Fever cook up fourth place
The Okanagan Spring/Progressive Automotive Fever settled for fourth place in the Slo-Pitch National (SPN) Co-Ed C Championships in Leduc, Alta.
Coached by Heather Savitsky, the Fever bowed 13-10 to the Abbotsford Rhinos in the bronze-medal game Sunday.
“I am so proud of how each and every member of our team played over the four days at Nationals,” said Savitsky. “Next for our team is the 2011 provincials, Sept. 16-18, in Langley, where we will be not only playing for the provincial title, but also qualifying for the 2012 Nationals being held in Langley.”
The Rhinos scored four runs in the first inning, but the Fever came back with a seven-run second to take the lead. Abbotsford counted three in the fourth, and the Fever responded with a deuce in the fifth.
“Scoring one in the sixth kept our energy, spirit and drive going,” said Savitsky. “With the Rhinos still leading going into the seventh, we pulled no punches, and with runners on second and third, we just couldn’t bring them in.”
In the double-knockout playoff round Sunday morning, the Fever lost 13-4 to the undefeated Saskatchewan Fuze.
That loss moved Vernon into the single-knockout side, where they clipped the Damaged Leftovers of Manitoba 11-9.
Wayne Larsson went 4-for-4 with a home run and three runs, while Mike Burke was 2-for-4 with a double, triple and two runs.
Kelli Graham was 3-for-4 with two runs, while Brandie Hunter supplied two hits, one ribbie and two runs.
After a rain-delayed start on Day 1, the Fever opened by outslugging the Rhinos 10-7 behind the pitching of Belinda Marks.
Dave Cover went 2-for-3, scoring once and knocking in two runs. Graham, Troy Warner and Larsson each had one run-scoring hit and one run.
The Spring crew then stopped the Surrey Krunch 11-10 in a battle of the only B.C. entries.
Strong defence from Jenn Thatcher, Nancy Lafreniere, Gord Tung, Todd Doyle, and outstanding pitching from Ernie Cupello, helped the Fever take a three-run lead going into the bottom of the seventh.
The Krunch fought back with two, and with the tying run on third, Cupello registered two strikes on a male batter and then tossed the perfect pitch to get the strikeout and the win.
Vernon got strong bats from Michelle Embleton, who was 3-for-4, Thatcher, who was 3-for-4 with a RBI, Burke, 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI and Gord Tung, 3-for-4 and two runs.
On Day 2, the Fever spotted the Fuze 10-2, second-inning lead before grabbing a 16-10 lead and eventually falling 18-16.
Doyle delivered a pair of dingers, while Larsson also homered and Kurt Roberts was 3-for-3 with two runs and two ribbies.
Lafreniere went 2-for 4 with two walks and one run, while Don Hunter supplied two hits and two runs.
The Fever finished preliminary play with a 26-7 win over the fun-seeking Norman Wells entry from the Northwest Territories.
Tung, Cover and Don Hunter each went 4-for-5, while Brandie Hunter was 3-for-3 and Marks helped her cause with three hits.