The Brock University Women’s Softball team finished their regular season last weekend with away games against the Ryerson Rams on Friday, followed by home games on Sunday against Queen’s. The Badgers were looking to build momentum heading into the National Championships in Ottawa next weekend.
Despite the cold temperatures on Friday night, the Badgers came out to a hot start, taking game one with a 6-3 win. Freshman pitcher Michaela D’Cruz threw 7 innings, giving up 6 runs on 3 hits, while striking out 13 Rams batters. At the plate, the Badgers were led by Shayla Martin who finished the first game with two hits, while Katie Oberle also had two hits to go along with three runs batted in. Coach Mark Hall had nothing but praise for the team when asked about their performance through the first game of the night.
“It was a good defensive game, and the girls were smashing the ball, they were hitting everything. The score should have been a lot higher, maybe 15-3, but Ryerson was able to make a lot of strong defensive plays.”
In Game Two the Badgers bats were hot again, leading them to a 10-5 win. Ashley Westfall finished the game going 3-for-4 along with one run batted in, while Hannah Nazar hit 3 for 3 with three runs batted in. Strong fourth and fifth innings led the Badgers to their victory. While it took a while to get momentum going, the Badgers were able to get all of their runs in the middle innings of the game and carried the lead for the rest of the game.
The Badgers were scheduled to play the York Lions on Saturday afternoon, but an unfortunate accident forced the Lions to forfeit these games, as they were unable to field enough players. The Badgers were awarded 7-0 wins as a result.
Sunday was a tough day for the Badgers, as they lost both games to Queen’s by scores of 3-0 and 6-3. While they were unable to win one of their final home games of the season, the Badgers were sure to recognize their seniors Shayla Martin and Kelsey Hanly.
Despite the tough losses, Coach Mark Hall is confident in the team and is looking forward to Nationals this upcoming weekend.
“Our girls are playing well at the right time. Even though we lost on Sunday, it doesn’t show how well they have been playing. They’re starting to come into their own at the right time, and that’s encouraging.”
The teams that qualify for Nationals are based on their previous season. The Badgers lost three seniors from that team, but the fact that they are a young team this season, doesn’t scare them. They won’t be intimidated. They’ve faced tough competition all season long.
The Badgers will play against the University of Ottawa, University of Regina, and Durham College. While they have not played against Regina or Durham, they played Ottawa this season, splitting the season series. Brock took the first game by a score of 8-4, and lost the second game 7-6. However, for the Badgers to win, they know they need to stick to their game plan, regardless of who they play.
“We just have to play our game, we have to be able to string some hits together, we have good pitching, and we’ve got to play good defense,” said Hall when asked about what the Badgers need to do to win their games at the National Championship. “That will speak for itself when we play.”
After finishing with a 11-9 record over the regular season, the Badgers are turning all of their attention to Nationals. This is the first time that the Badgers have been represented at the National Championships. The team is looking forward to proving that they can compete with some of the best teams in the country.
“It’s a huge honour to be going to Nationals, and it’s awesome for the girls. I’m very proud of them and what they’ve been able to accomplish. They deserve this,” Coach Hall said.
Brock starts their weekend with a game against Durham College on Friday afternoon, followed immediately be a game against Ottawa; they then play Regina on Saturday. Playoffs begin Saturday evening, and then the Medal Games are on Sunday.