PORT HARDY—Nine North Island youth are a step closer to summer soccer in Hawaii thanks to last weekend’s fundraising slo-pitch tournament — and the good will of its winners.
Both B division champs the Woodchuckers and A final winners Load ‘Em Up donated their winnings back to the cause: sending a group of local teenagers to the Aloha state to attend the Waipo International Premier Cup.
Organizers were still counting up fees and donations when the Gazette went to press but estimated close to $4,000 raised on the weekend.
On the Storey’s Beach diamonds a dozen sides played off Friday and Saturday to form the lineups for Sunday’s finals.
In the A division, a blistering start from Load ‘Em Up gave them the advantage over the Master Batters and they were able to hold on for the win despite a mid-game comeback by their opponents.
The Master Batters got off to a slow start, held scoreless until the fourth by solid fielding.
Then Kristina Fedorak stepped up to bat and the outfield made the mistake of creeping in.
Her crack to centre field hit the fence and brought in a pair of runners, Fedorak herself making it to third after an overthrow to home. Shelby Cockell’s drive to right field brought Fedorak home to make it a three-run inning.
A lightning-quick, second-to-first double play blunted the momentum somewhat, and Load ‘Em Up got the third out soon after on a ground out.
The Master Batters followed up next inning, Jake Colbourne clearing the fence to bring in Cole Morton and close the gap.
But that was as close as the scores got as Mitch Nelson hit a home run in the bottom of the sixth then completed a spectacular running catch at the top of the seventh to seal the win for Load ‘Em Up.
Strong baserunning in the first inning got Load ‘Em Up off to a flying start, with three of their four runs coming off tag-ups. They kept up that momentum in the second and third as Jim Clair smashed a three-RBI homer and Tony Knighton cleared the fence to bring in Ryan Handley.
The Master Batters held Load ‘Em Up to a single RBI off an Arlene Clair drive in the fourth, but couldn’t find the extra runs needed to claw back the difference, the final score 11-5.
The B final saw Port McNeill’s Woodchuckers take the win 10-3 over the Ravens.
All the money collected at the event will be used to fund the Hawaii trip to the Native Indian Football Association tournament. For more information on the tourney go to www.nifa.ca.
Storey’s Beach Ballfields
1. Load ‘Em Up
2. Master Batters
3. Blue Sox
Tony Knighton, Arlene Clair – Load ‘Em Up
Brayden Demoe, Kristina Fedorak – Master Batters
Graeme Wiggins, Leigh Deans – Blue Sox
Arron Harper, Shanna Laflamme – Woodchuckers
Pat Knighton, Joanne Tatoosh – Ravens
Quinten Coon, Janet Hanuse -Smokers
Most Sportsmanlike Players Awards
Leigh Deans, Bree-anna Henderson, Melinda Dennison, Barry Evans, Frank Paul, Edana Nelson, Rachel Harry, Jacob Nelson, Linda Charlie, Jimmy Wallas.
Most Sportsmanlike Team Awards
Ballerz, Multiple Scoregasms