Team Kootenay Chaos claims Provincial SloPitch Championship
The Slopitch Team of women from the West Kootenay recently added their names to the local history books by capturing the SloPitch National Women’s Provincial Championship.
Earlier this month, a group of 13 women from Kaslo, Nelson and Warfield, with only a handful of practices under their respective belts, made the journey to Chilliwack to compete in the Provincial Slopitch Tournament.
Competing against teams that regularly play together in leagues throughout the Lower Mainland, Kootenay Chaos made a strong showing in their round robin play, dominating both games with 19-7 and 21-9 victories over The Cluckers and Lil Pitches.
After a tough loss in the quarter finals, this rag-tag team of dedicated softball players regrouped ahead of the back-door games needed to make it to the final, winning their next three games to capture the Provincial Crown.
“I’m so proud of this team,” says assistant coach Lindsay Dawson.
“Not only for the skill they displayed, but for the mental toughness, camaraderie, leadership and positivity that was evident both on and off the fields. It was this supportive team ethos that allowed us to play with confidence, trust in our ability, make adjustments when necessary, and have fun doing it.”
There are few things more satisfying than winning a provincial championship on your first try, but that’s exactly what Kootenay Chaos did.
Kayla Frioult had two shots over the fence, one in the final, scoring three runs. Alicia Dodds also went yard, sending a two-run shot over centre field during the semi-final game.
Marie-Ange Fournier-Beck was a defensive force at shortstop, bringing her constant calm into the infield.
“We went into this tournament not knowing what we would be up against, with a group of women that mainly play mixed (men’s and women’s) ball. Women’s play is a completely different ball game,” says coach Lauren Penfound.
“Putting together practice games for Chaos uncovered a need for a women’s league in Nelson. Creating a space for women to play ball was the best part for me. Well, that and becoming provincial champions!”
Next up for Chaos is a tournament in Kaslo September 22-24, but not before they all go their separate ways to play for different teams in the Castlegar Women’s tournament, Sept 8-10th.
The Provincial Championship win has earned Kootenay Chaos a bid to the National contest in August 2024 in Saskatoon.
Team Kootenay Chaos is happy to accept sponsors for next season, to get in touch please email KootenayChaos@gmail.com.
Team Kootenay Chaos is also be hosting a jacket ceremony and fundraising dinner later in the year to celebrate their win.
Provincial Champion Kootenay Chaos includes, back row, L-R, Jess Deciantis, Jess Brewster, Shannon McAllister, Lindsay Dawson, Lauren Penfound, Erin Gillies, Emma Gillies and Alicia Dodds. Front, Carolyn Thomson, Brenna Leitch, Marie-Ange Fournier-Beck, Leanna Acco, Lana Knoll and (laying) Kayla Frioult. — Jamie Cote photo