Parrsboro girls win slo-pitch provincials
Win over Richmond seals the deal after memorable season
The Parrsboro Warriors girls’ slo-pitch team received their toughest test of the year here on the weekend, but emerged provincial champions.
The Warriors defeated their rivals from Richmond 15-12 in the championship game on Sunday, after a weekend of plenty ups and downs on the field. The team entered the tournament with an undefeated record of 18-0, including cruising through their Northumberland regional championship.
They did not know what losing felt like until their first game at provincials, when they were defeated 15-8 by Richmond.
“It was a really hard hit,” said Ashley Hamel, one of four captains on the team. “It almost set the mood for the weekend. We had to stay positive, which was challenging, but we managed to flip the mood.”
“No matter what happened, everyone stuck together. Even when we lost games, no one gave up. I think the team came together more than ever over the weekend.”
Coach Bliss Walton made some small changes and did his best to help them shake it off.
“We had a team meeting after the game, and I told them they were not done, and that it’s a lot better to lose now than later,” said Walton. “They came back out and played their best game of the year against Bridgetown.”
The Bridgetown team was strong, but Parrsboro played solid defence and produced hits from all through their lineup en route to a 16-1 victory.
The team came out confident – perhaps too confident, according to their coach – for its third and final round-robin game on Sunday morning against Bridgewater, who were 0-2 in their previous two games. Parrsboro lost by a score of 14-8.
That left a three-way tie for second place in the pool, with Richmond having gone 3-0, and only the top two teams advancing to the playoff round. Thanks to a plus-minus of runs scored, the nod went to the Warriors, whose first playoff game would be against East Antigonish, the team that had knocked them out of the tournament in two of the last three years.
“No matter what happened, everyone stuck together,” said Jasmine Walton, also a captain. “Even when we lost games, no one gave up. I think the team came together more than ever over the weekend.”
They beat East Antigonish 13-6, advancing to the championship final against Richmond, a close-fought battle.
Parrsboro led 9-7 going into the seventh and final inning. With the bases loaded and two out, Ella Harrison took a walk to bring in another run. That brought up the top of the order, and Jasmine Walton hit a bases clearing double. Sarah Merriam, Ashley Hamel and Victoria McLellan each followed with hits, giving them an eight-run lead for the bottom half of the inning.
Richmond then scored five runs, and had the bases loaded with nobody out. The next two batters grounded out to Danielle McLellan at third base, and Ashley Hamel struck out the final batter for the win.
“Whether we were playing offence or defence, everyone gave it their all this weekend,” said Sarah Merriam. “As one of the captains, I couldn’t have asked for anything more out of any one of them. I know we couldn’t have done it without everyone playing how they did.”
Victoria McLellan credited their supportive parents and teammates for helping them reach their full potential, even when they were struggling.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of the girls,” she said. “The smiles and laughs I will cherish forever. Winning the banner was great, but the expression on the all the girls’ faces will forever be priceless.”
Walton, who is stepping down after more than 15 years as a coach, said this was the most evenly contested provincial tournament he has ever been to. He thanked his daughter Brooke, who served as assistant coach, and his wife Michelle for her steady support.
He believes his team’s depth put them over the top.
“We’ve had a lot of amazing players over the years, but this year, no matter where we were in the order, we had a chance to score runs,” he said. “They were all able to catch, throw, and do the little things that ended up being the difference in the end.”
The Parrsboro Warriors won the girls’ slo-pitch Division 3 provincial championship in Cheticamp over the weekend. (Front, from left) Sarah Merriam, Victoria McLellan, Jasmine Walton, Ashley Hamel, (back) assistant coach Brooke Walton, Ella Harrison, Meana Oliveira, Erin Trottier, Danielle McLellan, Dakota Ferdinand, Casey Hamel, Kenzie Ferdinand, Haley Harrison, Skye Yorke and coach Bliss Walton.
Graduating players from this year’s team are captains (from left) Sarah Merriam, Victoria McLellan, Jasmine Walton and Ashley Hamel.