Badgers fall short at provincials as Mustangs win 10th straight OIWFA title

Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry

Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry

The Badgers went in to this year’s OIWFA championships as the hands-down favourites to win the championship.

They started the three day tournament on Friday with a decisive win over the host team, the McMaster Marauders. They took the first game 8-5, sending the Marauders to the consolation tournament.

The Badgers’ second game of the day was decided by just a single run. The eventual champions, the Western Mustangs, knocked the Badgers out of contention. The Badgers, notably, won both of their regular season games against the Mustangs.

Their played their next game in the losers bracket against the Laurier Golden Hawks. The Golden Hawks finished their season 14-1 and entered the playoffs with the second seed. The Badgers lost the game 7-1, sending them home empty handed.

“Unfortunately we didn’t finish like we thought we would, as we played some good teams with good pitching,” said head coach Mark Hall.

It’s safe to say that the Badgers expected to come away from the tournament with a medal. They lost just a single game over the entire season and led the league in runs. They regularly ended games early thanks to offensive powerhouses like Holly Hanrichuk, Laine Padovan and Emily MacDonald and they had a solid pitching tandem in Katie-Ann Oberle and Rachel Seguin.

The Badgers’ success in the regular season came from a no-quit attitude. The OIWFA is a fairly even league, and the Badgers couldn’t risk becoming comfortable in the lead. They’re heading to Kitchener this weekend to compete in the CCSA National Championships.

The teams are separated into two pools. Brock is in pool A, along with host school, Laurier, they will also be competing against the University of Regina Cougars and the Fanshawe College Falcons. Pool B contains the OIWFA champions, the Western Mustangs as well as the University of Calgary Dinos, the Durham College Lords and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

“We are looking forward to competing in Kitchener this upcoming weekend for nationals,” said Hall.

Anything can happen, especially for a team like the Badgers, looking for redemption and facing divisional rivals once again.

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