Ascension ready to defend softball crown
School hosting 4A pronvicial tourney
The Ascension Collegiate boys’ softball team will defend its AAAA softball crown on its home turf at the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex in Bay Roberts on Oct. 13-14.
The Bay Roberts school will host teams from Holy Trinity High in St. John’s, Queen Elizabeth High in Foxtrap, Roncalli Central High in Avondale, Clarenville High, Exploits Valley High in Grand Falls-Windsor and Stephenville High.
Senior player Tyson Drover said the team is “confident” ahead of the provincial tournament.
“It feels good to be playing at our own field,” he said.
Drover is one of four returning players from the championship squad last fall. The others are Jared Adams, Zach Noseworthy and Colin Lynch.
He said the team is looking forward to getting the chance to bring home the provincial banner for a second time.
The Astros enter the tournament as underdogs after failing to win the qualifying tournament for the Avalon region, losing 6-3 to Roncalli.
This meant that Ascension got its place in the tournament because it was hosting the provincial playdowns.
Despite that, head coach Trevor Dixon likes the makeup of his team.
“We are really good defensively,” he said.
Although the team is comprised of mostly converted baseball players, including 2012 NL Summer Games silver medalists Bradley Riggs, Stewart Brazil, Nick Parsons and Zach Coombs, and just one regular softball player — Brandon Moriarity — Dixon thinks his squad is primed to repeat.
“I think we have a very strong team,” he said.
At the plate, Dixon said the team is a “work in progress.”
“We’re not bad, by any means, but I find that the transition from baseball to softball is different,” he said.
What he found was that some of his players were hitting a lot of fly balls rather than line drives.
“We tried getting the boys to use a nice, level swing,” said Dixon.
By the looks of things at practice and the number of line drives, Dixon and his fellow coaches — Terri-Lynn Mercer and Jeremy Mercer — have the team headed in the right direction.
Ascension Astros’ boys’ softball first baseman Bradley Riggs snags a ground ball at practice last week at the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex in Bay Roberts. The Astros are in preparations to host the provincial boys’ softball AAAA tournament this weekend.