Just one run makes the difference for Alfie’s
© Submitted photo
Alfie’s placed second to Home Hardware from Lab West in the Molson National Slo-Pitch Qualifier held in Happy Valley-Goose Bay over the Labour Day weekend.
By MARK URQUART
Special to The Labradorian
It was a close contest, but in the end the 2012 slopitch champs had to concede defeat to the visiting Labrador West team.
Just one run made the difference for the Alfie’s squad from Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Hoping to repeat their victory from last year’s tournament, the team were stopped by the Home Hardware team of Labrador West, who batted in 12 runs in the final contest to win the Molson National Slo-Pitch Qualifier in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Nine teams from the Big Land took part in the weekend’s festivities, hosted by the Happy Valley- Goose Bay Molson Men’s Slopitch league, which featured six local teams and three squads of softballers from Labrador West.
The event, which saw games played on the two fields behind Mealy Mountain Colllegiate, kicked off Friday night with two contests.
This night saw the defensive highlight of the weekend as Bennett’s Brian Smith robbed Maxwell/Bentley’s Tony Cullen of a sure double with a full-out diving catch in centerfield.
With two divisions, the competition was steady. Although sometimes fierce, team sportsmanship was at a high.
Saturday saw the arrival of the Lab West teams as round-robin play continued. By the end of Saturday three teams had been eliminated, with the two division winners; Bennett’s and the reigning 2012 Champs, Alfie’s advancing with a bye into the semi-finals.
The playoffs began Sunday morning with some great action in the crossover quarterfinals. The first crossover saw the Battle of Lab West, as Home Hardware advanced by beating Team Wabush by a score of 18-6. The next crossover saw the other Lab West team, Corby’s, defeat the Legion team from Goose Bay in a closer game by the score of 16-10.
The semi-finals began with Home Hardware advancing to play the Division B Winners, Bennett’s. In a close game between two of the best in their respective towns, Lab West Home Hardware came out on top of an error filled game, 18-7, earning the first berth into the finals.
Their opponents were determined in the next semi-final between Corby’s and the Division A winners, Alfies.
It was a close game, with Alfie’s staging a comeback to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning to force an extra inning. Alfie’s wrapped up their comeback in the bottom of the eight when Bob Engram hit a walk off bases loaded single to score the game-winning run, making the final score 15-14.
This set up an Alfie’s versus Home Hardware final, and this game did not disappoint the spectators.
The whole contest was close. Alfie’s tried to repeat their semi-final come back in the finals, but fell short by just one run. Lab West Home Hardware claimed the 2013 Labrador Molson Slo-Pitch National Qualifier championship.