By GARRET BURCHETT
The Conestoga Condor’s women’s softball team made school history this weekend, participating in this year’s Canadian Collegiate Softball Association (CCSA) National Championships at Durham College for the first time.
The event features only eight teams out of more than 25 universities and college teams across Canada, with the teams being chosen based on the previous year’s play. Conestoga earned a spot thanks to their second place finish at last year’s Ontario College Athletic Association (OCAA) provincial championships. They joined teams from St. Clair College, Durham College, Western University, Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina and the University of Calgary.
The Condors’ first game was on Oct. 9, a matchup against last year’s bronze medal winners from the University of Regina. The Condors lost a close game 3-2. Pitcher Jessica Turnbull was named Conestoga’s player of the game after striking out nine batters in 6.2 innings, while also finishing the game 1-4 with a RBI and a run.
Conestoga’s second game also saw them matched up with a team from out west, the University of Saskatchewan. Brittany Bell, who plays second base, won player of the game for Conestoga in a 7-0 loss, going 1-2.
Conestoga’s last round robin game took place on Oct. 10, with a matchup against a local team from Wilfrid Laurier University. The Condors played another close game, but ultimately lost 3-2. Nicky Kressler, who plays third base, went 2-3 with an RBI and was named player of the game.
Conestoga finished the tournament in 8th place after losing their final game to Durham College 7-0. Bell earned her second player of the game award of the tournament with another 1-2 performance.
Bell led the Condors with four hits in 10 at bats during the tournament, including two doubles, while also scoring two runs. Turnbull pitched in two games for the Condors, striking out 10 over 11.2 innings, while also adding two hits, one a triple, two RBIs and scoring two runs.
St. Clair College won gold, defeating the Western Mustangs 2-1 in the finals. Western was trying to win its third straight gold medal at the national championships.
The team returns to Durham College for the OCAA Provincial Championships starting Oct. 23.