Chicks with balls and bats

What is there to say about baseball? You’ve got some bases, a ball, a bat, players, wildly insane mascots and a winning University of Calgary women’s fastball team.

Really, you wonder? It is the cold, hard truth. Though not a varsity sponsored team, a group of ladies from the U of C have been competing in the Alberta Intercollegiate Women’s Fastball Association for years and this season is already on a path to glorious victory.

The team won their first three matches against Mount Royal College, SAIT and Olds College and went into a tournament Sun., Sept. 18 with the confidence of a bat into a cave. It was at this point Zeus flexed his muscles to ease the girls’ confidence back to sub-superhuman levels.

The first of three games was against the intimidatingly named University of Alberta Gold team. Unfortunately, the U of C’s starting pitcher seemed to be throwing a ball of gold rather than cork and allowed the U of A an early lead.

“They scored six on us right off the bat,” team member Caity Hevey punned (perhaps unknowingly).

And that’s where the ball really went, right off the bat to the outfield. Though our ladies were battered, they went on like an Energizer battery. Each inning they batted in one or two runs, slowly eating away at the ‘Gold’s’ lead. Though the women were experts in combat, the battle came to an end too soon. They suffered their first defeat 8-10.

Still engulfed in the rage brought about by the loss, the ladies pepper-ground the U of A Green team 4-0. Our squad played a tight defensive game, pinching ‘Gold’s’ counter-part’s windpipe right from the start, only allowing a handful of base runners the whole game.

The U of C ladies were solid on offense too. Stacy Johnson, who goes two ways at third base and shortstop, grew out of adolescence, padding her stats (instead of her bra) with a couple of triples. But, despite great plays, they could have been better.

“We left a tonne of runners on base,” Hevey explained. “If we had capitalised on more of those opportunities, it would have been a little more one-sided than the score showed.”

Indeed. In the third game, NAIT suffered a defeat to our ladies as bad as the one the buffaloes did to that cliff in southern Alberta. U of C’s pitcher/catcher duo, Theresa Manaloto and Sarah Elliot, kept the opposition runless all game. Our ladies, on the other hand, had no problems bringing in runners. They tallied 10 in total.

The team heads up to Edmonton for a pair of games against OC and NAIT Sat., Sept. 24 then returns to Calgary for a home tournament Sun., Sept. 25.

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