The Brock Softball team put on a performance to remember this past weekend in the OIWFA Championships. First, the Badgers played three games in pool play to determine seeding in the OIWFA Championships. In their pool, they took on the McMaster Marauders, the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Queen’s Gaels. The Badgers were considered the underdog after splitting their season series against the Varsity Blues and the Gaels and losing both games they played against the Marauders. The Badgers were ranked as the seventh seed out of eight playoff teams.
The Badgers were unwilling to be the underdogs as they handed the Marauders an 8-4 loss in their first game. Brock’s Larissa Rowdon pitched the complete game, striking out three batters on the way to the victory.
The Badgers took momentum from their victory over the Marauders to ease past the Varsity Blues 11-4. Madi Clinton and Laine Padovan had big games for the Badgers, with the former recording three hits and three RBI and the latter getting two hits and two RBI. Kelsey Hanly put on a strong showing on the mound, pitching seven innings while picking up a couple of strikeouts.
The Badgers lost their final game of pool play against Queen’s 4-1, however their two previous victories were enough to win their pool and advance to the OIWFA semifinals against the Varsity Blues. The Badgers were not ready to end their Cinderella story, as they once again defeated the Varsity Blues by a score of 8-1. Rowdon was again spectacular on the mound, earning her team another key victory. Clinton added on to her strong weekend going 3-3 with three RBI.
The Badgers then advanced to the OIWFA Championship, a place they hadn’t been to since the inaugural OIWFA season in 2002. Brock won the championship that year, and 14 seasons later would hope to repeat as champions. Their opponent was not an easy team to beat however, as the Western Mustangs finished off the regular season with a 23-0 record and outscored their opponents 190-11. Western also came into the match defending an eight-year long championship streak. In their two games against the Mustangs in the regular season, Brock lost both games— managing only one run across both games.
However, the Badgers were seemingly the team to beat over the weekend, proving that they were very capable of defeating the Mustangs after big wins against teams such as the second overall Marauders and the number three overall Varsity Blues.
Hanly started the game for the Badgers and pitched a strong game, allowing only four runs in seven complete innings against a high powered Mustangs’ offence. Brock’s offence failed to get anything going, as they couldn’t manage to get a baserunner across the plate. The Badgers would go home with a silver medal, a huge accomplishment after having to face some tough teams. After an up and down season that ended with their first championship game since 2002, the Badgers definitely have something to build off of for next season.