Beachin’ U11 PWSA Saugeen Shores Sting bring home hardware from the Guelph Gators Classic

by Trish Preston
The Beach’ U11 Sting ladies took to the fields in Guelph this past weekend (June 8-9) to battle for Gators Classic gold. Players and coaches were excited to get the chance to play many teams we have not played before.
Photo by Marla Barfoot
The first game saw the Sting take on Napanee. Avery Sachs and Aadi Kidd shared pitching duties to start the game, combining for 10 strike outs. Marisa Barfoot came in to pitch at the end of the 4th inning when Napanee was starting to rally and stopped Napanee in their tracks to finish out the inning. Our catching team of Alison Thede, Camilla Cameron, Layla Zdunich and Reese Martindale held runners at bay all tournament long. During this game, Camilla made a great throw to Julia Foster at third to catch a girl stealing. Layla made an incredible catch behind the plate in foul territory. Marisa, Lundyn Carr and Charlotte Fitzsimmons had 2 hits each to lead the Sting to a 13-6 victory.
Next up for the Sting was a very strong Halton Hawks. The girls were ready for action and brought their A game (and cheers). It should be noted that this game lasted an entire 7 innings, which is very rare during pool play due to time limits. This extra long game was the direct result of an epic pitching duel. Our trio of Avery, Aadi and Marisa pitched their best innings of the season against a talented Halton lineup. The ladies struck out 12, only walked 7 and gave up just 6 hits. Unfortunately for the Sting, Halton had some excellent pitching too and the girls struggled to get the bat on the ball. Marisa, Avery, Charlotte and Lexi Gruberbauer managed to get the offence rolling in the 4th to take the lead. Our defence proved to be very strong again this game, defending well against a bunting Halton team. Layla again dazzled the fans behind the plate with a diving catch off a bunt gone wrong for Halton. Alison made a great throw behind the plate to Addison Kuntz on second to catch a girl stealing. In the end the offence was not enough and Halton came away with a 6-4 victory in what could be considered the best team effort of the season.
A rain delay cancelled the last game of day 1 and was rescheduled for first thing Sunday morning. The Sting were well rested and ready for Port Perry. Marisa took the mound and pitched two shut down innings, striking out 4. Addison Kuntz entered the game in the third and struck out 3. The defence was sharp when it had to be. Avery and Alison teamed up for a double play to end the first inning. An offensive onslaught was lead by a home run and triple by Avery, a home run by Charlotte, a double by Julia and multi-hit games by Lundyn and Layla. In the end the game was called after 3 innings and it was a 15-0 victory for the Sting.
There was no rest for the Sting as they had to head one diamond over to take on the Guelph Gators. The girls knew a win in this game meant a ticket to the gold medal game, so they were fired up! Avery and Aadi shared pitching duties, striking out 8 over 2 innings and only walking 3 batters. The defence was strong again for the Sting, with Lundyn dropping to her knees at first to make a catch. Offensively, Marisa lead the way with 3 hits and Julia had 2 big hits. Avery and Charlotte both had 3 RBIs. Alison hit an absolute bomb to the grass, that was caught, but cashed in a run. The Sting ladies came out with a 12-4 victory and were off to the gold medal game.
The gold medal game saw a rematch with the Halton Hawks. Although the Sting put up a good battle, it wasn’t meant to be today. The girls could not solve the Halton pitchers, mustering no hits for the first time all season. Amazing catches in the outfield by Lexi and Addison was not enough to hold back the mighty Halton batters and in the end Halton took home the gold and the Sting brought home the silver.
The coaches are very impressed with the progress made thus far, especially gains made defensively. Lots of heads up plays and extra effort were seen this weekend and this team should be proud of their accomplishments. The Sting will now start to prepare for provincial qualifiers in early August, with our regular practices and some exhibition games to help us stay sharp. Go Sting!