With 19-1 record in Huron Perth Fastball League; playoff tourney this weekend
By Pat Payton
The Veterinary Purchasing Midget-Juniors wrapped up their Huron Perth Fastball League schedule with two wins in their final three games — played on back-to-back nights.
The St. Marys girls, coached by Rob and Kelly Wiffen, were hoping to complete a perfect regular season, but their 19-1 record still speaks for itself. They have been the class of the 2019 season to date, finishing well ahead of their nearest rivals in the HPFL standings.
In 20 regular-season games, the Vet. Purchasing Midget-Juniors scored a league-high 234 runs (an average of 11.70 runs per game). They also allowed a league-low of 93 runs against (an average of 4.65 runs a game).
Maxwell shines in final home game
The Vet. Purchasing squad finished their 20-game regular schedule with an 8-4 victory over Milverton Millwrights on Tuesday, July 23 at Teddy’s Field. It was Ashlyn Maxwell’s final home game with the team and she made the most of it.
At the plate, Maxwell smashed a grand slam home run in the bottom of the third inning to put St. Marys up 6-0. She also pitched all seven innings, and fanned 14 Milverton batters. With two Millwrights aboard in the top of the seventh, Maxwell got the third and final out with a strikeout.
“Ash pitched really well; she was in the zone,” coach Kelly Wiffen reported. “We were really happy for Ash that she ended her career at home in such a really good way.”
Maxwell powered her team’s offensive attack, with a 3-for-3 performance. In addition to her grand slam and four RBI, she had a single and double and also scored twice.
Sarah Steckly contributed with a single and a walk and scored both times. Carly McEwan added a triple and a walk in three trips, while Natalie Reay, Bailey Wiffen and Lindsay Hannaberry all belted doubles.
Milverton’s record slipped to 8-8 with the loss.
First loss of the summer
The previous night at Cromarty, the Vet. Purchasing Midget-Juniors’ undefeated season came to an end when they lost 8-3 to the Fullarton A’s No. 2 squad. St. Marys carried an 18-0 record into the game.
“Errors cost us runs,” the Vet. Purchasing coaches reported.
The A’s, who improved their record to 10-4-1 with the victory, jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings. The visitors closed the gap to 5-3 with three runs in the top of the fourth. A two-run homer by Nathalie Bettger was the big blow. However, Fullarton answered with three insurance runs in their half of the fifth.
The Fullarton pitcher, who threw well, went the distance for the win–fanning eight batters. Aimee King, Bailey Wiffen and Ashlyn Maxwell all saw mound duty for St. Marys and combined for eight strikeouts.
Take sting out of Hornets
On Sunday, July 21 at Mitchell, the Vet. Purchasing Midget-Juniors scored runs in five different innings en route to a 12-7 victory over the Hornets.
St. Marys led 6-5 and 8-6 in the middle innings, before getting a little breathing room with four runs in the top of the seventh.
The long ball sparked the visitors’ offence on this night. St. Marys had seven extra-base hits, including three home runs.
Ashlyn Maxwell had two home runs, four runs batted in, and also scored three times, while lead-off batter Nathalie Bettger collected a two-run homer, and a single and double, and also crossed the plate three times.
Lindsay Hannaberry had a good night at the plate as well with a single, double and walk in four trips and also scored twice. Aimee King cracked a pair of doubles and scored a run, while Bailey Wiffen had a single and double and also crossed the plate.
Natalie Reay worked the first five innings to earn the pitching win. Maxwell threw the final two frames, striking out five, to record the save.
Playoff tournament this weekend
The Midget-Junior playoff tournament is this weekend, Aug. 9-11, hosted by DKMB River Cats (Delaware, Komoka, Mt. Brydges).
The Vet. Purchasing Midget-Juniors have been placed in Pool ‘A’ along with Milverton, Springfield Brewers and Fullarton A’s No. 1. In round-robin action, St. Marys plays Milverton Friday at 7 p.m., Springfield Saturday at 10 a.m. and Fullarton Saturday at 2 p.m. All games are at Delaware’s Main diamond.
The semi-final games are Sunday morning, and the championship game is at Delaware Main, starting at 12:30 p.m.