St. Marys Bantam girls fastball team competed in the Huron-Perth Fastball League championship tournament during the weekend of August 10-12 in Foldens and Sweaburg.
The team did extremely well to finish in fourth place during the regular schedule in the eight-team league. This team only had six girls available at the Bantam-age level and was assisted by Peewee and Squirt-age players throughout the season – in some games, the younger players actually out-numbered the Bantam girls. These call-ups played really well all summer long, and that continued in the playoff tournament.
During their first three games on Saturday, the team’s defense and pitching were fantastic, allowing a total of just six runs in those contests, while putting up 14 runs of their own. They ended up winning their pool with a sporty 3-0 record and qualifying for the semi-finals on Sunday. Their scores were 3-0 over Fullarton A’s, 3-2 over the Ingersoll Ironbirds, and 8-4 over Exeter Extreme.
Their opponent in the semi-finals ended up being Mitchell. Even though the Hornets had finished below St. Marys during the regular season, their tournament team was bolstered by players coming back from higher-level teams.
In a tense contest, the lead went back and forth. Defence and offence were both on display in this well-played game. As the time limit expired, the score was tied and an additional inning would be needed. Mitchell was able to plate a run, and St. Marys was unable to match it.
There would be no more fastball for this overachieving group. However, Mitchell had used an ineligible overage player and as a result they were disqualified. St. Marys then moved to the championship final against the league’s first place team – the DKMB Rivercats from Delaware.
The game was competitive from the start, with St. Marys scoring in the first inning and being matched by DKMB in the bottom half. Some hot hitting by DKMB and some controversial calls by the umpiring crew had St. Marys down significantly at the midway point of the game. Showing great resilience and poise for such a young squad, the team fought back–chipping away at the lead. In the end, the team lost the final 13-9, but played a great game, and an incredible tournament.
Thanks to the coaches, and to the all the players who helped this team succeed this year.
The Bantam team players were: Ava Bettger, Ellie Bramham, Veronica Mills, Sarah Steckley, Alex Humphreys, Erin O’Connor and Tianna Glousher.
Peewee players who played for the team during the regular season and tournament included: Hayden McDonald, Kaitie Gratton, Taylor Hammel, Chantel Johns, Lauren Gracey, Charlie Bramham, Jillian Sterkenburg and Julia Cameron.
Team coaches this year were: Jared Frayne, Jeff Bramham, Stacie Frayne and Shawn Johns.