The Nanaimo Diamonds were right there with the best fastpitch softball teams in Western Canada.
The bantam B girls’ fastball team won three of its seven games at Softball Canada’s Western Canadian Championship last weekend in Saskatoon.
The girls played well enough to make it to the playdowns on the last day of competition Monday, when they finally fell 4-2 to the silver-medallist Moose Jaw.
The bantam Diamonds started the tourney July 29 with a 12-5 win over Edmonton’s River City Hornets. Hayley Craddock had a huge game, earning the pitching win and going 3-for-3 at the plate, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.
In the second game that day, Craddock had two hits as the Diamonds lost 8-1 to the Saskatoon Raiders.
The next day, Nanaimo clobbered Brandon, Man.’s Westman Magic 15-5. Sam Walkosky was the winning pitcher and Taylor Sampson hit a home run and drove in five runs. Craddock and Marissa Boyle had three hits apiece.
The late game was a 7-5 loss to the Ice in which Craddock supplied two hits.
On Sunday, the Diamonds fell to the eventual Western champs, the Saskatoon Phantoms, by a 7-3 score. Paige Hughes had two hits and two RBIs and Sierra Spracklin also had a pair of hits.
The later game saw Nanaimo edge Winnipeg’s Manitoba Thunder 4-3, with Craddock earning the ‘W’ and supplying two hits. Hughes had two RBIs.
In the tournament-ending loss, Sampson had two hits.
BASE LINES … At provincial championships the previous weekend, the Diamonds won silver medals, falling to the Surrey Storm 6-1 in the final. Nanaimo won eight of its 10 games and had to play five times on the final day of the tournament. “It was an amazing display of high-calibre fastball, combined with a ton of heart,” noted a team press release.