The EDSS Lancers struck out at the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletics Association (WCSSAA) slo-pitch playoffs this week, bringing to an end Elmira’s hopes to reclaim their championship status.
It was a crowded field for the boys. Battling in a set of round robin matches against Grand River Collegiate, Huron Heights and Sir John A. Macdonald, EDSS couldn’t quite pick up the runs to qualify for the semis and were out early. The last game of the boys’ slo-pitch season played out on Tuesday this week between Waterloo-Oxford and Bluevale Collegiate Institute, with BCI coming out on top with an 8-5 victory.
The girls, meanwhile, were particularly hard hit after falling in the playoffs to their arch-rivals, Waterloo-Oxford.
“We had a disappointing finish [Monday] in the semi-finals,” said coach Adam Hiller. “We played WO and couldn’t get our offense to click. We ended up losing 7-2 and now KCI will face WO in the finals on Wednesday.”
The EDSS and WO teams have maintained a competitive rivalry the past few years, with the two teams trading championship titles back and forth. Last year, the Lancers fell in a stinging defeat to WO in the WCSSAA finals in an 11-6 game after a near flawless season.
This year, the Lancers trailed behind WODSS in second place by a single point over the regular season, though Waterloo-Oxford played one more game, and took one more loss, than EDSS. At the start of the playoffs, WO was sitting at the top with a record of 6-2-3; EDSS was 5-1-3.
In their lone match of the season, the Lancers decisively schooled WO on May 22 with a 13-7 victory. WO’s opponent at this year’s finals, KCI, was also bested over the regular season by the Lancers in a 7-6 game, June 3.
“Those teams are really impressive this year and definitely deserve to be in the finals, but it’s frustrating that we beat both in the regular season,” said Hiller. “Our bats were great all year long and just went cold at the wrong time. It was another fun year with our group of girls. The league was actually much more competitive than previous years, which is nice.”
More competition is certainly welcome as, EDSS and WO have dominated slo-pitch field. The two schools have held onto the championship title for over five years now. EDSS had qualified for the WCSSAA finals in four of the previous years, with WO often proving to be its only match.
Waterloo-Oxford and KCI faced off Wednesday in the final match of the series; scores were unavailable at press time.