Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart and Erich Eichhorn – ISN
Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria Women’s Fastball League began their 2012 playoffs on Monday night with games in both the Championship and Consolation Round taking place.
Championship Round action featured two, best-of-three, semi-final match-ups with Strawberry Vale’s Svee Unit taking on Diamond Fusion and the Storm battling the Wild.
In the Svee Unit – Fusion game, things started out rocky for both sides as the teams took advantage of weak starting pitching, but with the advantage going to Svee Unit who built a 7-3 lead after one inning of play.
Michelle Hobby, Fusion left fielder, and Fresno State fastball alumni gives the ball a stroke during womens playoff action Wednesday night at Hyacinth Park – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The game began to look lopsided until the Fusion would pull their starting pitcher in the bottom of the 2nd inning and insert Lori Parker to pitch the remainder of the game. Parker made the ball dance around the plate, keeping the Svee Unit batters guessing and limiting the Svee’s to just three more runs over the next four innings.
Parker also got some help from some solid infield play at short and second as the Fusion did not allow Strawberry Vale runners to get past 2nd base in that time frame.
Fusion pitcher Lori Parker lets the ball fly as a Strawberry Vale batter looks on – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Meanwhile, the Fusion would find their bats midway through the game, taking advantage of some infield errors and aggressive base running to to pull even with Strawberry Vale 10-10 into the bottom of the final frame.
In that inning, Kymber Gale of Strawberry Vale would be the hero, launching the ball to the left centre field fence to drive in the winning run, giving Strawberry Vale a close 11-10 win.
Rachell O’Brien of Strawberry Vale give the ball a ride past the infield defense of the Fusion – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
In the other semi-final match-up, the Wild took on the Storm, with the Wild winning another close one, 7-6. Details of this game were not available.
Game 2 in both semi-final match-ups will go Monday July 9th at 6:30 PM at Strawberry Vale.
Jill Reimer of the Victoria Wild smacks the ball during their 7-6 win over the Storm Wednesday night – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
In Consolation Round action five separate games took place, with ISN covering the game between the Inmates and the Venom at Bullen Park.
In this game, the Venom struck first, taking advantage of some shaky pitching from Inmate starter Ashley Canning to score 4 runs in the top of the first inning. Meanwhile Venom starter Bailey Moir would have an easy time of it, keeping the Inmates off the board and giving her team a 4-0 lead after one inning of play.
The Venom’s Bailey Moir would hold the Inmates to just a single run in her 5 innings of work on Wednesday night (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
The Venom would strike again in the second to score a single run off reliever Marissa Praud to lead 5-0 before the Inmates finally hit the board on an RBI single by Steph Olender in the bottom of the third inning, making it 5-1 after three innings.
Steph Olender’s third inning base hit would give the Inmates their first run of the game (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
Hard throwing Praud would keep the Inmates in the game, shutting down the Venom bats through the 6th inning and Praud herself then brought the Inmates to within 2 runs, as she stroked a 2-RBI triple in the bottom of the inning to make the score 5-3.
The Inmates Marissa Praud hits second perfectly on her way to a 2-RBI triple in the 6th inning Wednesday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
The Venom were not done though and they added an insurance run in the top of the 7th inning that came courtesy of an Inmate throwing error.
A comeback was not in the cards for the Inmates, as Venom closer Shayla Burnham would shut the Inmates down and preserve the 6-3 win.
Despite allowing 2 runs in the sixth, Venom closer Shayla Burnham would retire the side in the 7th to preserve the 6-3 win (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
In other Consolation Round play it was: TNT 6, Sliders 3; Knockouts 10 Heat 4; and the Knockouts 6 Crush 1. The score between the Panthers and W3 was not available at press time.
Action in the Consolation Round Robin also continues Monday July 9th with 4 games at Central Park, one at View Royal and one at Topaz Park.