BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Morgan Glowa connects with a pitch for the Westman Magic during Sunday’s senior women’s softball final at Simplot Millennium Park. The Magic defeated the Winnipeg Lightning 9-4.
It’s mission accomplished for the Westman Magic senior women’s softball team.
Kellie Baker throws to first for the Westman Magic during Sunday’s provincial senior women’s softball final at Simplot Millennium Park. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Since they didn’t play much during the spring and can’t compete at the Western Canadian championship with so many players returning to their college teams, the Magic wanted to win the provincial Senior B title at home.
While they had to play one more game than they wanted, the Magic did just that by beating the Winnipeg Lightning 9-4 in Sunday’s final at Simplot Millennium Park.
"It just means a lot to have this," said Magic second baseman Cyndi Figol.
"We had a really good team and a good group of girls. Everyone enjoyed being here and it just means a lot to win it for Bev (Neufeld) and all the coaches."
An extra game was needed as the Magic and Lightning tied for first in the double round-robin with 3-1 records, forcing a tiebreaking final, which was the third straight game Westman had to play on Sunday.
The last thing the team wanted to do was go back on the field after playing back-to-back contests, especially since the Magic blew a 6-0 lead in their final round-robin contest and fell 8-7 to the Lightning.
Neufeld, the team’s head coach, told her players to dig down and focus going into the final, and that’s exactly what they did.
Figol ripped a home run in the first inning and finished the game with a pair of dingers, a triple, three runs scored and four RBIs.
"Cyndi’s amazing," Neufeld said. "She had a great weekend, and not just this game. She hit the ball consistently and consistently hard all weekend and drove in a ton of runs for us. It was great."
Cejay Hilhorst was 1-for-2 and scored three times, while Cateline Fafard drove in two other runs and picked up the win on the mound for the Magic, who built up a 7-2 lead after four innings.
Westman got off to a solid start to the weekend by beating the Southern Bandits 13-9 in the opener and the Lightning 1-0 later on Saturday.
Hilhorst hit a home run, tripled twice and scored four runs against the Bandits, while Figol scored the second game’s lone run.
Kellie Baker had a pair of hits and scored twice in Westman’s first game on Sunday, a 10-3 win over the Bandits, who went 0-4 in the three-team tournament.
Since the Westman isn’t going to nationals, Sunday’s final was the last game of the year for the senior Magic squad, and they were happy to end it on a high note.
"I think this is the best weekend we had all year," Figol said. "We struggled all year up to this point and I’m just really happy with our team and that we did what we did.
"It’s the best (to end the year with a championship). It feels really good that we were able to do this."
LINE DRIVE: More than $5,000 was donated to the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex on the weekend, with $3,000 coming from Softball Manitoba and $2,432 coming from the proceeds made from hosting the senior and under-14 provincial championships. The Westman Softball Umpires Association put on the provincial championships.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 21, 2014