Astros hav­ing a ball

As­cen­sion takes sec­ond con­sec­u­tive AAAA male soft­ball ban­ner

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

As­cen­sion Col­le­giate students walk­ing into Trevor Dixon’s sec­ond­floor class­room have prob­a­bly no­ticed some­thing dif­fer­ent over the last week or so.

Firstly, there is a pro­vin­cial AAAA soft­ball ban­ner hang­ing on the left side of the white board, and se­condly, there are three yel­low soft­balls rest­ing on Dixon’s desk.

Both hold the sig­na­tures of all of the play­ers and coach­ing staff that played a part in the Astros’ sec­ond con­sec­u­tive soft­ball ti­tle.

The ban­ner rep­re­sents the sec­ond of back-to-back soft­ball cham­pi­onships, the first of which broke a near-quar­ter-cen­tury drought for the Bay Roberts school. Now, a sec­ond has the school tee­ter­ing on the precipice of be­ing called a dy­nasty.

Mak­ing the win more spe­cial was the fact the team could do it in front of fam­ily and friends, as the Astros hosted the tour­na­ment.

“Words can­not de­scribe the feel­ing,” said Level III stu­dent Tyson Drover of Up­per Is­land Cove, one of the team’s lead­ing hit­ters in the tour­ney.

Drover, who had been injured in ear­lier in the tour­na­ment, belted two mas­sive home runs in the vic­tory, the sec­ond of which saw Drover trot down the first base line af­ter mak­ing contact, bat in hand and watch­ing the ball land in the soc­cer field some 350 feet from home plate.

The game was tight headed into the top of the seventh as the Astros held a nar­row three-run lead, when Jared Adams launched a two-run home run into the cool, Oc­to­ber sky and over the fence in left field.

Adams also pitched the team to vic­tory in the ti­tle game. He said a key to the win was er­ror-free ball.

“We played good de­fence,” he said.

Out­fielder Zach Nose­wor­thy said all mem­bers of the team were in­volved in the vic­tory, call­ing it “a com­plete team ef­fort.”

The fi­nal was a re­match of the tour­na­ment opener which saw Holy Trin­ity, of Tor­bay, dump the Astros 17-9.

But it would only serve as a wakeup call for the host team.

“We got stronger as the tourna-

ment went on,” said out­fielder Colin Lynch.

The proof is in the pud­ding, as they say. As hit­ters started show­ing more pa­tience at the plate, the bats started to come alive.

“Ev­ery time we came back to the dugout, we were say­ing ‘take a cou­ple of pitches,’” said Nose­wor­thy.

By the end of the tour­na­ment, Astros’ hit­ters were see­ing beach balls.

The Astros met Clarenville High in its sec­ond matchup of the tour­na­ment, trounc­ing the vis­i­tors 14-3.

Then, the team met Ex­ploits Val­ley High from Grand Falls-Wind­sor in a must-win game. The Astros’ of­fense ex­ploded and the team took a 23-13 vic­tory. The vic­tory meant a semi fi­nal matchup with Ron­calli High from Avon­dale. Ron­calli held two pre­vi­ous vic­to­ries over the Astros from the re­gional tour­na­ment.

But As­cen­sion was able to ex­or­cise the demons, out­last­ing Ron­calli 15-8 in the win­ner-take-all af­fair. Team sup­port Spend a cou­ple of min­utes with the team, and it was easy to tell they sup­port each other, both on the field and off.

If a player com­mit­ted an er­ror, the rest were quick to pick him up with a pat on the back or some sup­port­ive words.

“Other teams, you could hear them say­ing things to play­ers if they did some­thing wrong,” said coach Trevor Dixon. “Our guys didn’t do that.”

Dixon was not sur­prised by the out­come of the tour­na­ment.

“I was con­fi­dent that with the group we had put to­gether, that they could do it again,” he said.

Nose­wor­thy added that he knew his team­mates had the tal­ent to turn the trick one more time.

“We knew we had the skill to beat them,” he said.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Sub­mit­ted photo

ABOVE: The As­cen­sion Col­le­giate boys’ soft­ball team cap­tured its sec­ond straight AAAA pro­vin­cial soft­ball crown af­ter de­feat­ing Holy Trin­ity in the cham­pi­onship game at the Wil­bur Sparkes Re­cre­ation Com­plex in Bay Roberts on Oct. 13. Mem­bers of the team are: front (l-r) – Colin Lynch, coach Ker­i­lynn Mercer, Ni­cholas Par­sons and Tyson Drover; back – coach Jeremy Mercer, Lu­cas Roberts, Cody Walsh, Bradley Riggs, Zachary Nose­wor­thy, Jared Adams, Ste­wart Brazil, Bran­don Mo­ri­ar­ity, Zachary Coombs, Bran­don Crocker and coach Trevor Dixon. Miss­ing from photo is Bran­don Sparkes.

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