By Adam Eisenbarth
The future of girls softball in Ponoka appears to be very bright, with two teams enjoying success in this year’s provincial finals.
Ponoka’s peewee ball club represented well, dominating the competition with a 4-0 record in round-robin action leading them into the semifinals.
The semifinal game was an outstanding pitchers’ duel as the girls took on Edmonton for a chance at provincial gold.
Edmonton came out on the winning side of the battle 3-2, a well played game.
“To have a 3-2 score in a peewee game is pretty amazing. They fought really hard. Their pitcher threw 50 mph so it was tough competition,” said coach Brian Czapp, who worked alongside Tim Corkery to help the team get so far.
Czapp was proud of the team’s effort.
“To win bronze at the provincial level is a big accomplishment, and even though we talked about winning gold, that was our goal, but we worked really hard.”
In the consolation game, Ponoka pounded Lethbridge 16-8 to take the bronze. Almost all players from the team will advance to the bantam level next year where the competition continues to increase.
The players have competed in provincials several times now and Czapp sees a bright future for the young team.
“We go to provincials every year and we’ve been really competitive the last few years, they’ve really worked hard.”
Squirts win silver
Another team that had success earlier in the month was the squirt division girls who won silver at provincials July 3 and 4 in Lacombe.
In the final game against Lacombe, the team came up a bit short but coach Rick Bonnett was proud of them.
“The girls were a little disappointed. We ran into a team that was hitting us pretty good and our bats just cooled right down.”
Many members of that team will advance to the peewee level next year, making for a strong peewee team again next year.
“They’re moving up to a higher level next year so we expect them to be challenged and hopefully they can step up to that challenge.”
The team hopes to host provincials next year as they prepare for their first of two years at the peewee level.
“We have to get a committee together and put in a bid and hopefully we’ll get approved,” says Bonnett.
Tammy and Greg Ames are also coaches for the team. Bonnett has been pleased with the way the coaches worked together and it has proved to be a winning combination.
“None of the decisions are made by one coach so it’s really a three-way effort. It’s been quite a few years since a team in that division did this well from Ponoka so we’re pretty happy with it.”