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Clarenville softball team earns female slo-pitch title

The provincial winners: Booster Juice. Front row, left to right: Melanie Parsley, Gillian Brown, Deidre Patey, Heidi Otter and Kristina Hansford; and back: Michelle Mullaley, Holly Hackett, Amanda Kennedy, Jill Downing, Laura Vardy and Julia Russell Lambert.
The provincial winners: Booster Juice. Front row, left to right: Melanie Parsley, Gillian Brown, Deidre Patey, Heidi Otter and Kristina Hansford; and back: Michelle Mullaley, Holly Hackett, Amanda Kennedy, Jill Downing, Laura Vardy and Julia Russell Lambert. - Contributed

Four years of team building pays off with provincial championship

The Booster Juice team reigned supreme this past weekend at the SPN Slo-Pitch female softball provincials in D division, taking the top spot overall in the class.

“We fought hard to get this big win we’ve been striving for for a few years,” says team member Kristina Hansford.

“Most of us have been playing together for four years now, and have come up short each year, finishing in the semis each of the first three years. We worked as a team and we’re now champs. Everyone played a part in winning. Everyone stepped up when needed.”

To kick off the tournament on Friday night, they defeated the GNP Ball Bangers by the mercy rule.

On Saturday morning, they faced who they figured would be their biggest competition, Dirty Ball Bags, who competed in the C division last year.

After defeating their rivals, they had to wait until Saturday evening for their final round robin game against Weekend with Bernie’s.

Hansford says they’ve played this team several times in the past and have always exchanged wins and losses. They fell to the opponent on this occasion.

This placed Booster Juice fifth overall after preliminary play and set to face All About That Base in the quarterfinals. They advanced by winning via the mercy rule.

In a nail-biter of a contest, they advanced to the semifinals against Central Herricanes. The Herricanes scored six runs to open the games, and blanked Booster Juice to follow, but the Clarenville area team didn’t give up.

They came back to force extra innings then scored a run in the top of the eighth and forced a scoreless bottom of the inning, securing a spot in the finals against Dirty Ball Bags—who defeated Weekend with Bernie’s in the other semi.

Hansford says making the finals broke the “semi’s curse” for the team, en route to the championship.

In the final game, Booster Juice started strong, playing strong until the final out and winning 8-1.

Julia Russell Lambert was named MVP and, as a result of the win, Booster Juice will move up to the top ladies division (C).

Hansford says the advancement is slightly intimidating but fun at the same time.

Two other teams from the area competed in the provincials as well—in E division—Victorious Secret and Titans.

editor@thepacket.ca

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