Skip to content

Moose Jaw Ice win U12 A provincial softball championship

Season filled with success comes to impressive close for U12 teams; U16 A Ice reach playoffs
It was a common refrain for Moose Jaw teams over the years.

If they had a chance to train and play together almost year-round in an indoor fieldhouse like teams from Regina and Saskatoon, odds are they’d be just as successful as those clubs on the provincial scene.

The Moose Jaw Ice put that plan to the test over the past year with their Under-12 fastball programs, spending many an hour in YaraCentre this winter honing their skills on the indoor turf and preparing for what they hoped would be a banner campaign.

A lo and behold, a banner is what they ended up winning.

The Moose Jaw U12 A Ice claimed the Softball Sask provincial South championship in Regina this past weekend, while their U12 B Ice counterparts were almost as successful in the Queen City, also reaching the gold medal game before falling short.

The title is the first ‘A’-level championship for Moose Jaw and District Minor Softball and was a product of the aforementioned months of preparation.

“We started working with the girls back in October and had around 27 girls out for a clinic,” explained U12 A Ice coach Shawn Okerstrom. “All but two of our girls and eight of their team were there. They were focused all winter working on stuff, then we did some extra stuff between Christmas and New Year, then had our tryouts and the teams split from there and did their own things… Maybe it was because there weren’t any school sports on, but they were really all into ball this year and it worked out really well.”

Did it ever.

The U12 A Ice lost only one game to opposition in their age category all season, and when it came to provincials, it was a matter of maintaining the same ethos regardless of their opponent -- something Okerstrom and his coaching crew made a point of focussing on throughout the weekend.

“The girls played a pretty good season, but you still have to finish it off,” he said. “We were pretty lights out all season, so we just needed to finish strong and I know our focus was ‘what’s the most important game’ and it was ‘the next one’, because if you look past someone that’s when you’re going to lose.”

Still, there was planning when it came to working ace pitchers Taryn Friesen and Avery Garthus into the line-up and things couldn’t have got off to a better start. A 15-1 win over the Lumsden Cubs in their opener gave Moose Jaw maneuvering room, and they’d defeat the Regina Saints 2-0 on a combined one-hitter for the duo before rolling past the Regina Royals Panthers 10-3 to guarantee at least second place and a playoff spot in their pool. A meaningless 9-8 loss in their final round robin game set the stage for Sunday’s medal round.

There, they cruised to a 7-1 win over the Regina Lazers, giving them a bye to the final.

“That was a big win on Sunday morning, all the other teams had to play another game,” Okerstrom said. “So it was just managing it well and using our depth and keeping the girls focussed on one game at a time.”

The title game was statement time: again facing the Lazers, the Ice scored the maximum five runs in the first inning and led 10-0 heading into the bottom of the third. Regina got three runs back in their half of the frame, but the Ice pulled away to take a 14-3 mercy-rule win.

“It’s pretty special that we’re the first team to win gold at the ‘A’ level in Moose Jaw, we’re really proud of the girls for how well they played all weekend and all season,” Okerstrom said.

The U12 B Ice, meanwhile, won their first three games 10-7 over the Regina Lazers, 5-2 over the Lumsden Cubs and 13-7 over the Regina Fighting Saints before dropping a 13-4 decision to the Regina Royal Rebels in a meaningless round-robin contest, as they’d already clinched first in their pool.

That set up a rematch with the Lazers in the semifinal and an utter barnburner that saw Moose Jaw take a 7-6 victory to advance to the gold medal game. Their run of success came to an end with a loss to the Lumsden Cubs.

U16 Ice reach playoffs in ‘A’, win one of four in ‘B’ division

The U16 A Ice were also in action at provincials this past weekend in Saskatoon and reached the quarter-finals before falling short.

The Ice opened with a 2-0 win over Lumsden and 11-0 win over the Twin City Angels before falling 12-11 to the eventual champion Saskatoon Hustlers in their round-robin finale. Moose Jaw then dropped an 8-1 decision to the silver-medalist Saskatoon Raiders in their first playoff contest.

At the U16 B provincials in Regina, the Ice defeated the Saskatoon Hustlers 8-1 to open the event but had tough luck from there, losing 11-6 to Macklin, 14-4 to the Regina Fighting Saints and 12-11 to Kerrobert, missing the playoffs.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks