The following is a submitted article from Travis Long outlining the Central Energy's win at the Western Canadian Girls Fastball Championship in Stonewall last weekend:
The U15 Central Energy defeated the Calgary Adrenaline 9-3 in the finals to win Gold at the Western Canadian Fastball Championships in Stonewall on August 7th.
The tournament draw included two qualifying teams from B.C. (Richmond Islanders and Abbotsford Outlaws), two from Alberta (Calgary Adrenaline and Beaumont Blitz), two from Saskatchewan (Parkland Predators and Southeast Sundevils), and two from Manitoba (Central Energy and Manitoba Lightning), plus the host Interlake Phillies.
The Energy had a strong showing in the round robin, collecting five wins over The Sundevils (8-1), Phillies (10-2), Blitz (8-7 in 8 innings), Islanders (17-2) and Outlaws (4-0). Their only loss was to Adrenaline 8-1. Even though the score was lopsided, there was an edge to the game, as the two teams had faced each other once before, in the finals of the Queen City Classic in Regina back in June. On that day, Energy triumphed with a convincing 9-1 mercy rule win, and the tournament gold medal. The Adrenaline clearly still carried a chip on their shoulder from the earlier defeat, and they were determined to avoid the same fate again, winning the round robin game in convincing fashion.
With the round robin complete, Energy and Adrenaline both had 5-1 records to finish in a tie at the top of the standings, but with Adrenaline having won the head to head match against Energy, they were ranked first and Energy second going into the playoffs. This meant they would face each other for a second time in the 1vs2 semi-final game on Sunday morning, with the Adrenaline having home field advantage as the higher seed. Both teams came to compete, and the Adrenaline scored a run in the bottom of the first to take the early lead. The Energy locked it down on defence, and managed what appeared to be a safe 6-1 lead after 5.5 innings. The lead didn’t last however, as the Adrenaline exploded for four runs in the bottom of the 6th. The Adrenaline completed the comeback with two more runs in the bottom of the 7th and the 7-6 victory.
The loss meant Energy would drop down to play the winner of the 3vs4 game between the Lightning and Blitz, with the victor coming back up to play the Adrenaline in the championship final, and the loser settling for the Bronze medal. The Lightning defeated Blitz, setting up an all-Manitoba matchup.
Energy took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. They had something to prove, and never looked back, piling on more runs in the 4th and 6th innings and cruising to a 9-2 mercy rule victory, setting up another rematch with Adrenaline for the gold medal.
Once again, Energy spotted the Adrenaline an early 1-0 lead after one inning, but the tide turned in the 3rd, with the Energy pouring in seven runs, and then adding two more in the 4th. The girls held the defence together, and strong pitching stifled the opposing batters. Energy cruised to a 9-3 win, and the gold medal.
There were many highlights over the weekend. The Energy played some of their best defence of the year when it counted, making some stellar plays in the field, including several double plays. Energy second baseman Tori Mangin from Somerset was named the Tournament MVP.
The successful weekend concluded a very busy season that saw the team play 67 games, with an overall record of 44 wins, 21 losses and 2 ties. They participated in tournaments in Rapid City SD (finishing 2nd), Regina (finishing 1st), Brandon, Sioux Falls, SD, and then Provincials in La Salle (finishing 4th), before attending and winning the Western Canadian Championship.
The season would not have been a success without the tremendous dedication of our manager Bobbi-Jo Guffie, the entire coaching staff, the parents and families of the players, and all of our sponsors who provided financial support to the team throughout the year, allowing for the best competitive opportunities for our young athletes. From the Energy Family – THANK YOU!
From the team's Instagram page:
Tryouts for the 2022 season were 322 days ago.
97 hours of practice
This season officially started 85 days ago
27 uniform combinations
11 softball sisters
9 cowbell masters
8 team meals
5 team bonding events
2 score masters
1 team / big happy family