Vernon’s Whitehouse Mortagage Gators bagged the bronze medal in the SPN Women’s C Slo-Pitch Provincials last weekend at the DND diamonds.
The Fort St. John Edge took gold, while the Fembots of Kelowna earned silver in the eight-team tournament. All three teams qualify for the 2015 nationals, in Niagara Falls.
“We probably won’t go to Niagara Falls,” said Gator playing/coach Michelle Embleton. “That’s a lot of fundraising so we’ll wait for the next year when the nationals will be out west.”
The Gators, who won the 2010 B nationals in Calgary, had a handful of players on this year’s roster which opened with drama-jammed losses in Saturday preliminary play.
Vernon bowed 15-13 to Kelowna Skyline in their first game with outfielder Melissa Locke supplying three hits and three RBI, outfielder Embleton going 3-for-3 with one ribbie and infielder Tiffany Disher pocketing three hits in three at bats.
Skyline exploded for seven runs and the Gators six in the fourth inning. Belinda Marks took the loss.
The Gators then lost 19-18 to Kelowna BTN despite trailing 16-3 after three innings. Vernon scored five runs in the fourth and 10 in the fifth.
“They were strong; they were third in B last year and they had the bats early,” said Embleton.
Outfielder Shaina McGiverin was 3-for-3 with a homer and four ribbies, while first baseman Taryn Robertson knocked in four runs on three hits and Locke also produced three hits.
The Gators opened the playoff round by stopping BTN 12-9 with McGiverin stroking a dinger and Disher going 3-for-4 with one ribbie. Marks was on the hill.
Robertson knocked in four runs with a triple, double and single and catcher Jen Doyle was 4-for-4 with a triple, double and three RBI as the Gators iced the Kelowna Squeeze 13-8.
The Fembots eliminated the Gators 7-5 Monday with Disher, McGiverin and outfielder Brittany Housego each going 2-for-3.
“We stranded a lot of runners and starting popping the ball up,” said coach Mike Burke, who missed opening day due to work commitments. “We had a big bench and we got support from everyone all weekend.”
The Men’s B/C Division was won by the Kelowna Expos over the Fort St. John Crush.
The Vernon Dodgers finished sixth in the Men’s D, won by Grubby of Langley. Big Kahuna of Kelowna took third in Men’s C, while results from Women’s B and Men’s E were not available.
“It really was a huge success, and I am really thrilled I decided to bring a provincial back to Vernon after taking a few years off,” said tournament director Heather Savitsky.
“A huge thanks to all the crew who worked all weekend taking care of the diamonds, and especially everyone who worked in the beer gardens. You guys rock.”