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Waterloo-Oxford gets the edge in budding slo-pitch rivalry with EDSS

Lady Lancers cap a strong season with an appearance in the WCSSA finals, renewing battle with WODSS

It was a dramatic end to the EDSS girls’ slo-pitch year as, after a near-flawless season, the team fell in the final match to their rivals from Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School (WODSS). In a repeat of the last several years, the two teams once again faced off at the WCSSA championship game on June 13, with WODSS ultimately claiming the title this year with an 11-6 victory.

Despite the loss though, it was a stellar season for the lady Lancers, as the team was short their usual lineup from last year.

“It was a lot of fun,” said team member Brittany Kron, right after the championship game.

“It was my first time playing on the slo-pitch team, and I wasn’t really expecting to have as much fun as I did. I kind of wanted to get out of class and I had a lot of fun with it,” she added with a laugh. “And we did a lot better than I thought we were [going] to.”

The season was near-flawless in fact, with the EDSS team losing just two of its 18 games over the season – both times against WODSS.

“We had a very good year,” noted team coach Brian Carter. “Going into the year, to be honest, the coaching staff, we were expecting it to be more of a rebuilding year than it actually was. We had a lot of graduating girls from the year before, so that meant we had a lot of new faces this year.”

About half the team were newcomers this year, but despite losing several old hands on the field, the Lancers were more than able to keep the team’s momentum going.

“We started off really well, and we even went to a tournament at Waterloo-Oxford, and we were the tournament champs. And then we followed that up, and we had a great regular season where we ended up going eight wins and one loss to come in second place,” said Carter.

“So heading into the playoff tournament, we ranked second in the playoff tournaments – we swept through our pool, winning all of our games and then followed up with a tough semi-final victory over Preston to make it to the finals.”

This was the third year in a row that EDSS faced off against WODSS at the slo-pitch championships, and the fourth consecutive year EDSS had qualified to the final round.

“Four years ago we beat St. Davids to win our championship. And then three years ago we actually beat Waterloo-Oxford to win our second championship,” said Carter.

The past two years, however, have gone to Waterloo-Oxford, while five years ago, Waterloo-Oxford were again the champs – meaning the title of slo-pitch champion has gone back and forth between the two schools for half a decade now.

“So the last five years it’s been three Waterloo-Oxford, two Elmira championships. Not only are we rivals,  but we are kind of looked up to by the rest of the league as the two best schools,” said Carter.

With the “rebuilding” already taken care of, Carter is more than confident that the team will come back next year even stronger.

While the girls dominated at the ball diamond, the boys too had a good season, coming second in the year-end tournament June 7 before falling to Waterloo-Oxford in the semi-finals. As in the girls’ games, the Waterloo-Oxford boys were the champions in their division.

The EDSS boys had an especially young team this year, with several players graduating from last year.

“We did pretty well,” said boys’ coach Alex Derma. “We did expect to be top four, but we did better than what we expected. We competed against a very good WO team in the finals who ended up winning it all.

“There’s room to grow here. That was our as message all year: we’re a young team and we’re going to grow,” he added, giving an optimistic outlook for next season.

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