A fi­nal vic­tory

Reds now wear­ing P.E.I.’s green and white colours for Canada Games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY ERIC MC­CARTHY wbu­reau@jour­nal­pi­oneer.com

She tried it on be­fore, but Monday night was to be Sarah Wood­side’s first op­por­tu­nity to wear her Team P.E.I. green and white uni­form in a game sit­u­a­tion, and she was re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.

That doesn’t mean she’d hold back on slid­ing into a base if the sit­u­a­tion pre­sented it­self, the P.E.I. Canada Games women’s soft­ball team’s catcher stressed.

The team was get­ting to­gether for an in­tra-squad game in O’Leary, one day af­ter re­tir­ing the P.E.I. Reds’ uni­forms they’d been wear­ing since 2011.

That re­tire­ment came on a high note – a 3-2 win over Team New Brunswick in the cham­pi­onship fi­nal of the Lloyd Poirier tour­na­ment in Truro. It’s the sec­ond year in a row the Sum­mer­side Chrysler Dodge Reds have won the tour­na­ment.

This year, they did it by post­ing a 5-0 (won-lost) record. They de­feated Nova Sco­tia’s Canada Games squad 8-2 in the semi­fi­nal.

The Reds had round-robin wins of 9-1 over the She Dev­ils, 9-0 over Team New Brunswick and 9-0 over KV Dy­na­mite. Emily Broth­ers, Alyssa Flem­ing and Syd­ney Hal­li­well picked up the re­spec­tive pitch­ing wins.

Flem­ing got the start against Nova Sco­tia in the semi­fi­nal, throw­ing four com­plete in­nings and giv­ing up two runs. Broth­ers shut them down the rest of the way. Jada Yeo led the Reds of­fen­sively, hit­ting 3-for-4, with a triple, dou­ble and driv­ing in three runs. Kae­lyn White went 2-for-3, and Kai­ley Koughan hit 2-for-4.

Yeo picked up the pitch­ing

win in the cham­pi­onship game, al­low­ing two runs through four­plus in­nings, be­fore Broth­ers reg­is­tered a sec­ond play­off save.

Mad­die Clarke, who scored the win­ning run in the third in­ning, hit 2-for-3, with a triple, to lead the Reds. Emily Cairns (2-3) and Wood­side (2-4) were the Reds’ other lead­ing bat­ters.

There have been a few player changes since 2011, Wood­side ac­knowl­edged, but she stressed the Reds/Team P.E.I. has al­ways been blessed with good team chem­istry.

“It’s such a great at­mos­phere,” she said, point­ing out the play­ers

are a close-knit group.

The Lloyd Poirier was the Reds’ fifth and fi­nal tour­na­ment of the 2017 sea­son. To go along with their gold medal in Truro, they won gold at their own Spud Chuck­ers tour­na­ment in O’Leary; a sil­ver medal at the Henry Kelly tour­na­ment in Monc­ton, and a bronze medal at an un­der--21 Team On­tario tour­na­ment.

Team P.E.I. head coach, Jeff Ellsworth has pro­nounced his team ready for Canada Games. They’ve played against all of the Canada Games teams ex­cept for Bri­tish Columbia, Man­i­toba and

Al­berta. While he doesn’t think any of the prov­inces will be a sur­prise to them, he feels P.E.I. could dish out some sur­prises.

The Reds had a 0-0 game go­ing against Team On­tario un­til the bot­tom of the sixth in a tour­na­ment two weeks ago, be­fore bow­ing out 1-0. Ellsworth sus­pects word of that close en­counter will spread pretty quickly, and will re­sult in P.E.I. fac­ing ev­ery prov­ince’s top pitcher.

“It’s one of those things where you pre­pare for so many years, and you try to ex­pose them to as many big tour­na­ments as you can,” said Ellsworth.

Some of his Canada Games ath­letes, he said, have al­ready played in as many as seven Cana­dian cham­pi­onships, and they’ve all been ex­posed to toplevel ball.

“They’re ready,” re­it­er­ated

Ellsworth.

Dur­ing the Cana­dian se­nior women’s cham­pi­onship last year in O’Leary, the Reds be­came the first P.E.I. women’s soft­ball team to win a Tier 1 medal – a bronze. They’ve cap­tured Plate Divi­sion sil­ver medals at nationals in Saska­toon in 2014 and Mon­treal in 2015.

So now it’s on to Canada Games. The team leaves for Win­nipeg on Aug. 5, and will play nine round-robin games be­tween Aug. 7 and 11. Wood­side said she’s hop­ing they can fin­ish in the top four, and com­pete for a Canada Games medal.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Sum­mer­side Chrysler Dodge Reds won the Lloyd Poirier Memo­rial fast­ball tour­na­ment in Truro, N.S., for the sec­ond year in a row. Mem­bers of the Reds are, front row, from left: Jeff Ellsworth (head coach), Clara Jane Wood, Kae­lyn White, Hope Hig­gin­botham, Emily Broth­ers, Bri­anna Arse­nault, Eryn Hustler, Emily Cairns and Mike French (as­sis­tant coach). Back row: Chris Hal­li­well (as­sis­tant coach), Jor­dan El­lis (man­ager), Vanessa Ren­nie, Sarah Wood­side, Mad­die Clarke, Alyssa Flem­ing, Jada Yeo, Kai­ley Koughan, Syd­ney Hal­li­well, Katie Rayner, Jamie Betts (pitch­ing coach) and Ash­ley Praught (as­sis­tant coach).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.