Saints finish Zone 4 regular season undefeated
Rhiannon Ice hammers one down the line for the Saints at Rotary Republic Park in Portage la Prairie. The Saints finished the regular season a perfect 6-0. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
Mark it down as another flawless season.
Portage Collegiate Institute dominated the Zone 4 Fastpitch league for the fifth straight season as the Saints finished up the year a perfect 6-0 after taking out Morden 12-2 in their final regular season match Wednesday night in Morden.
“We liked the way we are playing right now,” says Saints head coach, Cam Asham. “We had a good night out offensively and a solid game defensively to keep the runs down. We love how we played during the league play (this season) and we’re looking forward to the zone tournament in a few days.”
The Saints got out front in the first inning with 3 runs scored but the Thunder answered right back in the bottom of the inning with 2 runs to get within one. After that, it was all PCI as pitcher Shayne Nichols found her grove and the defence stood strongly behind her to keep the Thunder scoreless through the next four.
PCI’s strongest inning was the second where the girls put up 5 runs to take an 8-2 lead. The Saints offence was led by Kiera Shwaluk who finished with 3 hits and 2 RBIs, while Nichols had 2 hits and 3 RBI. Nichols pitched all five innings for PCI and had six strikeouts and 17 first pitch strikes.
“We’ve talked about being in charge of our own destiny all season long,” says Asham. “Keeping the level of play up is something we’ll keep talking about into the zone tournament. We’ll worry about keeping our level of play up to where we want it to be for the Zone tournament, and hopefully, we can make it to provincials.”
Going back through the Manitoba High School Athletic Association’s record the PCI Saints haven’t lost a regular season match since prior to 2013, as that’s as far back as the website has kept records. The Saints closest regular season match ended 10-4 in their favour as the rest were blowout victories. It’s not to say the Saints never lost all year as Boissevain and WC Miller both managed to take down the powerhouse during tournament play, but both those games did not feature pitcher Shayne Nichols.
The Zone 4 Fastpitch tournament gets going Wednesday, May 23, in Portage la Prairie at Rotary Republic Park.