Nickel City Howlers are ready for provincials
by Randy Pascal
The Nickel City Howlers Bantam Selects are gearing up nicely towards their fastball provincial championships set for Brantford later this month,
putting in a pair of very solid performances at out of town tournaments over the past couple of months.
The Sudbury Girls & Ladies Fastpitch Softball Association representatives placed third in their first trek south in late June, closing off a
tournament in Brampton with back to back shutouts over the Burlington Bees.
The excitement started early as the Howlers rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, highlighted by a two-run single from Summer
Pegamagabow, in edging the Barrie Storm 7-6.
The locals would drop to 1-1 in a rain-shortened affair, suffering a 12-9 setback at the hands of the Kingston Frontenacs, but rebounded nicely,
tripling the Vaughan Vikings 9-3 in game three.
Needing a win to secure a berth in the bronze medal affair, the Nickel City girls struck early, scoring four times in the first en route to an 8-0 win,
and then proceeded to keep their feet on the pedal, silencing the Bees 11-0 in the battle for third place.
Back in action at the Brantford Diamondbacks tournament just a few weeks ago, the Northern Ontario squad just barely missed claiming gold,
trimmed 3-2 by the Etobicoke Chaos in a very well-pitched final.
The weekend did not start well for the Howlers, startled 2-1 by the same Burlington Bees' team they had handled with ease just one month earlier, as a
strong pitching performance from Tessa Cain went for naught with the Sudbury bats eerily silent in game one.
Not the case at all in game two as a first inning grand slam from Valerie Honse helped spark a 5-0 lead, as the Nickel City fastballers downed the
Whitby Lightning 9-3.
Developing a helpful habit of bolting from the gates quickly, the Howlers scored five times in the first two innings against the Oakville Angels,
registering a 7-3 win that secured their berth in the gold medal game.
The championship encounter was a nip and tuck affair, as Nickel City led 2-1 before Etobicoke countered with two in the fifth inning, holding on for the
one run victory.
The Howlers team, which will travel to Brantford on the weekend of August 25th and 26th to compete in the All-Ontario Playdowns, is comprised of Abby
McEachern, Tessa Cain, Kaegan Gosselin, Dylann Aikia, Trista Villeneuve, Valerie Honse, Isabella Becker, Summer Pegahmagabow, Sabrina
Folz, Isabelle Neron, Laurelle Gillard, Brooke Lacey, and coaches Aaron Aikia, Garth Moote and Vicki Anderson.