STELLARTON – Familiar opponents, the North Oxford Crush and Palmerston Marlins had their final showdown of the season on Sunday in Stellarton.
Both teams were Ontario representatives at the U-14 Eastern Canadian Softball Championship being held at the Dorrington Complex. The Crush may have lost provincials to the Marlins a few weeks ago, but Sunday they got revenge by defeating Palmerston 12-3 to win Eastern Canadians.
“This one means a lot to win against these girls and on a scale from one to 10 I’d say this feels like a 50,” said Alexis Allin of the Crush. “It’s definitely a good one to get the win in, but we all worked hard today and did it together.”
It wasn’t until the top of the fourth that either team would score. North Oxford, the away team because of where they finished in the round-robin, was hitting first. MacKenzie Babineau, Megan Guillemette and Tyra Skillings scored runs for the Crush in the fourth inning to go ahead 3-0.
In the bottom half of the inning Palmerston made it look like they could match North Oxford by scoring three runs of their own from Erin Shill, Jessica Johnston and Natalie Eccles.
From there it was downhill for the Marlins.
In the fifth the Crush had Allin and Julia Petrie score off sacrifice hits by Babineau and Lacey Walker to go ahead 5-3. Back in the field North Oxford put the Marlins down 1-2-3 before a complete collapse by the girls from Palmerston.
“I’d say cheering and our focus made a big difference today,” she said. “We didn’t get down on ourselves, which was big for us. We got closer together as a group over the weekend and it helped us big time.”
Seven runs were scored by North Oxford in the top-half of the sixth inning.
It started with a walk to Lauren Thompson. Kennedi Roth followed up with a double before a single by Calli MacMillan. With the bases loaded Allin crushed any hopes the Marlins had of coming back by hitting an inside-the-park home run.
“I just was thinking run,” said Alexis Allin. “I started to book it when I rounded second and tried my hardest because this was such a big game for us. I really wanted to win it.
“It felt pretty good to get that hit when I did because it wasn’t until that inning that we really scored some runs.”
Now up 9-3 the team just needed one more run to bring the seven-run rule into play – they got three more with Petrie, Babineau and Guillemette all crossing the plate again.
In the bottom half of the inning the Marlins got one runner on base, with a walk, before two strikeouts and a ground out ended it.
The Subway Stingers (host) lost the semifinal earlier on Sunday to North Oxford, meaning the team won bronze.
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris