Alberta Takes National Championships
Tournament Co- MVPs.
It has been an incredible year for the William F Lede Community Park as it once again was the host of a major sporting event. The Men & Women's Slo-Pitch Canadian Championships began with thirteen men’s teams on August 10th and eight women’s teams squaring off on the 12th. In the men’s section the defending champions HR Sports from Toronto saw teams from Quebec, Alberta, BC, Manitoba, New Brunswick, as well as two other teams from Ontario challenged them for the 2013 title. The men played a modified round robin with the top eight teams advancing to the playoff round.
After the ten game round robin The Alberta Oilmen began an unbelievable streak, as they would win six games in a row to take the national title. The Oilmen had placed seventh in the round robin and faced the team from BC and won going away 21 to 3. Next up was the crew from Quebec, which fell 20 to 14. This victory put the Oilmen into the semifinals against the defending champions from Toronto. The Oilmen ran to a 23 to 9 advantage and went on to a 23 to 17 victory and advanced to the finals. Things didn’t get any easier for the Oilmen as the format required them to defeat the Naturals from Ontario twice if they wanted to take home the championships.
In the first game the Oilmen took a 9 to 3 lead into the bottom of the second and then saw the lead dissolve to 9 to 7 going into the third. The Naturals continued to chip away and tied the game in the bottom of the seventh and forced extra innings. In extra innings the teams start with a runner on second base. The Oilmen took advantage of this and scored two runs to take a 21 to 19 lead. The Naturals came back with a run of their own before the Oilmen shut them down and took a narrow 21 to 20 victory and forced a second and deciding game.
The Oilmen looked ready to run away with the game as they scored the first six runs of the contest, but then the boys from Ontario blasted their way to nine runs in the bottom of the second and added four more runs in the third to take a 13 to 6 lead. Every time the Oilmen scored the Naturals seemed able to match them. Then in the seventh with the Naturals leading 19 to 12 the Oilmen struck for seven runs and forced the game into extra innings. Once again the Oilmen scored two runs in the top of the eighth and were able to shut out Ontario to win their sixth game in a row and the National Championship 21 to 19!
The Alberta Oilmen is a team composed of players from all over Alberta and associated with the oil industry. They are the first Alberta team to win the national title since 1986.
The women’s defending champions Lady Birds from Ontario were included in a field of teams from Alberta, BC, Manitoba, Ontario, and the host Grande Prairie Heat. The ladies played a full round robin series of games with the top six advancing to the modified double knock out playoff round.
The defending Lady Birds from Ontario placed first in the round robin and easily defeated the fourth place Alberta Attack 27 to 2 and advanced to the semifinals. Meanwhile second place Edmonton Sparqs edged out third place Ontario’s Miken Freaks 16 to 12.
The Lady Birds and Sparqs met in the semifinals with the Sparqs taking an 8 to 2 victory. This advance the Edmonton squad into the finals where they were one win away from victory. The Lady Birds then had to defeat the Alberta Attack to advance to the final and have a second crack at the Sparqs. The Attack had earned the right to face the Lady Birds by defeating Grande Prairie and Ontario’s Miken Freaks. The Lady Birds were determined to defend their title and made short work of the Attack downing them 14 to 5. For the second time in two days they faced the Sparqs, but in order to take the title they would have to defeat the Sparqs twice. The Sparqs quickly established a 3 run advantage in the first inning. The Lady Birds scored 3 in the top of the third, but Edmonton came back with 2 of their own in the bottom of the inning and another run in the fifth to lead six to three.
Defending champions do not go quietly into the night as the Lady Birds scored again in the top of the sixth to narrow the deficit to 6 to 4. The Sparqs answered with two of their own runs and had an 8 to 4 going into the seventh and final inning. The Lady Birds had one more chance but Edmonton’s tough defense that had made two double plays during the game, refused to budge and the Edmonton Sparqs had their second national title in four years.
Alberta in addition of taking home the two gold medals also took home the bronze medals in the women’s division when Alberta’s Attack placed third. For the first time both pitcher Wanda Miller and first baseman Ashley Jackson of the Sparqs were awarded the Most Valuable Player in the playoffs for the women’s tournament.
Tournament organizers were very pleased with Leduc’s facilities and the tremendous work the ground crew did to keep the diamonds in excellent condition. The weather for the most part was excellent with the sun shinning most of the time.
- Thorsby Sabres at Provincials Thorsby North Central Zone Champions For the second year in a row the Thorsby Sabres Girls Volleyball Team won the North Central Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) Zone championships and advance to the provincial ...
- A New Sarepta Send-Off CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH RACHELLE On Thursday, November 28th the New Sarepta Elementary School had a special assembly to send off Ms. Rachelle Pidherny, a member of the school’s teaching staff, who is ...
- Leduc Takes Title The Leduc Comp Boys Volleyball Team concluded a successful season when they traveled to Bev Facey in Sherwood Park to defeat the Bellerose Bulldogs on Friday, November 15th in the Metro Edmonton High School Athletic Association’s ...
- Breton Frozen Out The Breton Cougars’ semifinal game against the Rimbey Spartans was postponed from Saturday, November 16th to Monday, November 18th due to the snowstorm that made travelling too dangerous for the teams. Monday wasn’t ...
- Wetaskiwin Special Olympics Awarded At the Special Olympics Annual General Meeting held in Edmonton, the Wetaskiwin Special Olympics won top honours in four categories this year. Male Athlete of the Year Shaun Pydde ...
- Icemen Win! Mitchell Bowie moves the puck in a 5-0 Icemen win over Leduc Riggers this past Sunday. Icemen goal scores were Dawson Kress, Joshua Swampy, Courage Omeasoo, Keaton White, Corey Bowie. Photo by Byron Weaver.
- Anyone For Some Karate? From left to right: Dale Lambrecht, Sensei Jerry Marr and Dale Carlson. Photo by Randy Patrick. The Peace Hills Karate Club of Wetaskiwin held a training seminar this past weekend with Winnipeg based Sensei Jerry Marr as ...