Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN
Victoria, BC (ISN) – It was an entertaining night of ladies’ softball action Monday as the Wild got a 2-RBI single from Lindsay Hall in the bottom of the 7th inning to defeat the Inmates 6-5 in Victoria Women’s Fastball League (VWFL) action at View Royal Park.
The game was a back and forth affair that saw the 9th place Inmates take an early lead on the 2nd place Wild, only to see the Wild score three runs to take a 4-2 lead after four innings of play.
After a 5th inning that saw Wild starting pitcher Kristin Palou and Inmate starter Marissa Praud retire their respective sides, the Inmates would score a pair in the top of the 6th to tie the game 4-4.
Wild pitcher Kristen Palou (left) and Inmates pitcher Marissa Praud (left) would both go the distance for their teams Monday (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
In the bottom of the 6th, the Wild had a chance to score the go-ahead run, but runner Krystal Weber was cut down at home plate by Inmate catcher Steph Olander for the third out.
Using the momentum from that big play, the Inmates would be the ones to score the go-ahead run in the top of the 7th thanks to an RBI triple off the bat of Kylie Bevan. Wild pitcher Palou would then get out of the jam with no further damage and the Inmates led 5-4.
Wild runner Krystal Weber is tagged out at the plate by Inmate catcher Steph Olander in the 6th inning (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
In the bottom of the 7th, the Wild were able to move runners Amber Smith and Val Przybysz into scoring position for Hall, who laced an opposite field single into right field to score the runners and give the Wild their 13th win of the season by a final score of 6-5.
Lindsay Hall, here batting earlier in the game, would have the game winning 2-RBI single in the bottom of the 7th to give the Wild the win (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
While Monday night’s game was an exciting one to watch and the level of competitiveness was high, the VWFA is really just about having fun and providing a place for women players to continue on in the sport once they have stopped playing at the competitive level, or for women who are perhaps returning to the sport after a few years off.
Wild second baseman Jill Reimer gets set to throw to first in Monday’s action (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
Originating in the late 1970s as the Provincial Government Women’s Softball League, the VWFL is now into its 4th decade of play and is running strong with 13 teams.
“We have 13 teams this year including three new junior teams, two based out of Strawberry Vale and one in Cordova Bay” noted VWFL President Val Przybysz who plays on the Wild. “Every year we seem to get more junior teams (18-early 20’s) that want to have a place to play and our league and our flexible schedule allows that for them. We also have one Masters team this season.”
The Inmates Marissa Praud (left) plays the game with a high level of intensity and is not afraid to get dirty if that’s what it takes to get that extra base. Inmate shortstop Kristi Webber (right) comes up with a nice throw late in Monday’s game (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
“Our league can get pretty competitive as all the women have a fair bit of baseball and softball experience, averaging about 10 years or so, some with up to 25 years of playing experience” said Przybysz. “Many started at T-Ball and have gradually worked their way up. Our main goal though is just to come out and enjoy ourselves playing softball.”
Inmate Head Coach Roger Praud, who is the father of Inmate pitcher Marissa Praud agrees about the fun and enjoyment part of the game. “Many of the women in the league and on each team have played together for years and they just want to stay together and keep playing ball and have fun doing it.”
A key goal of the VWFL is for all the players to have fun while they are playing, no matter how competitive a game may be (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
The level of play of the VWFL would be classified by Softball BC as Senior “C” or “D” Fastpitch and teams in the league are eligible for Provincials even if they don’t win the League title. “At this age group, each team individually can simply apply to Softball BC with their intent to play and be accepted into the Provincials” said Przybysz. “This year I think we have 5 or 6 teams from the League that are going.”
The VWFL is just three weeks away from the end of their 2012 regular season with playoffs to follow. The League also hosts a Sue Beischer Memorial Tournament on the July 28th and 29th weekend.
For more details on the league and to see their upcoming schedule of games, please visit http://www.victoriawomensfastball.com
Wild pitcher Kristin Palou delivers to the plate early in Monday’s game (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)