UR Sports

Pembroke Natives Shine for Bytown Belles Fastball

Stephanie Manson

By Stephanie Manson

The Bytown Belles’ undefeated season came to an end in the quarter finals of the Gord Marshall Memorial Ladies’ Fastball Tournament this past weekend in Innerkip. This year, the 13th annual tournament saw 27 teams come together to help raise money for the Oxford branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association and to raise awareness of issues surrounding mental health.

On Sunday morning, the Belles dropped the quarter-final match to the Milverton Millwrights Intermediate by a score of 7-4.

Despite the loss, the Belles had a perfect weekend in the round robin portion of the tournament, going 4-0 to seed them first in their pool.

On Friday evening, a long lightning delay pushed the Belles' 9:30 PM game to see the first pitch thrown at exactly midnight. Bytown made the most of the night, and came out firing with an 8-1 win over the Milverton Millwrights Junior team on the stellar pitching performance of Allie Hipgrave. Brockville native and University of Ottawa Gee Gees fastball team alumni Erin Durant earned player of the game honours for her 4-for-4 performance at the plate.

A quick turnaround had the Belles back at the diamond for a 9:30 AM game Saturday morning, in which Pembroke native and University of Ottawa Gee Gees fastball alumni pitcher Elissa Sivel threw a 2-hit 8-0 complete game shutout over the Mississauga Capitals, and was rewarded with player of the game honours. Also a Pembroke native and Gee Gees fastball alumni, Jean Cardona contributed with a 2-run homerun to the right-centerfield fence. Cardona is also an alumni of the Ottawa Valley Attack girls’ fastball program.

The next game saw the Belles take on the Ancaster Blizzard, who have previously given Bytown two one-run games this season. Cardona came up with a huge game on the mound for the Belles, throwing 7 strikeouts to lead the team to a 2-1 victory and earned the player of the game award.

Bytown faced a hometown favourite in the Mike’s Electric team in their final game of the day. The Belles did not let up, and earned a 6-0 shutout win on the no-hitter performance of pitcher Shelby Robblee.

Bytown’s loss in the quarter-final was their first of the year, giving them a record of 15-1-1 on the season. Led by father and son coaches Hal and Dustin Whitcomb, the Belles will look to rebound July 23-24 in their tournament in Whitby, before closing out the season at the Provincial Championships in Chepstow August 5-7.

PHOTO: Elissa Sivel, Erin Durant and Jean Cardona enjoy some downtime between games with the tournament mascot

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