The Stettler U14 girls’ softball team, the Stettler SWATT (softball with attitude), broke the provincial gold drought and brought home the first place prize after a series of wins in Calahoo this past weekend.
The girls first had to advance through zone playoffs during the June 21-22, where they beat Red Deer and Coronation to advance to Calahoo.
On Friday, the girls faced the team from Okotoks, and were strong at bat. They scored six runs in the first inning, with Mikayla Torgerson having a stand-up triple. After a few more innings the girls kept the Okotoks at bay, winning 13-6.
Red Deer White was the next team played, again on Friday, and Stettler came out swinging to a 17-5 win.
First up on Saturday was perfect game for Stettler, as they soundly defeated St. Albert 16-0.
“Our girls had great hitting and base running,” coach Sheri Morbeck said. “We even watched Gracie Morbeck turn a walk into a home run her last at bat.”
The last game of the round-robin part of the tournament had the Stettler SWATT facing Calgary SBR Intensity. The girls were quick on their toes, catching balls and getting them to the bases before the girls from Calgary and held them to a three run game, ending it 18-3 in their favour.
With the round robins complete, only Stettler, Calahoo, Clive and Elkford remained – two of the four teams competing in finals being from the same zone.
“Our girls have played Clive repeatedly over the years and always have great games against them,” Morbeck said. “This game was no exception.”
After two innings, Clive led 2-0, but Stettler rallied with Rachel Morbeck’s home run. In the fifth inning, Stettler pulled ahead with a 7-5 lead. Though Clive narrowed it down in the seventh inning it wasn’t enough to pull ahead, and Stettler went on to the gold medal match against Elkford with a 7-6 win.
Even though Elkford is from B.C., the team plays in Alberta and is sanctioned as an Alberta team due to low sport participation in its area.
Jaiden Stotz was pitcher for the team, and the girls started a bit slower, though it maintained its lead of 3-2.
“A great catch in centre field by Emily Brown got us motivated,” Morbeck said.
A few more hits and the Stettler team was ahead 5-3, but in the fourth inning the girls were on fire, scoring the maximum allowed runs per inning of seven.
The game ended with a 12-4 victory for the SWATT.
“It’s been a long, hard fight of three years to get this medal,” Morbeck said. “Most of these girls have suffered through the pain of losing a tie-breaker to Clive two years ago, and a disappointing fourth place finish last year.”