The Bay d’Espoir men’s slo-pitch softball team proved that they can play with the province’s best teams as they finished third in a 16 team Provincial “E” softball championship that was held from August 19-21 in Paradise.
After three preliminary games they captured first place in Pool 'C' emerging undefeated at 3 and 0 in round-robin play.
In the round-robin event Bay d’Espoir defeated New-Wes Valley. Corner Brook (McHughes) and Marystown (Padres) by scores of 25 to8, 12 to 5 and 10 to 3 respectively.
In the play-oof round the Bay d’Espoir boys continued their strong play andw ent on to defeat St. John’s (Mundy Pond) 7 to 6 and Rushoon by a 16 to 7 count.
In the semi-final game the Bya d’Espoir boys took on a squad from Shea Heights.
Game 6 turned out to be a contest of momentum swings as Shea Heights jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after two innings of play but Bay d'Espoir responded shortly thereafter and leapt into a 5-1 lead after 3 innings with clutch hitting and aggressive ball playing. Shea Heights eventually got their bats working as well and answered with a four run inning in the 4th to make it a 5-5 ball game. The game remained tied during the 5th inning but then Shea Heights scored 5 runs in the sixth and was able to old off the Bay d'Espoir attack in the 7th inning for the 10-5 win.
Team Manager Lou Willcott said, "The team played an excellent tournament with regards to aggressive hitting and superb fielding. The positions on the field were very well played, on-field communications were great and we were able to cut-off potential trouble innings many times over and turn double-plays when required. For us to be able to participate in a provincial tournament and rattle of five consecutive wins before surrendering a game is a testament to the abilities of the players.
The team that gave us our only loss eventually went on to win the tournament and we wound up finishing in 3rd place overall which earned us an invitation to the 2012 Slo-Pitch Nationals in Moncton, New Brunswick.
“ The players are definitely looking forward to representing Bay d'Espoir nationally".
Willcott said that the team will be looking for a sponsor to purchase team uniforms for the national championship. Any interested sponsor can contact Willcott at 709-538-3844.