Team finishes H-P regular schedule on winning note
By Pat Payton
Coaches Rob and Kelly Wiffen are hoping it’s a good tune-up for the upcoming Huron-Perth Fastball League playoff tournament as the Veterinary Purchasing Midget girls completed their 22-game regular schedule with a convincing win last Tuesday night at Teddy’s Field.
Sparked by Ashlyn Maxwell’s three home runs, St. Marys tamed the Wilmot Thunder from New Hamburg 16-6.
With the victory, the Vet. Purchasing squad improved their won-loss-tied record to 16-5-1, good for 33 points. The locals have been near the top of the H-P standings all summer, but didn’t know where they would finish on the 12-team ladder until earlier this week (Aug. 14) when all regular-season games were expected to be completed.
Jump out to early lead
Against Wilmot on Aug. 7, Maxwell smashed home runs in her first two at-bats, helping the Vet. Purchasing crew jump out to a 9-4 lead after two innings. After the Thunder closed the gap to 9-6, the home team pulled away again with three runs in the fourth and four more in the sixth.
The first three batters in the St. Marys line-up combined to score 10 runs. Lead-off batter Jensen Dundas cracked a pair of hits, including a double, and crossed the plate four times. Nathalie Bettger also had two hits, including a triple, and scored three runs. The Thunder couldn’t get Maxwell out as the veteran shortstop drew a walk to go along with her three homers. Two of her round-trippers were three-run blasts.
Also contributing to the offence was Natalie Reay with a pair of hits, including a triple. Carly McEwan collected a single and two walks in four trips, while Kaitlyn Sleeper chipped in a pair of runs scored.
Keeping the Wilmot batters in check were pitchers Aimee King, Bailey Wiffen and Natalie Reay. They each threw two innings, and combined for 12 strikeouts.
Protest win over Byron
On July 31 in Byron, the Vet. Purchasing Midgets dropped a 7-6 decision to the home-town Blaze. However, Byron used illegal players in four recent games, including this one, and St. Marys was awarded the two points.
The visitors held early 5-2 and 6-3 leads, but the Blaze scored four times in the bottom of the fifth to move in front.
Nathalie Bettger scored twice for the Vet. Purchasing crew, with Ashlyn Maxwell, Carly McEwan, Lindsay Hannaberry and Sam Truax all crossing the plate once.
Handling the pitching duties for St. Marys were Natalie Reay and Maxwell, in relief.
Note: As of standings Sunday, Aug. 12, Fullarton A’s clinched first place with 36 points — one more than Mitchell Hornets. St. Marys finished with 33 points. Milverton moved into a third-place tie with the Vet. Purchasing Midgets when they blanked 11th-place Ingersoll 7-0 Sunday.