Yellowknife’s Gastown Golden Grills ended up beating the Dirty Divas during an intense and hotly contested final of the women’s division during the Hay River Slo-pitch Invitational.
The game featured several controversial and saw the Dirty Divas rally from behind to force overtime in the last inning, before the Golden Grills went on to win 18-15 in the extra round.
The Golden Grills got off to a dominating start with seven runs in the first. The Dirty Divas responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs after their first two batters were retired.
The Divas managed to hold the Grills to just two runs in the top of the second but didn’t manage to score during their at bat.
The Grills scored a single run in the third, while the The Divas responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Both teams scored once each in the fourth inning, making the score 12-4 heading into the fifth inning.
The Grills put up a single run during their at bat. But after four slow innings the Divas finally started to find their bats bringing in six unanswered runs in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 13-10
The Divas kept the Grills off the board before getting back to their comeback in the bottom of the sixth. With bases loaded Fort Resolution’s Belinda Mandeville smacked a ball deep into left field to make it a one score game. On the following play the Divas got two outs after it was ruled that the runner interfered with the thrower at second. A huge argument ensued between the Divas and the umpire but the decision stayed.
With the game on the line Kezia McDonald managed to make it to home off a single to tie the game.
Overtime saw more drama after the Divas contested the interpretation of the rules of the tournament. According to the tournament rules, the games were supposed to be played by ESPN international standards, meaning each team in overtime is supposed to start with a runner on second. However, the tournament rules made no mention of the one out and the overtime was started based on that interpretation.
The Grills ended up scoring one run off the bat, and four more after their two outs. It was at this point that the Divas coach came out and argued that the runs shouldn’t count. However, the umpire explained that the rules had already been established before the overtime started.
That left the Divas with five runs to make in order to stay in the game.
With a runner on second to start the inning, the Divas brought in a run with a single. A strike out gave them one out. A few more singles brought another runner home. But they failed to convert on their last at bats and ended up losing the game 18-15.
After the game Divas’ captain Belinda Mandeville said it was disappointing to lose on some tough calls but she was proud of her team for rallying.
“The umping was against us but it was a good game. We played hard and came back after almost getting mercied in the first three innings,” she said.
“We got a great group of girls, we scooped them up from High Level, Fort Vermilion, Fort Res, Hay River. I think we can do better next tournament.”
Dirty Water defends men’s title
In the men’s division the defending champs Dirty Water ended up routing the hometown Roosters. Dirty Water, which is made up of players from the High Level area took an early lead getting out ahead with a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The Roosters managed to get one run on the board at the end of the second inning and followed up by retiring three batters in a row.
The Roosters didn’t manage to score a run in the third. Fort Vermillion came out swinging in the bottom of the inning, putting another five runs on the board to make in 9-1 heading into the fourth.
Meanwhile the Roosters were three up, three down to keep them off the board in the fourth.
Dirty Water continued their domination putting up another seven runs in the fifth to end the game on a mercy rule.
After the game Dirty Water team captain Cody Shalifoux said they team was happy with the result.
“We always loving coming up here to play,” he said. “If we could come up here every weekend we would.”