Three softball teams from Estevan competed at the 2014 Softball Saskatchewan Provincial Championship from June 27 to 29.
The Gem Well Bantam Elite, the Rocket Sales Peewee Elite and the Team Industrial Squirt Elite 1 represented Estevan at provincials.
The bantams competed in the A event. In their first game on June 27, they lost 12-2 in five innings against the Conquest Coyotes. The mercy rule was invoked with two innings remaining.
“I think it was a little bit of nerves, and the pitching that game wasn’t very overpowering,” coach Renee Blanchette said.
In the following game, Estevan fell to the Regina Lasers 8-0 in five innings. The Regina pitcher tossed a no-hitter.
The next day, the bantam Elite earned their first victory of the tournament, defeating the Saskatoon Phantoms 17-2 in three innings.
Blanchette said that the “bats did wake up a little bit” from the first two games.
“We definitely did get some good hits that game, and were helped by a few errors by the other team too,” he said.
In their final game, Estevan won 12-4 against the Saskatoon Raiders.
“We got about 15 hits in that game, so our bats really came alive in that game,” said Blanchette.
The bantams finished 2-2 in their pool, which was not good enough to advance to the playoff round. The top three teams in each pool advanced.
They will compete in the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Tournament in Surrey, B.C., starting July 11.
The Pewee Elite competed in the B division at provincials. They went 4-0 in the first round, and advanced to the semi-finals.
They defeated the Carlyle TNT on June 27. (Score was not available). The following game, they won 6-1 against the Hudson Bay Lazers.
The next day, the peewee Elite beat Regina 18-0 in just three innings. The final game in the first round, they came out on top 12-2 against Weyburn. The mercy rule came in after five innings.
Coach Mike Wilson believed that his team performed to their capability.
“The round robin games actually went really well … the pitching was fantastic on our side and we hit the ball extremely well too,” he said.
Rain caused numerous delays during the tournament, and pushed back the playoff round to July 6.
Wilson said that his team will continue to play well.
“We’re very optimistic ….I’m looking forward to the playoff round,” he said.
The Team Squirt Elite 1 made it to the playoff round in the Under 12 B division.
Their first game was on July 27, and they defeated the Southey Eagles 12-1. The game was supposed to go five innings but only went to three as the mercy rule came into play.
The following day, they lost to the Unity Panthers 7-1 in a four-inning game.
Coach Jody Waloshin said that the Panthers are a high-calibre team, and it showed that they have been playing together all year.
The squirt Elite played Southey again, and defeated them 15-9 in four innings.
The final game of the day was against Unity. They again loss to the Panthers 11-0 in four innings.
The playoffs will be played July 6, as the squirt division was also hampered by rain.
Going into the playoffs, Waloshin wants his team to be more aggressive.
“The whole intent of these games is to get as many runs as possible, and get on base,” he said.