Local athlete goes to bat for Kaizen

By Jamie Harkins

August 10, 2017 12:33 PM

Lloydminster’s Megan Voellmecke joined the Calgary Kaizen for the U18 Women’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championships. JAMIE HARKINS LSS PHOTO

The opportunity to compete in the under-18 Women’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championships came at the last minute for one Lloydminster athlete.
Megan Voellmecke suited up for the Calgary Kaizen at the national finals, held at her hometown’s Legion Ball Park from July 31 to Aug. 6.
Voellmecke was picked up by Calgary roughly two weeks before the Canadian championships started and shortly after her regular team, the Sherwood Park Belles, was eliminated from the Softball Alberta finals.
“It was good to be able to play here again,” said Voellmecke.
“It’s been three years since I played on these diamonds and been back, so it’s a really great feeling. And the team was so welcoming and super nice, so I was really grateful for that.”
The Kaizen went 0-7 through the round robin, but sprung to life in the placement playoffs.
After dispatching the Winnipeg Lightning 6-3 during a heavy downpour on Saturday morning, the club took the field again under hot and sunny conditions that evening for the placement final against their Alberta rival Edmonton Warriors.

Lindsay Mayo, a regular with the U16 Lloydminster Liners, played centre field for the Edmonton Warriors at the U18 Women’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championships. JAMIE HARKINS LSS PHOTO

The Warriors jumped out to an early lead thanks to two bases-loaded walks from Kaizen pitcher Anastasia Morrison in the bottom of the first inning, but the girls rallied in the top of the second.
Kaizen first baseman Kaitlyn Glover started the charge by knocking in Madison Duerr and Voellmecke for the 2-1 lead before run scoring singles from Lena Szego, Brooklyn Burrill and Morrison, as well as an errant pitch to the backstop, plating Regan Hamm, brought the score to 6-1 through two innings.
The Warriors cut into the lead in the bottom of the third courtesy of a RBI single to centre field from Kora Martin, before they evened up the game at 6-6 in the fifth on a two-run triple to the right field fence by Chantal Mathiassen, which was followed by a MacKenzie Clarke single scoring pinch runner Lindsay Mayo.
Each of the teams continued to exchange runs over the next two innings, and two extra innings.
The extras were played under international rules that had both the clubs start their turn at bat with a runner already placed at second base.
Morrison plated Hamm in the top of the 10th inning on a drive to centre field to give her team a 12-11 lead. The starting right-hander then forced the Warriors into two infield pop-ups and a groundout to short to close the game.
“I’ll probably be sore tomorrow if I don’t ice, but we worked since September or October for this,” said Morrison. “We had nothing to lose. So, to end it on a high note is fun.”

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