Proud mo­ment

P.E.I. forces B.C. to ex­tra in­nings at Canada Games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - Jason Mal­loy

Team P.E.I. pushed an un­de­feated Bri­tish Columbia squad to ex­tra in­nings Wed­nes­day at the Canada Games women’s soft­ball com­pe­ti­tion.

B.C. won the game 10-8 in eight in­nings to im­prove to 5-0 while P.E.I. is 1-5.

Spec­ta­tors wouldn’t have known the records based on Wed­nes­day’s game as the Is­land women played their hearts out against a B.C. club that had outscored their op­po­nents 52-3 in their first four games.

Wed­nes­day’s game was tied 4-4 af­ter seven in­nings. Bri­tish Columbia scored six in the top of the eighth, but P.E.I. re­fused to go qui­etly, scor­ing four in their half of the in­ning and get­ting the ty­ing run to sec­ond base.

Head coach Jeff Ellsworth said the team has worked for six years for such a mo­ment.

“We’ve been pre­par­ing for big games (and) to play the big teams in this sit­u­a­tion and I couldn’t be any more proud of the girls in how they per­formed,” he said.

“We banged with the best. It was a hell of a ball game in front of a big crowd and we got a stand­ing ova­tion when the game was over, so they should be very proud.”

Ellsworth emp­tied the bench Wed­nes­day, us­ing ev­ery­one on his ros­ter to try and win the game.

“It was a to­tal team ef­fort. There wasn’t one body we didn’t use,” he said.

Bri­tish Columbia scored two runs in the top of the first in­ning and P.E.I. an­swered with one in the bot­tom of the in­ning. The Is­land squad took the lead with two runs in the bot­tom of the sec­ond be­fore B.C. scored sin­gle runs in the fourth and fifth to take a 4-3 lead.

Vanessa Rennie tied the game in the bot­tom of the sixth with an RBI sin­gle to right field.

“It was a roller­coaster,” Ellsworth said.

Charlottetown’s Kai­ley Koughan had two triples and a two-run sin­gle for and two runs scored while play­ing well de­fen­sively at sec­ond base.

“She’s one of our older veterans and one of our lead­ers and we’re very, very . . . ex­cited to have her part of the team,” Ellsworth said.

Syd­ney Halliwell, Emily Broth­ers and Alyssa Flem­ing all pitched for P.E.I. Full sta­tis­tics were not avail­able at press time.

Team P.E.I. en­tered the week search­ing for a top-four fin­ish. The team has re­fo­cused and set a new goal: at least an eighth­place fin­ish, which would be the prov­ince’s top fin­ish at the Games.

“We’re not go­ing to set­tle for any­thing less than,” Ellsworth said. “We want to be known as the best women’s soft­ball team to ever come from P.E.I.”

P.E.I. plays New Brunswick and On­tario to­day at noon and 4 p.m., re­spec­tively, At­lantic.

JASON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Kai­ley Koughan slides safely into third base Wed­nes­day against Bri­tish Columbia at the Canada Games women’s soft­ball tour­na­ment in Man­i­toba.

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