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P.E.I. forces B.C. to extra innings at Canada Games women's softball

HEADINGLEY, MAN. – Team P.E.I. pushed an undefeated British Columbia squad to extra innings Wednesday at the Canada Games women’s softball competition.

B.C. won the game 10-8 in eight innings to improve to 5-0 while P.E.I. is 1-5.

Spectators wouldn’t have known the records based on Wednesday’s game as the Island women played their hearts out against a B.C. club that had outscored their opponents 52-3 in their first four games.

Wednesday’s game was tied 4-4 after seven innings. British Columbia scored six in the top of the eighth, but P.E.I. refused to go quietly, scoring four in their half of the inning and getting the tying run to second base.

Head coach Jeff Ellsworth said the team has worked for six years for such a moment.

“We’ve been preparing for big games (and) to play the big teams in this situation and I couldn’t be any more proud of the girls in how they performed,” he said.

“We banged with the best. It was a hell of a ball game in front of a big crowd and we got a standing ovation when the game was over, so they should be very proud.”

Ellsworth emptied the bench Wednesday, using everyone on his roster to try and win the game.

“It was a total team effort. There wasn’t one body we didn’t use,” he said.

British Columbia scored two runs in the top of the first inning and P.E.I. answered with one in the bottom of the inning. The Island squad took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the second before B.C. scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to take a 4-3 lead.

Vanessa Rennie tied the game in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single to right field.

“It was a rollercoaster,” Ellsworth said.

Charlottetown’s Kailey Koughan had two triples and a two-run single for and two runs scored while playing well defensively at second base.

“She’s one of our older veterans and one of our leaders and we’re very, very . . . excited to have her part of the team,” Ellsworth said.

Sydney Halliwell, Emily Brothers and Alyssa Fleming all pitched for P.E.I. Full statistics were not available at press time.

Team P.E.I. entered the week searching for a top-four finish. The team has refocused and set a new goal: at least an eighth-place finish, which would be the province’s top finish at the Games.

“We’re not going to settle for anything less than,” Ellsworth said. “We want to be known as the best women’s softball team to ever come from P.E.I.”

P.E.I. plays New Brunswick and Ontario today at noon and 4 p.m., respectively, Atlantic.

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