Western wins silver at provincial finals

Team falls short of gold in pitcher's dual

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Sliding into base as the ball approaches

Jon Purdy

SHE WON'T LET THIS ... SLIDE. HARDY-HAR. After a hard fought battle, the Western women's fastball team placed second in their league this past weekend.

Mustangs pitcher Kristina Lemon had her work cut out for her this weekend as she led her team on the mound to its fourth straight medal in the Ontario women’s fastball championships.

“The last game [against Laurier] was a pitcher’s battle,” Western head coach Peter Lemon said. “We had trouble hitting, so the game was close and it came down to just a couple of plays.”

Unfortunately, Western lost the battle against the Golden Hawks by a score of 4-2. But the ‘Stangs proudly took home the silver medal after a hard-fought weekend at London’s Stronach Park.

Coach Lemon could not complain about his team’s finish given the hard work it put forth this weekend and all season.

“They were just awesome and sometimes in this game it comes down to one game and we just couldn’t get it done at the end,” he said. “All of the coaches are very proud of this team.”

The ‘Stangs ended an impressive season finishing first overall in regular season play with a record of 24-3, making them the playoff favourite.

Playoff action began Friday evening with round robin play, and finished Sunday with the final match.

The Mustangs breezed through the round robin tourney, taking all three of their games. The contests were all won by the mercy rule " the team was winning by seven runs or more after five innings.

The semi-final game followed suit with an 8-1 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues.

After pitching a perfect game against Laurier in the round robin, Lemon faced Golden Hawks pitcher Katie Westoby in the finals.

The game held steady at 0-0 until the sixth inning when Western’s Nicole Shillington hit a lead-off, inside the park home run to bring the score to 1-0.

Laurier bounced back in the seventh with two unearned runs, followed by a run from Western freshman Julieanne Proniuk, care of teammate Krista Davie’s double.

The tie led the teams into extra innings, where Laurier pushed two unanswered runs to take home the championship.

Western’s squad has nothing to frown about, though. Coach Lemon is proud of how his team prevailed all season.

“They are high quality individuals and great athletes,” he said. “They won 24 games and lost three, so that tells you a little bit about how dominant they were.”

Both Western and Laurier’s pitchers took home game MVP awards and Lemon, who allowed only four hits in the nine inning final match, received the tournament top pitcher award.

But it was a team effort that garnered Western second-place in the weekend’s tournament.

“We had tremendous defence, great pitching and phenomenal hitting, and that’s really the entire game,” Lemon said. “No other team was close and unfortunately we just didn’t win that last one.

“I guess the softball gods weren’t with us.”

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