The Yorkton Lightning 15U softball team opened their season on Tuesday, May 6 with a home game against Esterhazy in what really should have resulted in a Lightning victory. A victory, however, was not in the cards as the two teams battled to a 6-6 tie despite Yorkton leading for much of the game.
But while his team couldn’t secure the victory to open the season, Lightning head coach Tim Hollinger felt that his team had a strong effort despite only having one outside practice prior to the game. “It was a pretty good first game with not being able to practice a whole lot outside,” said Hollinger. “We only had one practice outside. We were trying to practice in the gym but you’re limited to what you can do there.”
The lack of outdoor practices is what Hollinger feels directly resulted in the tie when it looked like his girls would open the season with a win. Leading 5-1 the Lightning defence made some uncharacteristic errors, letting Esterhazy back in the game. “We let it slip away from us,” offered the Lightning head coach. “Defensively we had a couple of errors that we’ve got to work on but give Esterhazy credit, they fought back and made us make mistakes too.”
And while the tie leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of the Lightning players and coaches, Hollinger feels that it will only fuel the team for the rest of the season and make sure that they will continue on the road to redemption for last year’s 3-2 loss in the playoff semi-finals to Kipling. “Last year we lost in the semi-finals by one run to Kipling,” offered Hollinger. “We have 14 girls on this team and most of them are returnees from last year’s team with just two new girls. I’m hoping we can push it a little further this year with the same group of girls.”