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Girls Icebreaker softball tournament rings in the season

Kendra Ulseth readies herself to swing for a tricky pitch, during a Saturday game in the Icebreaker softball tournament.  - Sam Macdonald / Sylvan Lake News
Kendra Ulseth readies herself to swing for a tricky pitch, during a Saturday game in the Icebreaker softball tournament.
— image credit: Sam Macdonald / Sylvan Lake News

Although the weather made things a little difficult at times, several local ball teams were able to warm up for the upcoming ball season, and put on a good show at the 2017 Icebreaker Softball Tournament, this past weekend.

The May 12-14 tournament saw teams in numerous age categories from many parts of Alberta competing, with teams in the U16, U14, U12 and U10 divisions playing one another in the occasionally uncooperative Albertan spring weather that came and went over the course of the weekend.

A total of 26 teams competed in the tournament, and seven of them were local teams.

“Our local teams did great. We definitely had lots of play - it was our second annual Icebreaker Tournament,” said Coordinator Kim Olsen. “Everyone involved did fairly well, despite the weather on Saturday. As you saw, we had to move a few diamonds, and thank goodness we’re all Albertans - we came prepared.”

The U16 final saw the Sylvan Lake Storm take silver, after a closely contested match with Medicine Hat. The U14 final entailed a gold win for the Airdrie Angels and silver for the Bentley Bluejays. The U12 final was a bona fide hometown rivalry playing out on the diamond, with Innisfail Team 1 winning gold, and Innisfail 2 ending the tournament with silver. In the U10 division, the Red Deer Rage took the gold, against the Rimbey Rays on Sunday.

“It’s the beginning of the season, so we really are just getting ourselves warmed up. I think the girls definitely played a lot of really good games,” said Olsen. “There were some really close matches, and it was a great start for everybody in our baseball season.”

An encouraging trend that the coordinators and volunteers with the tournament noticed this year was that registration numbers are on the rise.

“That is a trend we’d like to have continue having this season, giving girls the opportunity to play some ball, and have some fun this season,” said Olsen.

Olsen stressed that the tournament would not have taken place as smoothly as it did without the help of the many parent volunteers she worked with in attendance, throughout the weekend - particularly on Saturday morning, when the weather was wet and cold.

“It was raining, windy and miserable, but that didn’t postpone anything. We all pulled together, and were able to quickly move the diamonds, and did our best to get the water off them, and get them dried up,” said Olsen. “Everyone just bundled up to stay warm, and did the best they could.”

samuel.macdonald@sylvanlakenews.com

 

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