces by USS George HW Bush sailors
VALIANT softball players from across the Portsmouth area tackled seasoned American sailors in an upbeat friendly match on Saturday.
Sailors from the impressive American aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush came ashore to square off against a handful of players from the Solent Softball League on the Royal Navy playing fields opposite Clarence Pier in Southsea.
Cheered on by supporters on both sides, the teams decided against keeping score, giving the warship sailors the chance to have a breather before the crew leaves Stokes Bay tomorrow morning.
Jim Kelly, a member of the league, organised the event.
He said: ‘When I heard that the ship was coming into port, I thought it would be great to have a game with the sailors against the league.
‘We have had a really great time, just having a lot of fun and letting the sailors cool off and relax with a game of softball.’
Softball is similar to rounders in that a pitcher throws a ball to a batter who has to hit it and run around as many bases as possible to get points for their team.
The league’s team was made up of players from Portsmouth, and Chichester with the American team made up of players from the ship’s official softball team and those who fancied a game.
Mr Kelly added: ‘They’ve given us a good run for our money as they are very adept at this game and we are kind of novices.’
The league previously faced off against a team from the USS Theodore Roosevelt back in 2010.
Will Bowlden, aviation ordnance chief on the carrier said: ‘We are really enjoying our stay here in Portsmouth and this game was a good opportunity to come and play a bit of softball and have some fun.
‘It has been fun to come and have a breather down here.’