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Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Joe MacDonald Youth Football League
Thursday, Jul. 20, 2017
Sudbury Rays win in extra innings
2016-06-27
by Randy Pascal

Give the Sudbury Girls & Ladies Fastpitch Softball Association credit for thinking outside of the box. With numbers dwindling over the past few decades, the local youth group expanded their focus a few years back to include graduates of the program who still yearned for the challenge of teeing off against a nasty rise pitch, even into their twenties.

More recently, the group has reached out to their fastball friends in North Bay, inviting the crew from the Hillside City to join the locals for the mid-season in-house tournament. They did so knowing that, by and large, North Bay girls and women fastball was currently more advanced than the Nickel City association, boasting a deeper pool of pitching talent.

That strategy is now paying dividends, as the Sudbury teams continue to close the gap. Nowhere was that more evident on Sunday in Garson than in the Bantam Division, as the Sudbury Rays rode a double digit strikeout performance from Tessa Cain to a 7-3 extra inning victory, in the championship final, over North Bay Industrial Radiator.

The Rays got to the North Bay starter in the second inning, when Isabella Becker drilled a RBI triple, scoring the second Sudbury run when the catcher could not control the ball on the tag at home plate.

From there on, the pitchers took over, as the teams completed six innings deadlocked at 3-3. According to Sudbury head coach Aaron Aikia, some timely hitting, a couple of walks, and the disruption caused by the runner courtesy of the international tie-breaker rule helped the Rays to a four-run outburst in the top of the seventh.

A balanced attack for the winners would see seven different players cross the plate. The Rays championship roster included Elyssa Marsh, Isabella Borello, Hannah Bodson, Darcy Bertrand, Gabrielle Vaillancourt, Zab Perreault, Genevieve Labby, Summer Pegahmagabow, Danielle Barbe, Alyssa Lachance, Reegan Lachance, Dylann Aikia, Tessa Cain and Isabella Becker.

North Bay did not leave town empty-handed, as their midget/ladies squad stopped Sudbury Hit It and Quit It 7-3 in the final. After struggling to slow down the visitors powerful hitting attack the previous day, the local ladies threw a mixed pitching rotation of Marcie Tellier and Danielle Hrechka at the champions, helping to keep things close.

Finally, more impressive pitching, this time in the squirt division, as Maryn Tarini backstopped her She Devils team to a 5-0 win over the Little Rascals. League play in the SGLFSA (www.sudburyfastpitch.com) continues right through the month of July, with playoff weekend set for mid-August.

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