Lady Lancers hand over slo-pitch crown to W-O

EDSS captains Leah Sebben and Lauren Quehl (on right) standing in during the plaque presentation to WODSS for the girls’ slo-pitch championships on June 8 at Peter Hallman Ball Park in Kitchener. [Ali Wilson / The Observer]

After a bitter-four year rivalry, Waterloo-Oxford finally got the best of the EDSS girls’ slo-pitch team.

The two-time defending champs fell short in the WCSSAA championship game, losing to WODSS 13-3 at Peter Hallman Ballpark in Kitchener on June 8 to close out a whirlwind season.

Plagued with bad weather and injuries, the girls weren’t given any breaks on the road to defend their title.

“This year was a crazy year – it is amazing that we had so much success with all of the bad weather. We had zero practices outside. We had four or five indoor practices in April, but you really can’t do in the gym the stuff we want to do is outside on the field. We ended up with having zero practices this season. Despite having zero practices and a couple of injuries we actually had a great season,” said coach Brian Carter. “We came in as the two time defending slo-pitch champs and we had a pretty good core of the same team again this year so we were expecting to have a good strong year and we did.”

The Lancers finished the regular season with a record of 8-1-1, the only loss coming to WODSS.

“We ended up in second place, and we were really happy about that. Unfortunately, we were second place behind Waterloo-Oxford,” said Carter. “Last year we went 9-1, lost behind W-O in the regular season but ended up beating them in the finals, so we weren’t too worried about coming in second; we were hoping to do the same thing again.”

The team ended up dominating in playoffs game play flushing the first game and winning each of their final three in the last inning.

They got their chance to beat Southwood Secondary School, their only regular season tie, but the playoffs came and went without allowing the Lancers to see WODSS until the championship game, which didn’t go as planned.

“Of course, we were certainly disappointed on the day of, but once you actually got the chance to take a step back, you realize it was actually a great year, a great run,” said Carter. “It has been a great rivalry between the two schools for the last four years, really.”

The coach of nine years said he was proud of the success the girls found throughout the season and is hoping to continue it next year, despite the pending departure of a few key players.

This was the last game the team would play all intact with the loss of pitcher Lauren Quehl, second baseman Leah Sebben, third baseman Riley Bauman and centre fielder Hannah Weber.

“We had a great core of girls who have been with us for three or four years, and about half of them are done this year,” said Carter. “All of those girls have been on the team to get us two championships and a finalist – we had a really great run. We are really lucky to have had that many players who played those positions for so long.”

There was plenty to enjoy about the season, nonetheless, said Carter.

“The three coaches myself Adam (Hiller) and Mel (Austin) are just really proud of how the girls fought all season. We are really impressed with their resilience on the playoff weekend. We had a great year, and we are just really proud of how far we got. Nothing to be ashamed of,” he said.