Regina Highland’s Shalon Fleming, with Moose Jaw’s Candace Newkirk at third, battled to a 9-8 extra end victory over clubmate Lorraine Schneider in the opening round of competition at the 12-team triple-knockout tournament in Melville.
Schneider – who played second on Penny Barker’s 2017 provincial champions -- appeared to have things all but locked down heading into the fifth end after she put up a five-ender in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead. But Fleming gradually chipped away, scoring one in the fifth, stealing two in the sixth and another one in the seventh to tie the game 6-6.
It was back-and-forth from there, as Schneider took the lead with one in seven before Fleming went up 8-7 with a deuce in nine and held Schneider to a single point in the 10th. She made perfect use of the hammer from there, scoring her single for the win.
In other first draw action, Regina Highland’s Michelle Englot picked up single points in each of the first two ends and added one in the sixth on her way to a 3-2 victory over clubmate Mandy Selzer.
Rae Williamson from the Highland didn’t have near as close a contest against Saskatoon Nutana’s Ashley Howard, as with the game tied 2-2 through three, Williamson would score single points the next three ends to build a 5-2 lead. Howard got one back in seven, but Williamson deuces the next two ends brought things to a close with a 9-3 final.
Swift Current’s Kristen Streifel ended up in a battle in her first game against Saskatoon Nutana’s Jana Tisdale, eventually taking a 7-6 victory. After a Tisdale deuce in the seventh, the two teams sat tied 5-5 and would exchange single points the rest of the way.
Moose Jaw’s other provincial Scotties competitors are in action during the 7:30 p.m. draw, as Penny Barker takes on Williamson and Amber Holland duels Englot. Fleming will play defending champion Robyn Silvernagle of North Battleford in her ‘A’ side quarter-final and Streifel will face reigning senior women’s world champion Sherry Anderson in the other second-round match.
The tournament champion will represent Saskatchewan at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw from Feb. 14-23.