Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN (http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com)
Victoria (ISN) – Svee Unit used a 7-run 2nd inning and a 5-run 4th inning to power their way to a 13-8 victory over the Wild in Game 1 of the Victoria Women’s Fastball League Championship Monday night at Strawberry Vale.
The home team Svee Unit sent ace Brianna Jones to the mound to begin the game and she was dominant early, cruising through the first two innings, and keeping the Wild off the board.
The Wild countered with pitcher Christine Gamble and after she retired the side in the first, thanks in part to a nice pick off play at first base, it appeared that this game would be a carbon copy of the last time these two teams met – a tournament in Comox that saw the teams play through 7 innings tied at 0-0.
Svee Unit’s Amy Miller tried everything she could to avoid the tag from Wild first baseman Nicole Rioux, but was still called out on this pick-off play in the first inning Monday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
However that was not to be, as the Svee Unit found their bats in the bottom of the second and exploded for 7 runs off of Gamble, in part thanks to six big hits that all came with 2 outs.
Sarah Hoey got the hit parade started with an RBI-single and this would be followed by hits from Brianna Jones, Amy Miller, and Kayla Arnold. Kymber Gale would then be hit by a pitch and then Kelsey Elder would notch a 2-RBI single, with Opal Desmarias following that with another RBI-single to push the seventh run across the plate ending the inning (the league uses a 7-run maximum in each inning).
After a scoreless third, the Wild would finally find a way to get to Jones for a run in the top of the fourth inning, when Lindsay Hall would reach on a fielders choice and then be moved to third on a base hit by Krystle Ward. Hall would then score on a Nicole Rioux ground out and the Wild would be on the board, trailing 7-1.
Svee Unit would get that run back and more in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Arnold and Gale would reach base to begin the inning and then both be driven home on a monster, 3-run home run to centrefield by Elder, her 3rd, 4th and 5th RBIs of the night.
The Svee Unit were not done though and after a pair of outs, singles by Kayla Willis, Hoey, Jones and Miller resulted in another 2 runs and a 12-1 lead after 4 complete.
The Wild would not go away quietly though and began a rally in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Cathy Woodward and Kristin Palou would reach base and then be brought home on RBI singles by Jacquelyn Harrison and Jill Reimer. Reimer would later be knocked home on a RBI single by pinch-hitter Alia Kelly and the Wild had closed the gap to 12-4.
The Svee Unit would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning as Gale would lead off the inning with a double off the fence in centre and then come in to score on an RBI single from pinch-hitter Kayla Morris, making the score 13-4 after five full innings.
The teams would play through a scoreless sixth inning and then feeling that their 13-4 lead was safe, Svee Unit coach Chris O’Brien decided to rest starter Jones in favour of reliever Chantalle Desmarias.
The Wild, perhaps sensing a bit of relief that they no longer had to face the hard-throwing Jones, suddenly seemed to find their game, as Palou would walk to start the inning and be brought home on a double by Harrison. After an out, Harrison would score on a sacrifice fly making the score 13-6.
After base hits by Kelly and Rioux and a walk to Gamble to load the bases, Desmarias surrendered a 2-RBI double to Amber Smith making the score 13-8.
That would spell the end for Desmarias, as she was replaced by reliever Amy Miller. Miller got the job done, inducing a ground out to short to end the game and give the Svee Unit a 1-0 lead in the best of three final.
Game 2 in the series goes Wednesday night at 6:30 pm at Hyacinth Park.
For a full selection of images from tonight’s game, please visit Christian J. Stewart’s gallery HERE.