By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
The Durham Lords softball team spent its Thanksgiving in Saskatoon competing in the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association (CCSA) national championship where they won the silver medal.
The silver medal is the best result that the Lords have gotten at the CCSAs since 2012 and coach Jim Nemish said that winning silver could be summed up in one word: “Awesome.
“I’m so proud of the girls. They played their hearts out and they left everything on the field,” says Nemish. “Regina was just too strong, and to lose to them, there’s no shame.”
The Lords lost in the final to the Regina Cougars 8-1, with starting pitcher Ashley Black allowing all eight runs after already pitching in two games that day.
Despite the fact she had already thrown 10 innings that day, Nemish says he felt no hesitation to put Black back on the mound as Emily Glendinning was nursing an injury to her foot.
Nemish says that he knew if they were going to win it would be a grind, but the Lords had run out of steam by the time they started the final against the Cougars.
“Ashley pitched against Western [University] in the morning game, Emily started the Calgary [Dinos] game,” says Nemish. “Emily had a little problem with her foot, and she was starting to get sore during the Calgary game, so we brought Ashley in for the last three innings. But Emily’s foot, it was bothering her.”
Glendinning pitched in the semifinal against the Dinos, going four innings and allowing only one run, but was pulled due to her foot.
In all, the Lords played in eight games over a three-day span, losing one to the Dinos on the first day, and then two to the Cougars, the second being the final.
Nemish says that the team has earned some rest after returning home on Oct. 8, with only two games left in the season against the Mohawk Mountaineers on Oct. 12.
Nemish says that he believes the Lords are secure in second place, and they are definitely going to be playing in the OCAA championship again this year.
Nemish says that he wants the team to continue believing in themselves as the season winds down. “We’ve got a few things that we need to clean up,” he says. “It’s just the unforced errors. Those are the ones that are hurting us.”
However, he also praises the team’s overall determination, saying “They stepped up their hitting out west, and their fielding was unbelievable … overall I believe the team played miraculously at nationals.”
Playing with eight first year players on their roster this season, Nemish was proud that “every freshman has contributed to the team this year.”
The OCAA championship takes place Oct. 19 and Oct. 20 in Kitchener at Budd Park.