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Lac St-Louis Lions defeat P.E.I. Eagles to earn Eastern Canadian gold


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Lac St-Louis Lions coughed up a 5-0 lead but responded quickly en route to a 10-5 victory over the P.E.I. Eagles Sunday in the championship game of the Eastern Canadian under-19 girls’ softball tournament.

Eagles coach Chris Halliwell acknowledged the sting of losing the final after going 3-0 in the round robin and winning the 1-2 game Saturday afternoon, but said it was a very successful season where the team accomplished its objective.

“Our goal at the start of the year was we wanted to medal,” he said. “We would have been quite happy with a bronze medal; a silver is better than that.”

Once the team got to Sunday’s final the competitive nature of the squad pushed them to try to end the season with a victory, but it wasn’t to be.

Quebec scored five runs in a hit-around third inning, but the Eagles refused to go away. Eryn Hustler cleared the bases with a smash to right field in the fourth inning to make it 5-4. P.E.I. tied it in the bottom of the fifth and appeared to be ready to take the lead, but a 3-1 pitch, which many at the Central Field complex thought was ball four, was called strike two. Robyn Power would pop out to the shortstop on the next pitch.

Momentum quickly swung to Quebec when Lea Duval put the Lions ahead to stay with a leadoff home run scorched down the third-base line in the top of the sixth.

Britney Bissonette and Haley Egan followed with RBI singles to give the visitors the three-run cushion. They added two more in the top of the seventh en route to victory.

Halliwell said he was proud of how his girls responded after falling behind early.

“Character and heart are two words to describe them,” he said. “They were down 4-0 twice on Saturday in two separate games and came back both times. Down 5-0 in the championship game they could have easily folded the tent. They didn't. They just kept fighting.”

Egan, who hit seventh for the Lions, was 4-for-4 with three singles, a double and an RBI. Duval was 2-for-5 with two RBI while Mackenzie Egan and Britney Bissonnette each contributed a pair of hits.

Sarah Murphy was 3-for-4 to pace the Eagles and was robbed by Mackenzie Egan’s diving catch at second in her other plate appearance. The Eagles hit the ball well but oftentimes it was right at a defender or a Lion made a sparkling play for the out. P.E.I. also made some costly errors at key points of the game.

Olivia MacDonald earned the win in relief of Duval, who allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Sydney Halliwell took the loss, allowing eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. Margaret Reynolds allowed two runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief.

For the core of the squad it was their first time playing their biggest tournament of the season at their home field.

“They did not feel pressure,” Halliwell said. “They handled it like they had done it a million times. They loved the fan support.”

The season is over for the Eagles as many players will head off to university. The year also included a gold-medal performance a week earlier at the senior women’s Eastern Canadians. With everyone except Murphy eligible to return next season, plans will soon be put into place for 2019.


Need to know

A look at some of the awards from the Eastern Canadian under-19 girls’ softball championship:

Final standings

1. Lac St-Louis Lions (Quebec).

2. P.E.I. Eagles.

3. Lasalle (Ontario).

Award winners

MVP – Mackenzie Egan, Lac St-Louis Lions (Quebec).

Round robin awards

Top pitcher – Sydney Halliwell, 2-0 with one earned run allowed and 11 strikeouts.

Top hitter – Haley Egan, Lac St-Louis Lions (Quebec).

Island medals

Prince Edward Island sent five girls’ teams to recent Eastern Canadian competitions. All five teams earned winning records and four won medals. They were:

Gold – P.E.I. Eagles (women’s).

Silver – P.E.I. Eagles (under-19) and Township Tigers (under-16).

Bronze – Kevin Quinn Re/Max Ravens (under-14).

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