New Era down Juggernauts to claim Rankin softball title

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Team New Age rose to the occasion and took down the Juggernauts 10-8 to claim the 2019 Rankin Inlet Co-ed Softball League title in Rankin last month.

The championship series was a back-and-forth affair, with New Era nipping the Juggernauts three games to two on Aug. 5.

Darren Ikakhik of New Age celebrates with the championship cup after his team defeated the Juggernauts 10-8 to capture the 2019 Rankin Inlet Co-Ed Softball League title in Rankin Inlet on Aug. 5. photo courtesy of New Era.

In a strange twist of fate, the co-ed title was the second in a row for Craig Beardsall, who was part of the 2018 Legionaries team that defeated New Era in straight games to take the league title.

Gloria Kaludjak took the win on the mound for New Era, while Catherine Ayaruak took the loss on the hill for the Juggernauts.

New Era’s James Connelly said he thought play went up a notch in the six team Rankin league this season.

He said at least three of the six squads were very competitive.

“With teams that win different tournaments getting to advance to provincial-and-national tournaments now, that pumps-up the level of play in the league a little bit, I’d say,” said Connelly.

“The important part about winning the league title is that you get bragging rights for a year.

“The two teams were pretty evenly matched, and the final series went back and forth from game one until game five.”

Connelly played in most New Era games this season, and he said players on the different teams in the league showed up for their games, competed and had a lot of fun.

He said while some members of his team celebrated the championship win, he had just come in from boating before the game and elected to head home following the final.

“The best part of playing with New Era is that our team is always positive, and that plays a big part for the whole team in boosting everyone up.

“It’s always positive with this team. We’re always helping each-other out and that makes it a lot of fun.”

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