The following article was submitted to PembinaValleyOnline by Central Charge Head Coach Keith Graham:
The "AA" program is a new program that has been in the works for the last couple years, but was finally able to get going with game play this year. There is so much softball talent around Manitoba, with very limited AAA programs to play for. This gives the girls a chance to showcase their talents in more competitive ball, as well as continue development in the sport.
This year there were two showcases, as well as provincials, that was held this past weekend August 13th/14th in Brandon.
Provincials started with a four game round robin. We played Westman Fury and beat them 9-3, game 2 was the Manitoba Reapers, and the Charge won 16-1, the third game was against Westman South Storm and the Charge won 16-12. The 4th game was our only loss in round robin when Eastman Blaze beat us 6-2.
It was a very hot weekend, so the girls had to make sure they were staying hydrated and cool as much as they could. There were a couple times were we went down in the game, but they battled through a bit of adversity, and found a way to get the job done.
The semi-final game you could start to see the heat catch up with everyone, it was a hard fought game and we managed the 7-6 win against the Westman Storm.
The final game was versus the only team who had beaten us that weekend. The Eastman Blaze is a very gritty team who takes advantage of the mistakes you make, so we knew we couldn't make many. After getting up early in the game, Eastman found a way to tie it up 12-12 in the top of the 7th. In the bottom of the 7th we ended up loading the bases with one out. Samara Hildebrand drilled the ball to the outfield, while Sophie Cenerini was tagging on 3rd base. Once the ball was caught Sophie raced in as hard as she could, and slid into home for the win. The game couldn't have been any closer, and it was a pretty wild finish!
"I'm extremely proud of the girls," said Graham. "Coming into the season you never know what to expect when you throw people together from different towns. They turned into great teammates right away, and worked really hard to finish off the year with a Provincial Championship. I am very happy the girls were able to be rewarded for their hard work throughout the year. I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids."