Two long-time teams maintained titles while new co-ed champs were crowned at the Dustball International Tournament on Sunday.
Whitehorse’s P&M Recycled Sistas and Whitehorse’s P&M Recycling Guns kept multi-year win streaks going in the women’s and men’s A divisions, and Whitehorse’s Chiefs claimed their first co-ed A title at the Pepsi Softball Centre.
The P&M Recycled Sistas, formerly Yukon Gold among other names, won their sixth straight women’s title at the slo-pitch tourney.
“This base core has been together a long time,” said Sistas co-captain Marcie Stenzig.
The Sistas topped the only women’s division with a 15-10 win over the Killer Bees, a Whitehorse-Juneau mixed team. But it was far from smooth sailing.
The Sistas trailed 3-0 after the first and 8-4 after the second.
“Everybody, for the most part, played well,” said Sistas third baseman Terri Cairns. “All of us were shaky on our bats a bit. So that was scary. So we just picked away at it and that’s how we won it.”
“It could have gone either way, those guys have a really strong team,” said Stenzig.
Sistas’ Marie Cairns tripled to start the third and came home on a hit from Terri. The next inning Leanne Brassard smacked a line drive to centre to bring in two before Laura Whitty and Michelle Massie had a pair of hits to take the lead.
The champion team poured a few more in during their last at-bat. Whitty got another RBI before Carol Fields hit a double for two more. King hit a sacrifice fly for the final run.
The Sistas did lose earlier to the Killer Bees Saturday morning by a run in extra innings, “So this game we did not have last bat, and that was a little freaky,” said Terri.
“We did not start as strong as we should have. It was a tense final.
“Two girls who really came through: Annette King hit really well and she made some really important, solid catches in left field.
“Marcie Stenzig was stellar at short(stop).
“And Carol Fields was an awesome hitter. I think every time Carol went up she was base-hitting.”
Fountain Tire took third with a loss to the Sistas Sunday morning.
Chiefs undefeated in co-ed
It had been a while since Ryan Gleason was on a winning co-ed team at Dustball. He remembers it clearly.
“The last time I won it I was 18 and that was 12 years ago,” said Gleason. “My mom and dad were playing. I have my brother, my cousins (this year), so it’s a good feeling to win.”
Gleason and Whitehorse’s the Chiefs went undefeated over the weekend to take the co-ed A division with a 9-5 victory over Whitehorse’s Brew Jays in Sunday’s final.
Down 3-1, the Brew Jays took a one-run lead in the fourth on a three-run shot from Robin Smith followed by a solo homer from Brett Roulston.
Chiefs’ Chris Vance drove in a run in the bottom of the inning to tie and the next inning Gleason, the team captain, hit a line drive to centre field to put in the game-winner.
The Chiefs, a team from the Whitehorse co-ed league, were playing in their first Dustball together.
“We’ve had a lot of guys go for work, so this was the first time we all came together in a few months,” said Gleason.
“Our girls are the ones that carried us right through to the final. You have to have good girls in the A (division), and we have them.”
The Whitehorse Dental Donkeys lost to the Chiefs and then the Brew Jays to place third.
Guns smoking in men’s final
Whitehorse’s Dave’s Cleaning team picked up a couple NCAA baseball players from Kansas’ Sterling College and three national level softball players from Vancouver, but that was not enough to defeat Whitehorse’s P&M Recycling Guns.
The Guns had a big final inning to take the men’s A division for a fourth consecutive time with a 32-12 win over Dave’s Cleaning.
“We were playing a team that was really put together,” said Guns captain Shane King. “We’ve been successful in this tournament for a lot of years, but we’re not getting any younger. Most of us are into our 40s. We got a guy, Robbie LaRose, creeping up on 50.
“We’ve been together for 25 years as a team. We’ve played together in Dustball for a lot of years and we knew it was going to be a real test for us.”
The Guns ran up the score with 13 runs in the final inning, which doesn’t have the five-run mercy cap. The bulk of the runs came through grand slams by Joey Vigneau and Troy Cairns. Teammate Jesse Ritchie also hit a grand slam in the fourth inning.
The Guns are slated to play in the National Slo-Pitch Championships C division next month in Kelowna, B.C.
“So we were really looking forward to a really good tournament this weekend to get us firing,” said King. “Obviously there’s no men’s league (in Whitehorse), so these are the only tournaments that get us going, get us together, get us playing well together. So Dustball was huge for us this year.”
Royal Flush Plumbing plunged to third with a loss to the Guns Sunday morning.
This year’s Dustball tournament saw 37 co-ed, 21 men’s and six women’s teams compete.
2nd Alaska Liquor
1st Mayo Volunteer Fire Dept.
3rd EBA Scared Hitless
1st Mr. DJ
1st Ain’t Texas Cute
2nd KK Mutts
1st G&R Pawn Stars
2nd Dust Devils
3rd FHP Ballwhackers
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org