GVC hosts Fastpitch provincials

Greg Vandermeulen


The Portage Saints were denied their fourth consecutive high school fastpitch championship in Winkler June 2, falling 12-8 to the Stonewall Rams who won the province’s top prize for the first time since 2011.
The Rams swept their way through the championship, beating Goose Lake and Nellie McClung in round robin play before beating Goose Lake once again and Boissevain before meeting Portage in the finals.
Altona’s W.C. Miller Aces took bronze in the competition.
They defeated host team Garden Valley 8-0 and Helen Betty Osborne Huskies from Norway House 21-5 in round robin play. In the playoffs they beat Goose Lake 10-4 before losing to the eventual champion Stonewall Rams. In the bronze medal game they beat the Major Pratt Trojans from Russell 13-3.
Coach Breanne Heinrichs said coming in as a wildcard team, they weren’t expected to do as well as they did.
“It means a lot to us for sure,” she said. “We were definitely the underdogs coming in.”
The Aces earned a wildcard spot by defeating Neepawa.
“I don’t think a whole lot of teams expected a lot from us, but the girls pulled it together and they pulled off a win,” she said.
Team chemistry played a role according to Heinrichs.
“I think we had a really great group of girls that get along this year,” she said. “They’re hitting the ball and they’re playing excellent defense.”
Although they played to win Heinrichs said she wouldn’t have guessed they’d win by 10 runs.
“We just got lucky with runs adding together, and a couple of errors for the other team... it added up for us,” she said.
The host GVC Zodiacs played a strong tournament. They lost their first game 8-0 to the eventual bronze medal winning Aces before beating the Norway House team 14-0.
They beat the College Beliveau Barracudas in playoff auction before coming up against the eventual silver medal winning Portage Saints, who sent them packing.
All Star and MVP awards were also handed out.
Amber Schneider of the Stonewall Rams was named the provincials most valuable player.
Provincial All-Star Team
Sarah Fines - Stonewall
Maddie Shwaluk - Portage
Ashton Dueck - W.C. Miller
Laura Zimmer - Major Pratt
Rikki Frost Hunt - Stonewall
Kiera Shwaluk - Portage
Emily Zacharias - W.C. Miller
Shayne Nichols - Portage
Loren Proven - Stonewall