For one team, it as a successful defence of a title.

For another, it was a case of winning in dramatic fashion, no matter how hard they tried to not make it dramatic.

It was two tournaments in one weekend at Keith Broadhead Memorial Park this past weekend: the NWT Men’s Slopitch Championship and a women’s slopitch event. The Harley’s Ball Crushers of Yellowknife successfully defended the title they won the last time the tournament was held while Skoden out of Fort Resolution are your new men’s territorial champions.

The ladies ended up running the table all the way to victory, winning all five of their games and finishing it off with a win over Gateway Gas in the final on Sunday afternoon.

Shandie LaBorde helped the ladies to victory and said it was a rough weekend, especially with the conditions.

“It was hot all weekend long and we were all sweaty but we got it,” she said.

Five teams in total contested the women’s tournament and it began with the round-robin on July 30. Harley’s didn’t start play until the following morning and won all four of their games to get the bye straight through to the final.

LaBorde said the bats were working all weekend with more than one player hitting a home run, including one in the final which got the team going.

“Contessa (Stead) hit a grand slam to start it off for us,” she said. “Dana (Gard) had three and Tehnille (Gard) had one also.”

There was a temporary home run fence put in, she added, because the dimensions for women’s slopitch are different than the men and that’s how the home runs happened.

All of the players came from the Yk Slopitch Association — save for Dana Gard, who made the trip in to play — and LaBorde said she liked

Skoden, meanwhile, had a tougher road on the way to victory. They lost just one round-robin game, that being to the Dodgers of Hay River. A second-place finish in the round-robin saw them get a rematch with the Dodgers on Sunday morning, but that, too, ended in defeat.

“We just couldn’t beat them in the first two,” said Kyle Mandeville, who played with Skoden on the weekend. “We lost the first game by five runs and the second game by two.”

It wasn’t over, though, as the top two teams had a second life and that meant Skoden played in the semifinal versus the Braves. They managed to get through that by the skin of their teeth — a one-run victory to get them back into the final and a third meeting with the Dodgers.

This time, it would be a positive result as Skoden finally overcame the Dodgers by a score of 24-23, though they didn’t make it easy on themselves, said Mandeville.

“They had the tying run on second base but their batter hit a soft one to the shortstop and we got the out at second base,” he said. “Third time’s the charm, as they say. It was anyone’s game to win and it was a huge win for us but they didn’t make it easy for us.”

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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