Women’s fast-pitch wins nationals

The Wilfrid Laurier University women’s fast-pitch club sure lived up to their name on Thanksgiving weekend.

Competing in the second annual Canadian Intercollegiate Women’s Fast-pitch Championship, hosted by Laurier at Peter Hallman Ballyards in Kitchener, the purple and gold were consistent all weekend and earned top billing as champions, dominating Western 7-0 in the semi-finals and defeating the University of Saskatchewan 7-3 in the gold-medal game.

After finishing the round-robin with three wins and a loss, Laurier was set to face Western in the pivotal semi-final game.

Laurier was seeking redemption against Western, who had defeated the Hawks two days earlier 7-6 in the preliminaries.

“We’ve had such good games against these guys over the last three years, and they’ve all been extremely close,” stated Laurier coach Kevin Fagg.

Western defeated Laurier to take the Ontario championship in 2008, and lost to Laurier to take silver in 2007. This year, they couldn’t match the sharp Laurier bats and unbelievable pitching by Cassie Taylor-Baptiste.

Laurier jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Kari Jansen. Later, in the top of the fifth inning, Jody Waltho doubled on a pitch, bringing home two more runners to make it 3-0.

Taylor-Baptiste picked up the complete game shutout, frustrating the Mustangs all game long with three strikeouts against the highest-scoring team in Ontario.

“[I beat the hitters by] just moving the ball in and out and trusting the defence behind me,” Taylor-Baptiste explained.

“We’re always competitors and it would be sweet to play them again, but we’ll see.”
      
But it was Saskatchewan who Laurier would feast on in the final.

After losing to Saskatchewan 11-1 in last year’s gold medal game, Laurier would seek some serious retribution, winning 7-3 and taking the gold medal.

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