SPECIAL TO THE MINTO EXPRESS
NOVA SCOTIA — The Palmerston Marlins Bantam girls softball team travelled to Truro, Nova Scotia to compete in the Eastern Canadian championships, Aug. 23-26. The girls played eight games to become the bronze medallists.
Assistant coach Laura Matheson said, “How well they have done is a true testament to how hard they worked and their dedication to improve and play to the best of their ability. Each girl should be very proud of her accomplishments this season.”
The Marlins won their first game versus P.E.I. on Thursday, Aug. 23. The score remained 0-0 for the first four innings. Samantha Binkley pitched a solid game, striking out nine as Nicole Ross backed her up behind the plate.
In the fifth inning Sarah Seifried hit a great single, while Kadie Morrissey hit a sacrifice bunt to bring Seifried around. Brandi Grose hit Seifried home. Michaela Tolton got walked on base, and Binkley hit a single. With Tolton and Binkley on base, Briana Donaldson hit a sweet double out to centre field, bringing both girls home. Ross then hit a solid single, bringing Donaldson in. The Marlins defeated P.E.I. 4-1.
They kept their winning streak going in game two as they mercied Newfoundland 11-2. Bats began strong as Tolton, Binkley and Donaldson loaded the bases. Ross hit the first run in as Emily Duck planted a bunt and earned another RBI. Seifried hit a great single to earn two RBI’s. Tolton pitched a great game, striking eight out as Ross and Duck backed her behind the plate. Donaldson hit a home run, bringing herself around in the second inning.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning that Newfoundland caught hold of the ball and scored two runs. In the bottom of the fifth, the bats broke open again. With Jessica Thompson and Duck on base, Grose loaded the bases with a solid single out right field. Larissa Hill, Morrissey and Binkley followed suit bringing in an RBI each. Sierra Bertrand, a pickup player from Whitby, connected with a solid hit up the middle, sending two more runs in. The game was then called with the mercy rule.
Game three was against New Brunswick. The Marlins’ bats began strong in the first inning again with Binkley, Donaldson and Thompson on base, Bertrand hit a single to bring the first run in. Seifried then hit a fantastic double, sending all three base runners home. In the second inning, Ross and Thompson each hit an RBI. Binkley hit a solid triple and Ross also earned another RBI in the fourth as she hit Binkley in. With Hill on base in the fifth, Grose hit a strong single to bring Hill home and Binkley clobbered a home run to bring Grose and herself in to secure a score of 10-2, again ending the game by a mercy. Bertrand did great on the mound striking seven out.
The Marlins played game four against the host team Nova Scotia 96’s Saturday morning. Binkley pitched a no-hitter and struck nine out. Binkley, Ross, Thompson and Seifried contributed to a 3-0 lead in the first. With Grose, Tolton and Donaldson on base, Thompson sent the ball to centre field and earned two RBI’s, bringing the score to 5-0.
During the third inning, the Marlins had bases loaded and Tolton hit Seifried in, but Nova Scotia held the rest on base. Coming into the fourth with Bertrand on base, Hill hit her around to third and Bertrand stole home to bring the score to 7-0. Palmerston quickly closed down Nova Scotia in the top of the fifth and the game was called for the mercy rule. Defence was tight-knit and bats were blazing.
Game five versus Waterloo was a fight to play for gold. The first inning had both teams with three up, three down. In the top of the second, Waterloo brought one run in. In the bottom of the third Seifried ripped a sweet double. Tolton cranked a double and sent Seifried home to tie the game. Waterloo caught a break in the fourth and scored two more runs. Bertrand started at the mound and Tolton came on in the fifth. However Waterloo’s solid bats found holes to score another couple of runs. In the sixth, Seifried delivered a triple as Larissa Hill hit her home. At the top of the seventh Waterloo again had solid at bats, and brought home two more runs and the Marlins could not battle back. Final score, 7-2.
Game six proved that the Palmerston Marlins didn’t want their season to finish with one more game, so instead of winning the bye to the gold game, the girls lost another game against Waterloo. Waterloo held the Marlins on base every inning and pushed their bats through bringing six runs in overall. Final score was 6-0 for Waterloo.
The Marlins faced New Brunswick early Sunday morning in game seven. NB’s bats started strong as they brought in three runs. The Marlins woke up in the bottom of the third when Grose hit a solid single as Tolton, Binkley and Donaldson followed suit. Ross, Thompson, Duck and Binkley all earned RBI’s, bringing the score to 4-3 for Palmerston. Binkley struck out seven batters and the defence held strong. Ross did a great job at catch too as New Brunswick never got any more runs in.
In the bottom of the sixth our bats broke open again with Seifried and Hill. Grose, Tolton, Binkley, Donaldson, Thompson and Duck all had solid singles earning an RBI each. Seifried hit a fabulous triple to the fence, earning three RBI’s and closing the game as a mercy 12-3. This game put them into the semifinal game.
In the semifinal bronze game – Palmerston’s eighth game of the tournament – they faced host team Nova Scotia 96’s again. NS’s bats were on fire as they crushed four runs home in the first inning and another three in the third. Tolton pitched very well and Binkley came in for a change in the third, but Nova Scotia won 7-2.
“The girls played their hearts out even during the eighth game as they continued to battle to make it to the gold game.
We didn’t quite make it, but I’m still very impressed with their determination,” said head coach Mark Matheson. “This group of girls have accomplished a lot in their short time playing at this level, and it has been a pleasure coaching each one of them.”