A Shuswap slow pitch baseball team took home the gold from a national competition in Kelowna.
Over the August long weekend, the Shuswap Mariners Slo-Pitch team headed to Kelowna to compete against the top slo-pitch teams from across Canada.
The first of the round robin games took place on Friday morning against B.C. team the Northern Yankees. The Mariners won 26-22. That evening the Mariners played B.C.’s Prides Thunder and again came out on top. Saturday morning started out rough with the Mariners facing a loss playing Manitoba’s Wisermen team, but picked up again that evening when the Shuswap team played Dirty Dozen and ended the game early by mercy rule when the score reached 23-10.
Saturday’s game marked the end of the round-robin games which the Mariners finished in second overall. This made them go on to the double knockout rounds where the top four teams played a double knockout and the bottom three started with a single knock out.
The Mariners’ first playoff game was against Prides Thunder which they won 18-6. They then faced off against Wisermen and, like before lost 4-16. Next came the semi-final against a team from Abbotsford called Thunder. The game went into extra innings and the Mariners won 15-13.
The Mariners were finally able to break their deadlock with the Wiserman when they won the last two double knockout games against the Manitoba team and became national champions.
“Everybody played very well. It’s unheard of to have all of your batters bat over a 500 batting average,” said Krista Jonker, the team’s manager whose voice was still hoarse from cheering. “Usually you have a few really good batters, but our guys were really strong on offence and defence.”
Standout players from the tournament include include Jordan Grieve who made a dramatic run towards the fence, heading into the sun, and slid on his knees to make a catch that would be the last out in the final game. Jason Sneeton also made made a three-run home run and pitcher Aaron Beard was named the MVP for the weekend.