BY DYLAN DACOSTA
It was a year of missed opportunities for Conestoga’s women’s fastball team, as their season came to an end with a disappointing 13-0 loss against Humber College on Oct. 13.
The Condors finished with a record of only four wins to their 11 losses, although the season got off to a good start.
The opening game for Conestoga was against St. Clair College on Sept. 11, and although they lost by a score of 3-0, coach Rick Proud, who has been with the team for eight years, still had much to be optimistic about at that point.
“We were missing two starters and had a player injured,” he said. “But we still came away with only a 3-0 loss and we were able to keep them off the scoreboard for four innings.”
His optimism was merited – after that loss the team played two tightly contested games against Mohawk College, both of which Conestoga won by a single run.
This was followed by a loss against Humber and then a 12-1 win against Seneca College. This left the Condors with a winning record, and the group’s morale was high.
“The morale was pretty positive,” said Proud. “We had a couple of players this year who were good cheerleaders and kept everyone positive and upbeat.”
The season then took a turn for the worse – a four-game losing streak was finally ended by a 4-2 win over Mohawk, but this couldn’t stop the team’s slump.
Two consecutive losses against Durham College were followed by a particularly painful one-run loss for the team to Seneca which meant they could no longer make the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Championship.
“The girls looked a little tight and anxious,” said Proud, indicating that the potential to make it into the playoffs had the team distracted.
The team had defeated Seneca once earlier in the season, and the defeat was one that really hurt the players.
“I think we were all a little overconfident,” said Maggy Calvert, a second-year player who is currently enrolled in Conestoga’s business administration marketing co-op program. “We were under a lot of pressure and exhausted to say the least.”
Two losses, both to Humber, followed the heartbreaking loss to Seneca and brought an end to a roller-coaster season for the Condors.
“I believe focus had a lot to do with our random performances,” said Proud. “Fastball is such a short season and we need everyone on board for every game and practice.”
Despite the challenging season, Calvert thinks the girls made progress as a team throughout the course of the year.
“I love baseball, it’s my passion and I love the girls I play with,” she said. “This year our team felt like an actual team, not just like girls playing baseball on the same field.”
Varsity sports are a way into provincial and national championships, and Proud wants a more committed approach from some of his players next season so they can try to qualify for these championships.
“There were a few games, especially the last weekend, where we were missing players,” he said. “If we can get more commitment and play good fundamental softball then I think we can do a lot better.”