On a dry and dusty Tuesday, East York C.I.’s girls softball team went into the regional championship ranked number 1. When they emerged, the team was covered in dirt with silver medals hanging around their necks, having dropped the game to Leaside High School 9–7.
“We should have won,” East York coach Maria Fortier said. “Unfortunately we had last-minute injuries that I think really threw the girls off their game. I think that if it wasn’t for that this would be very different.”
While Leaside led by a slim margin for most of the game, the Athenas, led by starting pitcher Nikki Aubin, kept them on their tails and in the bottom of the sixth managed to tie the game.
With two outs at the top of the seventh, Leaside had runners on second and third when a solid hit off East York pitcher Zoe Mason saw the girls rounding the bases, finishing the inning ahead 9–6.
East York stepped up to bat last and, although the team did get one run in, it was not enough to overtake the Lancers.
Fortier said losing to Leaside is heartbreaking.
“We’ve beaten Leaside in regular season this year but for the last two years they have been our nemesis and I think the coaches kind of agreed that this might be our year,” she said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow right now.”
Leaside felt the pressure East York put on them.
“Oh my goodness, it was just crazy,” McGillivary said. “Two outs and we got our bats going, got on base and finally started to score some runs.”
Leaside coach Pat Baker said East York is a team to be reckoned with.
“They are aggressive on the bases and they’ve got players that can put the ball deep into the field so you can never be comfortable with East York. They’re tough. You can never take East York for granted.”
East York centerfielder and co-captain Jamie Burns expected to win.
“It hurt because we had a chance and they just took it away from us,” she said. “It sucks. We have the capability of doing it but we were just off today.”
Co-captain Aubin nodded her head, as she too was visibly upset.
“I agree 100 percent they were little mistakes that we know how to do we just couldn’t keep it together,” she says. “I thought we had it.”
Although both girls were upset, they stick behind their team.
“It was no one person. We all made mistakes,” says Burns. “We are a team. We win together and we lose together.”
East York went on the city finals and lost once again to Leaside by a score of 15–8 in a June 6 rematch.