The weather in Eckville was hardly ideal for a game of baseball – or really any outdoor sport – but the Eckville Eagles persevered. That perseverance paid off, with Eckville now in Tier 1 as it enters the playoffs.
After a 40-minute delay, the Eagles braved the howling winds that felled trees and kicked up waves of blinding dust, defeating the Ermineskin Rec Hawks. Their win came at the end of a closely contested game that carried on through the threat of rain, with the sounds of sirens blaring in the background as the local fire department dealt with weather which made a mess of things around the community.
The team’s 10-9 win came at the end of a game that started late and was cut short, as Ermineskin ended up forfeiting, worried about the dangerous drive home through the violent weather that had blown in Tuesday evening, throughout Central Alberta.
“They battled through the elements, and came out with a win after a really close game,” said Head Coach Judy Cowan. “Ermineskin has a really good team, and we were coming out a little slack with the weather hindering how the team was able to play.”
In the end, the game only went a total of four innings, with the weather proving too formidable to continue, said Cowan.
The Eagles “just played enough to basically get the win. We didn’t finish the bat,” said Cowan.
“When we were one run ahead, Ermineskin forfeited and wanted to end the game – they hit the road right after that.”
Cowan said Trinity Bowman – who got one of the team’s earlier runs in the game – and Natalie Obst really came out strong in the game. Obst ended up scoring the winning hit that brought home Eckville’s final game-winning run.
“We had good pitching, and good hitting all around. Ermineskin adapted to the weather better than we did, at first,” said Cowan. “The wind and weather really threw our kids off their game.”
Cowan described the final game of the regular season as “well fought” on the part of the Eagles, given the circumstances in which it was played, and expressed anticipation for the coming playoffs.