Saints snag Zone 4 title
Portage Collegiate Institute Saints captains Leah Robb and Kat Boychuk receive the Zone 4 Fastpitch champions banner from coach and league convenor Cam Asham at Republic of Manitobah Park on Wednesday. The Saints won by defeating Morden 7-0 and 12-0 in the final. DAN FALLOON/PORTAGE DAILY GRAPHIC/QMI AGENCY
They took the long way around, but the Portage Collegiate Institute Saints scored the Zone 4 Fastpitch League title on home turf on Wednesday.
PCI was 1-1 in preliminary play, defeating the vaunted W.C. Miller Aces from Altona 9-5 in their first game before falling 9-7 to Morden.
In the semis, PCI tightened up, besting the Aces once again, this time by a 4-2 final. With Morden having earned a bye into the final, the Saints were forced to win twice to secure the championship. They did so in convincing fashion, completing both games using the five-inning mercy rule. The Saints won Game 1 by a 7-0 score before taking Game 2 by a 12-0 final.
Head coach Cam Asham said the Saints finally lived up to the potential they'd teased all season long.
"This was the team we figured we had all year," said Asham. "It finally showed up at the right time today."
Leah Robb tossed each and every pitch of the 27 total innings for the Saints, seemingly improving with each passing frame - allowing just two runs in the three playoff games.
"I'm pretty pooped," said Robb. "I'm pretty proud of myself, I guess, but I couldn't have done it without the team.
"They definitely backed me up a lot."
Asham was astonished at how well the Grade 12 hurler performed on the mound.
"She threw 27 innings today and there were no signs of her slowing down," said Asham. "Her velocity was still there and she still had great command. She got into more of a rhythm here as she kept throwing."
Offensively, all players contributed at one point or another. The attack seemed particularly in sync during the final two games against Morden, as in the first innings of each of the games, PCI plated three runs and were threatening more.
PCI will play a one-day tournament in Altona on Friday, which will help the team prepare for provincials on June 1 and 2 in Landmark. Asham said he's just hoping the Saints can continue to roll and improve on Wednesday's showing.
"We just want to keep doing what we're doing - keep our level of play up and get good starts, play good defence, and have good at-bats," said Asham.
For more, please see Thursday's edition of the Portage Daily Graphic.