Canadians lose in provincial final

Katie Brickman
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Injuries take toll on local team

The feeling was bittersweet for the Moose Jaw Canadians.

Brett Friesen eludes a tag at second base during the semi-final game against the Prince Albert R&W Pirates. Herald photo by Perry Bergson

After almost not being able to field a team earlier in the week to losing in the Softball Saskatchewan Senior C men provincial final, it was a long weekend.

“It is never fun coming in second and losing in the final,” said Dane Roy of the Canadians. “This was our third time losing in the finals since I can remember in the last five years.”

The Canadians lost 8-1 to the Pipestone Pirates in the championship game in Prince Albert on Sunday afternoon.

“The final was actually really close for the most part and then they just got a bunch of runs in the bottom of the fifth,” said Roy. “It was 3-1 (heading) into the bottom of the fifth. We had a ton of runners on base, but couldn’t get anyone in.”

The Pirates won all by one of their games en route to the title via mercy rule.

“We hit the bats really well all weekend and our pitchers came to play and that’s really all we need,” Keenan Haight of the Pirates told the Prince Albert Daily Herald. “The whole team really put it together.”

There were 14 teams entered in the provincial championship, with two pools of five teams and one pool of four teams. The Canadians were a mix of them and the Moose Jaw Giants of the Memorial Field fastball teams.

“We came up with a good group, but a small group,” said Roy. “We didn’t have any extra players.”

With no substitutes, it made for a long and brutal weekend of softball.

On Friday, the Canadians opened with a 14-10 win over the Saskatoon Padres. On Saturday morning, the Pirates defeated them for the first time by an 11-3 score. They rebounded in the afternoon by thumping the Conquest Capitals 19-3. They evened out their record after losing 11-1 to the Prince Albert Pirates in the evening.

“The weekend was up and down. We then got pretty hot and played really well and gelled later into the weekend,” said Roy. “We definitely gave all the teams we faced a hard battle and we played pretty well.”

The Canadians finished third in pool play and faced off against the Saskatoon Tint Centre Cubs in the quarterfinal, winning 16-7.

In the semi-final, the squeezed out a 10-7 win over the P.A. R&W Pirates to meet the Pipestone Pirates in the final.

“We didn’t come in on a high horse,” said Roy. “We played the quarterfinals and played a really tough semi-final. We really showed what we were made of in that game.”

For a team that almost pulled out of the tournament due to minimal numbers, Roy was pleased with how everyone came together for each other, even if they had to hobble off the field in the end.

“With the low numbers, everyone had some health issues of some sort,” he said. “We got guys limping around and can’t walk and guys with sore arms.”

It wasn’t the outcome they were hoping for from the weekend, but they will take the smaller feat of getting to the final.

“I am pretty proud of how the guys played,” said Roy. “It is not fun, but at the same time, it didn’t look like we were even coming.”

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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