Plenty to be proud of
Prince Edward Island squad of newcomers finishes six
Team P.E.I. finished sixth at the Canada Games softball tournament with most of its players having picked up the sport during the last 2 ½ years.
Newfoundland and Labrador defeated the Island 9-6 Friday on the last day of the championship. They finished the tournament 3-6 in preliminary play and split two placing games to end with a 4-7 record.
“I just said to the guys, ‘You should be very proud of what you accomplished’,” head coach Mark Quinn said after the game. “They came in and competed against the best softball players from across the country and finished sixth.”
P.E.I. struck for two runs in the top of the first inning, but Newfoundland responded with four in its half of the inning. They added single runs in the second, third and sixth innings plus a deuce in the fourth. P.E.I. got a two-run home run from Logan Gallant in the fifth and threatened for more in the seventh.
Ty McAdam had a single, double and a walk, Stephen O’Shea and Jonathan Arsenault each had doubles while Sam Walsh singled. Arsenault allowed nine runs on 12 hits. He walked two and struck out two.
“These guys have been playing their whole lives,’’ catcher Parker Ronahan said of the rest of the field. “We started 2 ½ years ago from scratch and to finish sixth amongst the best in Canada that’s unbelievable.”
Ronahan caught nine of the team’s 11 games during the seven-day tournament. Many of them were played in scorching heat with him wearing the extra protective gear for the position and blocking balls in the dirt.
“The knees are pretty sore, but it’s all right . . . you have all next week to rest,’’ he said.
Arsenault went the distance again Friday. He pitched 39 2/3 innings during the weeklong tournament.
“He’s the heart and soul of the team,” Ronahan said. “He’s our backbone and without him, we wouldn’t be finishing sixth.”
Quinn said the team received contributions from up and down its roster while Ronahan said the team’s staff of Quinn, Mike Bishop and George Drover were instrumental in the team’s success.
“All the work that Bishy, Quinner and Drover put in is just overwhelming,” he said. “If it wasn’t for Mark Quinn, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Ronahan said there are many things that stand out during the week, including finishing sixth, playing a good game against Saskatchewan and having a 5-4 lead on Ontario. And some of the memories happened outside the field of play.
“We have a great group of guys from one end of the Island to the other,” he said. “We shared a lot of good memories, for sure.”
Jonathan Arsenault throws a pitch during Team P.E.I.’s final men’s softball game at the Canada Games in Winnipeg. He was a workhorse for the team all week.
Team P.E.I.’s Sam Walsh slides to try to avoid the tag of Newfoundland and Labrador’s pitcher Jordan Noftall Friday at the Canada Games in Winnipeg.