SAIT Trojans, Mount Royal University Cougars, and the University of Calgary Dinos hosted the second weekend of WCSA games at Shouldice Athletic Park in Calgary. All eight WCSA teams were in action.
The weekend got off to an exciting start with a double header Friday night. In the opening game, Calgary continued with the hot bats defeating MRU by a score of 11-2 led by home runs by Chloe Maher and Hayley Reid. In the second game, a close battle between Victoria and SAIT ended 8-6.
On Saturday, it was a beautiful day for ball with the sun shining and perfect weather. UBCO hit the field for the first time this season with a 11-1 victory over MRU. Chelsea Mosher, Sheyanne Lawrence, and Cheyenne Simicak went deep for UBCO, and Kylie Koch hit a home run for MRU to end the pitching shutout by Sheyanne Lawrence. A highlight game in the morning was Regina versus Calgary. Gabriela Coderre hit a 3 run home run for Calgary to start the game in the 1st inning. Regina battled back from 2 runs down in the bottom of the 7th to win 5-4. Brooke Bentz singled in the winning run and went 2 for 3 at the plate. In a tense battle, Saskatchewan edged past Lethbridge 5-3, powered by Katie Berg’s hitting and Jorja Kezema’s shutout pitching.
The bats really started going in the second set of morning games. UBCO beat SAIT 9-1 led by Taylor McRae pitching. Regina could do no wrong against Lethbridge winning by a score of 16-3. Mackenzie Roach had a home run and 2 RBI, and Brooke Bentz had a home run and 4 RBI. The most heart-pounding game of the set was Victoria vs. Saskatchewan. Victoria was up 6 to 0 after the top of 5th with a great team effort on the bats led by Emma Brown. Saskatchewan was not going down without a battle, scoring the final 7 runs including 4 in the bottom of the 7th. Makenna Pilbeam led the effort with 3 hits and 4 RBIs including a double in the final frame.
The Saturday afternoon games brought some thrilling highlights. In a rematch game between two league leaders, Calgary jumped over Victoria early scoring 8 runs in the top of the 3rd to finish with a 12-5 victory. A complete team hitting effort was led by Emily Friedt and Gabriela Coderre. The SAIT and MRU game was a back-and-forth affair that went to extra innings tied at 6. SAIT put up 1 in the top of the 8th only to watch as MRU scored 2 for the 8-7 victory. MRU’s top of the lineup was on fire batting over .600 by Emma Hache, Jayden Segstro, Emily St Denis, and Kylie Koch. Not to be outdone SAIT stars Annika Fegruson and Kya Knight responded with 2 hits each. Regina and Lethbridge fought to a 12-8 score with a combined 24 hits. Lethbridge standouts were Megan Hunter and Emily Cuch. For Regina, Mackenzie Roach, Hailey Pangracs, and Kennedy Shorten had multi-hit games. UBCO finished the day beating Saskatchewan 10 to 2 led by exceptional pitching by last year’s league top pitcher, Mikhaela Muir.
On Sunday morning, there were concerns of smoke in the skies, but the smoke stayed away enough for some great games to be played. In the first morning set of games, Regina defeated MRU 9-5 led by two hits by Mackenzie Roach and Giada Nerbas and 3 shutout innings in relief by Kalena Adrian. Emily St Denis hit a home run for MRU in a losing cause. In a tight played game, UBCO emerged victorious 5-2 over Lethbridge led by Taylor Roeseler’s 4 hits and Maddy Roeseler’s 2 hits. Saskatchewan used a 8 run 6th inning to defeat SAIT 15-6. Katie Berg and Emma Maurice each had 3 hits with a home run by Makenna Pilbeam.
The much-anticipated clash between 2022 WCSA champions Calgary and silver medalists UBCO lived up to its billing. In front of a large crowd on the edges of their seats, the intensity in the air was palpable. The defense came to play with diving catches all over the field: left field for Calgary by McKenna Regier, center field for UBCO by Taylor Roeseler and at short by her sister Maddy. Calgary opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the 1st off of Gabriela Coderre’s double. The game then settled into a pitching and defensive duel. Mia Pielak and Emma Stephens pitching exceptionally well for Calgary, and UBCO’s Mikaela Muir and Taylor McRae shutting out Calgary. In the top of the 5th, two singles by Maddy Roeseler and Jayda Zhak had runners on 1st and 2nd. Cassidy Kellow singled on a line drive to left field that got by McKenna Regier scoring 2 runs. In the bottom of the 7th, two walks led to runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Sheyanne Lawrence was called in to try preserve the lead. The cheering by both teams was deafening. The 2nd out was a ground out to 2nd advancing the runners. The hard hitting Gabriela Coderre was intentionally walked loading the bases. Chloe Maher stepped to the plate ready to win the game. In a back-and-forth at bat, she struck out looking on a 3-2 count. UBCO won by a score of 2-1. This game showcased the exceptional talent and excitement in the WCSA, and we look forward to more matchups throughout the season.
Saskatchewan and Regina continued their intense battles with Saskatchewan jumping out to 5 runs in the top of the 1st and finishing with a 12-3 score. Makenna Pilbeam continued her exceptional weekend at the plate with a home run and 5 RBI. Victoria beat Lethbridge 3-2 with strong pitching performances by Sophie Hepner (Victoria) and Ainsley Olson (Lethbridge). Lethbridge tied it up at 2 in the top of the 7th only to have Victoria respond with a sac fly by Taylor Poole in the bottom of the inning. In a football score of a game, Victoria defeated MRU by a score of 18-10 using a 8 run 5th and 9 run 7th to secure the victory. Danielle Boudreau had a strong game with 3 hits and Summer Wind drove in 4 runs. In the last game of the weekend, SAIT jumped out to a 9-5 lead over Calgary, recovering from the emotional game with UBCO before. Kya Knight drove in 5 runs for SAIT. Calgary responded like the champions they are scoring 3 runs in the top of the 6th and 7th to win 11-9. Gabriella Coderre and Emma Stephens hit home runs for Calgary.
Next week promises more exciting action with regional games in Victoria (UBCO, Regina, UVic) and Saskatoon (SAIT, Saskatchewan, Calgary, MRU, Lethbridge).
Standings after the second weekend: