The Stettler Sliders Mosquito team wasn’t ready to let anyone pass them in the round-robin series and semi-finals of their home tournament July 24-26 at West Stettler Park, going into the finals on Sunday undefeated.
There, Stettler came away with a silver finish after a nail-biting, hard-fought ball game with Wainwright, which they lost 9-6.
The tournament started for the Sliders with a game against Sherwood Park at 3 p.m. on Friday, July 24. The Sliders breezed by the team with a 21-12 victory, and went to plate against High Prairie at the same time on Saturday.
That game resulted with a mercy finish as Stettler kept the High Prairie team off-plate, winning 19-0.
The double-wins in Stettler’s division of the tournament sent them into the semi-finals against St. Paul, a 3 p.m. game on Sunday.
“Our kids got off to a real tough start this year, but came back very good for the rest of the season,” coach Kent Hoopfer said.
That hard work to better the team showed in the game which saw St. Paul’s prayers unanswered as the Sliders slid to another victory, this time 13-3.
High Prairie lost again in the semi-finals against Wainwright, which set up the gold medal game for Stettler and Wainwright.
The close game was a challenge for both teams, as both teams were close in ability and playing level during the tournament. In the end, Wainwright managed to keep a three-run lead for the gold.
“Everyone was quite happy,” Hoopfer said. “Even with the loss; they were a real tough team. We made them work for it, and it was the closest game for them in a month,” according to the Wainwright coach, Hoopfer said.