Eastern Ontario Fastball Blog

A blog dedicated to news about the Greater Ottawa Fastball League and other happenings in the world of fastball / fastpitch softball in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with occasional stories featuring Mrs Fitzroy Fastball, Fitzroy Fastball Junior and the Caveman. If you have info to send on, send me an email at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com. Follow @fitzroyfastball on Twitter.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Bytown Belles Finish Second at PWSA Open Provincials

from Erin Durant

The Bytown Belles had a remarkable tournament at the Provincial Women's Softball Association Open provincials, bringing home the silver medal and qualifying for the Women's National Championships in Brampton August 16-20.

The Belles faces a tough draw in pool play which included two very strong, young teams in the Brantford Bobcats and the Brampton Blazers. Going into the tournament, the Belles had not defeated either of these teams.

The Belles started the tournament strong stunning the Bobcats with a 7-3 win. All three Belles pitchers - Jean Cardona, Elissa Sivel and Allie Hipgrave - were used to control the powerful Bobcats lineup.

In the second game of the tournament, the Belles faced the Blazers and pulled out a 2-1 win, again thanks to great pitching from the pitching staff and timely hitting. The winning run was scored following an Alika Kingsbury triple followed by a suicide squeeze by Erin Durant.

With a 2-0 record the Belles faced the Kars Aces on Saturday night. Veteran pitcher Marsha Townsend pitched a great game for Kars and held the score to 2-2 going bottom of the seventh inning. Alika Kingsbury would then hit a long triple and be scored by Amy Oliver to win the game 3-2.

The Belles then played their last round robin game Sunday morning against Milverton, which they would win 9-3 to finish the round robin undefeated to earn the top seed in their pool.

Shortly after the end of pool play, the Belles played their quarter final game against the Milton Bats. A loss in this game would have eliminated the Belles from the tournament despite their being undefeated in the round robin. Elissa Sivel started the game and Jean Cardona came in for the third inning. Sivel and Cardona both pitched a fantastic game, with Cardona recording many strikeouts, to lead the Belles to a 9-3 win.

The Belles then faced the Toronto Fastpitch Club in the semi-finals. Allie Hipgrave pitched a dominating performance to lead the Belles to a 6-2 victory. Elderly outfielder Erin Durant was forced to make two diving catches in right field despite her better judgment and to the disappointment of the Toronto club.

In the final, the Belles would face the powerhouse Whitby Eagles, the defending champions and the 2016 Canadian Championship silver medalists. The Eagles had won all of their prior games in dominating fashion and had team Canada program pitcher Jenna Caira on the mound.

The Belles countered with Elissa Sivel, who held her own against the Eagles. The Eagles would eventually score three runs in one inning. Jean Cardona came in to finish the game for the Belles, holding the Eagles scoreless.

The Belles had several hits and base runners but were unable to score. Hayley Bennett had two hits, including a double, to finish off a great tournament. The Belles would lose 3-0 after seven innings.

The Belles will be competing in the Canadian Women's national championships as Ontario 2, along with the Eagles as Ontario 1 and Port Perry as Ontario 3. The Brampton Blazers will be competing in the tournament as the host team.

Jean Cardona earned individual success at the provincials and was named the top pitcher of the tournament.

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