It was the Amirco Barry Pickers who came out on top of Inuvik’s 2019 Midnight Sun Softball Tournament, after defeating the two-time defending champions, the Native Yankees, 6-1 on Aug. 5.
“That’s actually a low scoring game, considering the amount of talent we have on the teams. It was over really, really quick. We had some really hard defence,” said Patrice Stuart, the president of the Inuvik Slo-Pitch Association and member of the Barry Pickers.
It was the first time that the Barry Pickers had ever won the tournament, and Stuart said that it was an amazing feeling.
“It was a great weekend and everyone played their hearts out,” she said. “I’m so proud of the team. We came out on top. We tried our hardest. It’s a good feeling.”
The team finished the tournament with seven wins, zero losses and one tie in the round robin. They received $2,000 for finishing in first place, while the Yankees were awarded $1,000 for coming in second and Just Call Vince were given $500 for finishing in third.
“It was a great turnout. We had seven teams participate. Everyone tried their hardest, despite the weather,” said Stuart. “It was really bad weather on Sunday. But everyone came out and played their hearts out, and had really good spirits even though the weather was kinda crappy.”
A total of 27 games were played during the four-day tournament, which took place from Aug. 2 to 5.
Each team played through gusting winds, cold temperatures and periods of rain, conditions that weren’t new to many of the players.
“Most of us are from Tuk, so we’re used to that kind of weather,” said Barry Jacobson, the captain of the Barry Pickers, who also sits on the executive of the association as a member at large.
Stuart added that it was the love for the game that allowed players to push through the harsh conditions.
“If you want to play, you’re going to have to play during crap weather,” she said. “You just come out and play anyway. Get a little dirty, have a lot of fun.”
This was the fourth tournament that the league has hosted this season, according to Stuart. The majority of the teams who competed were league teams, with the exception of Tuktoyaktuk’s Rockin Robins.
“I know every single person that played in this tournament. We beat them, but there’s no hard feelings whatsoever,” said Stuart. “You might have your small disagreements. You might disagree on a call, but at the end of it you shake hands and it’s done with.”
She added that she hopes that all the players had a good time in this year’s tournament.
“It’s great to see that we can put on a tournament like this and have people come in from the different communities and have a really good time,” she said. “Come together, share a lot of stories, share a lot of fun on the field. There’s always that camaraderie between the players.”