It was a big day for the Durham College women’s softball team on Oct. 22 after winning the college its 18th Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) championships title with an 11-6 victory over the St. Clair Saints in the gold medal game.
A week prior, Durham’s spot at the championship was in jeopardy as they sat in fifth place with eight games remaining in the regular season. The Lords reeled off seven wins over that span to qualify for the championship, where they went 3-0, outscoring their opponents 28-7 en route to the gold medal victory.
“Our bats came alive,” said head coach Jim Nemish. “The coaching staff told the girls that their pitching and defence was where we wanted it to be, but they just needed to believe in themselves at the plate. Everyone started hitting and it became contagious. I am so proud of the way we rallied.”
In the top of the first inning in the finals, St. Clair loaded the bases with none out. Durham managed to get two fly outs and a ground out to keep the Saints off the board.
In the bottom of the first, Rebecca Ropp hit a two-run home run to put the Lords in front 2-0.
The Lords managed to blow things wide open in the bottom of the third, putting up four more runs and chasing the Saints’ starting pitcher Sara Stiller from the game. The Lords added one more run in the fourth and two more in the fifth and sixth innings for the 11-run outburst.
After going through their longest championship drought since 1990, not winning gold from 2012 to 2014, the Lords have won back-to-back titles.
Last season, the fourth-seeded Lords beat the Hawks on home turf to win the championship.
Durham finishes the year with a 24-11 overall record, giving Nemish 471 career victories in 28 years on the bench.