D1 Revolution win U16 West Bracket

 Revolution on to provincial U16 final


   D1 Revolution recover from a mercy loss to hold off the Halton Hawks, for a 6-4 win,

   to capture the Provincial Women's Softball Association U16 West Bracket 


  Friday, August 20, 2021


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By Rob J. Ross 

SWEABURG, Ont. - With the bases loaded and nobody out it appeared the Halton Hawks would be swooping in and ending the season for the D1 Revolution.

Trailing 6-4, in the bottom the seventh inning, with the tying run on second base and the winning run on first, momentum was swinging hard in favour of the Hawks.

Halton had already mercied the previous unbeaten Revolution in game one of the Provincial Women's Softball Association 16U West Bracket final, 12-2, to force a second game in the double knockout playoff.

Revolution pitcher Chloe Hocquard, however, had her sights set on clipping some wings.

After recording a strikeout for out number one, Horquard nabbed a hard hit ball up the middle, tossed it to catcher Karlee Curran who fired the ball to first baseman Avyree Sherman, ending the game on a double play.

"I was so nervous. I listened to my team behind me and hearing them cheer made me excited," said Hocquard, who tossed a complete game six hitter, striking out two batters and walking eight. "I've been in so many different games, so staying focused every game is difficult but having my team around is the most important thing."

The Revolution hung on for a 6-4 win and advance to the U16 final, Saturday, at Lion's Can-Amera Park, in Cambridge.

D1 takes on the East bracket winners, the Whitby Eagles Team Aquanno, in a best of three game series. Game one is at 3 p.m., followed by game two, at 7 p.m. Game three, if neccesary will be on Sunday.

"When it's bases loaded with none out, it sure puts the pressure on," D1 coach Courtney Gilbert said, adding for the game ending double play, the players knew where the ball had to go. "Like I told the girls, we've made these plays before. We're a very defensively sound team. It comes to down to communication. If they weren't talking they wouldn't be able to do that. We've practiced it a thousand times."

Communication and defence somewhat fell apart for D1 in game one, combined with the Hawks holding hot sticks.

"We're a team that builds on momentum. When momentum doesn't go our way in that first game, we had to fully reset for game two," Gilbert said. "We had a good chat between games. We talked about why this games matters. Does this game matter? Everyone single one said it matters because they worked so hard. They put all the effort in."

The Revolution jumped out to a 6-0 lead, all in the second inning of game two and then hung on.

"If we can get on the bats early, we'll put pressure on them. We wanted to control the tempo right off the top," Gilbert said. "It would have been nice to keep the bats going, but we were taking good at-bats."

Halton scored three times in the fifth inning, to cut the D1 lead in half. The Hawks may have had a big inning in the fourth, had it not been for a diving catch by centre-fielder Torie Windle.

With no one out and two on, Windle came racing in on a hard liner hit over the infield, dove and then shot up like a spring to double off the runner at second base.

"That's a routine play for her. Any ball hit out to centre field we absolutely know it's being caught as she's that good," praised Gilbert. "She's a phenemenal outfielder. She's the best in the province in my opinion."

Hitting the turf to snag balls is something new to Windle.

"I've just learned how to dive this year. Whenever the ball is hit in the air I try my best to get to it and get under it and if I can't I know I'm diving or getting down in front of it, or I'm playing off the bounce," said Windle. "I knew I was getting that ball no matter what because of how high it was and I knew I had to go to second so then I was up and throwing."

Both Hocquad and Windle also shined offensively. Hocquad went two-for-three, with one RBI and walked once, while Windle, from the lead-off spot, was two-for-four, with a single and a RBI triple.

Catcher Karlee Curran was two-for-four with one RBI. Brooke Seifried had a RBI triple and a base on balls, while Megan Peacock and Lexi Sawyer, both had hit and one RBI.

In game one, Seifried went two-for-two.

"It's amazing and exciting because of how far my team has come. It's all worked out how I always wanted it too. We have a great team and our team chemistry is perfect," Windle said. "The strength of team is coming back and staying in the game for the most part. Even when we're down, we stay up. We're cheering and we're good at picking each other up."







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