The Okanagan Fever placed seventh in the 26-team National Co-Ed D Slo-Pitch Championships last weekend in Langley.
Coached by Heather Savitsky, the Fever went 2-2 in preliminary play before bowing 6-4 to the Abbotsford Rampage in their third single-knockout playoff game.
“Overall, it was a great nationals for our team,” said Savitsky. “Everyone played outstanding over the weekend. Now the guys from Fever are getting ready to play in the provincials with their Dodgers team on the Labour Day weekend, and the girls are practising for the provincials with their Gators team the same weekend, both in Kamloops.”
Next up for the Fever are the co-ed provincials Sept. 14-16, in Kelowna.
The Fever opened nationals with a 9-5 loss to Amp’t from Leduc, last year’s C division winners who scored five times in the top of the seventh.
The Okanagan crew grounded President’s Choice of Ontario 13-6, with James Houlle hitting a three-run dinger and Ernie Cupello stellar on the mound.
In Game 3 Saturday, the Fever lost 10-4 to Da Bulls of Vancouver, a seasoned team that has been playing together for 20 years.
Shortstop Don Hunter turned four double-plays as the Fever brushed back WHO DAT of Calgary 10-3.
The Fever just missed the double knockout playoffs as their runs for/against number was zero.
They opened the Sunday playoffs by smacking Smithers NW Raiders 14-2.
Belinda Marks got the win on the mound and went 2-for-3, while right fielder Wayne Larsson was 3-for-3 with two RBI, first baseman Taryn Robertson was 3-for-3, shortstop Mike Burke and centre fielder Todd Doyle each went 2-for-3 and extra hitter Jessica Hallam 2-for-3 with two ribbies.
A six-run sixth helped the Fever knock out the Langley Outlawz 13-3, with Cupello getting the win.
Braden Robertson went 3-for-3, while Cortnay Solmes and Kelli Graham each were 2-for-3. Doyle went 2-for-2 before getting injured while at bat,. Hunter took on an 0-2 count and singled. Brandon Solmes had a stellar two-way game, while strong defensive play was turned in by second baseman Courtney Bissell and right fielder Brandie Hunter.
It was a defensive battle against the Rampage, who scored all their runs in the first four innings. Robertson and Houlle each supplied two hits, while Marks and Cupello shared the hill.
Meanwhile, the Vernon Men’s Slo-Pitch League wrapped up its season with a thrilling final which saw the Checkers Brewers rally past the Wildcats 20-8.
The regular-season champion Wildcats had to come through the B side in the playoffs to force a sudden-death final by defeating the Brewers in the first game 12-3.
Dan Novakowski and Jessie Harms both went 3-for-4 to spark the Wildcats.
In the final, it looked like the Wildcats might pull off the upset going into the fifth inning with an 8-7 lead. The perennial playoff champion Brew Crew stormed back in the bottom of the fifth with 13 runs to put the game out of reach.
The veteran-laden Brewers were led by Jerry Bifano with an inside-the-park home run and Kenny Smith with a walk-off monster dinger to tame the Wildcats.