Softball/Fast-pitch tournament brings 13 teams to Ponoka

“There’s a lot of individual signs that they’re getting stronger and faster.” Softball Crushers coach Orion Donison

Competition was fierce during the Ponoka Minor Ball slow-pitch tournament last weekend. This Ponoka Bandits squirts player just makes it home to score a run for Ponoka.

Competition was fierce during the Ponoka Minor Ball slow-pitch tournament last weekend. This Ponoka Bandits squirts player just makes it home to score a run for Ponoka.

The first mites and squirts softball/fast-pitch tournament that Ponoka has seen since the 1980s appears to have gone off without a hitch.

Eight squirts teams, including the Bandits and Crushers, played in a round robin challenge last weekend by the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex Diamonds while the Ponoka Mites took on four other mites teams at the 59 Avenue diamond.

Bandits coach Lucas Willier found his second year team to be more than ready for the tournament, and they found themselves in the final game against Clive.

Willier said he knew the Clive team would be a tough one to beat. “They’ve been together for five years,” he explained.

“They’re very strong for a small team,” he added.

While Clive gave the Bandits tough competition, Willier feels they could have won but the girls need to work on their confidence.

“That’s what they struggle with the most,” he said.

He called it the “softball yips.” Yips is a term often used in sports when an athlete has an apparent loss in fine motor skills. Willier suggests his team just needs to build their confidence, as they are strong contenders.

“They’re one of the stronger teams in the C league,” he said.

The Crushers did not have the same luck as the Bandits. Coach Orion Donison said many of the players did well last year as a mites team but are now in their first year as squirts. “We played some tough teams,” said Donison.

While they didn’t make it to the tournament playoffs, he feels they are learning and getting better with each tournament they compete in.

“There’s a lot of individual signs that they’re getting stronger and faster,” he said.

Despite a heavy loss of 15-1 against Clive, Donison said his team enjoyed that game the most as there was more action during innings. One player even caught a fly ball, which he feels energized the team.

Full results of the tournament were not available at press time.

June 11/14: Correction made to story.

 

 

 

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