KIRKTON - Twelve teams played in near-perfect weather conditions during the annual Kirkton-Woodham Optimist mixed slow pitch tournament here this past weekend.
The big question was whether the reigning champion Tuck Off team, who had claimed the title four years in a row, would be dethroned or not. They are a team of excellent players who are tough to beat, but a fifth championship was not to be.
RB’s Gang (the Simpson family) challenged Tuck Off in the ‘A’ final and emerged as the champs for the first time in their team’s long history. It was a hard-fought battle though.
After four innings, the teams were tied at seven runs apiece. Tuck Off pulled ahead in the fifth and was leading 12-9. RB’s Gang got their bats working in the sixth and piled up seven more runs, making it 16-12.
Tuck Off was far from giving up as they headed into the final inning. They whittled away at the lead until they were within one run of tying the score. It came down to one more out standing between RB’s Gang and victory. They had last bat if they needed it, but it turned out they didn’t as a caught fly ball ended the game and sealed the win.
A flood of purple shirts swept over the diamond as the team and all their family celebrated.
Tuck Off had defeated Squirrely’s Nuts in the semi-finals, while RB’s Gang had gotten by Pitch Slap 14-6 to earn their ticket to the finals.
In ‘B’ division semi-final action, the Terrible Teez pulled off a win in the bottom of the seventh to squeak by the K-W kids 13-12. In the other ‘B’ semi-final, the Tall Oaks towered over the Nutz & Mellons. The Tall Oaks prevailed in the final, defeating the Teez 13-7.
‘C’ division semi-final play saw the Brew Crew fall to JAFT by a score of 24-10, and the Sluggin’ Topes put out Beuf’s Beauts with 12-8 win. The Topes went on to claim the C title, defeating JAFT 25-8.
In the spirit of generosity, several teams donated some or all of their winnings back. Thanks to JAFT, the Tall Oaks, and the Terrible Teez.
As always, Cliff Thomson and the K-W Optimist Club say thanks to all participants and volunteers for helping to raise funds for the Kirkton pool and making the weekend fun for everyone.