Liners capture GPLS silver medal

By Jamie Harkins

June 22, 2017 12:00 AM

SILVER LINERS The Lloydminster U12 B Liners, with back row from left, coach Emily Zerr, coach Shawn Hein, coach Brad Zerr, coach Dennis Chaychuk; front row, Chelsey Chaychuk, Abey Drover, Emily Hourie, Jayva Andersen, Payton Benjamin, Erika Pollard, Madelyn Zerr, Madison Burrell, Grace Heckuluck, Kayla Mohr, Emjay Hein; and sitting, Grace Patton, won a silver medal at the GPLS championships in Unity this past weekend. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Lloydminster under-12 B Liners took the hard road to a Girls Prairie League Softball (GPLS) silver medal.
The Liners lost their first game at the GPLS championships in Unity this past Friday, which dropped the team down to the B side of the draw.
The club then had to win each of their next four matches over the remainder of the weekend tournament to once again challenge for the A side crown.
Brad Zerr, head coach of the Liners, said the girls managed to do just that only to have another problem arise. He said the team was forced to play back-to-back-to-back on Sunday afternoon, with their last game coming against a strong St. Albert club in the championship final.
“The girls were exhausted by that third game on the same day and our sixth game of the weekend, but they made a pretty good effort,” said Zerr, noting St. Albert won the final 13-3. “Given the fact of where we had to climb out of to get there, we were pleased with our overall result.”
Grace Patton, third baseman for the Liners, said they were tired during the final game, but they were also excited. She said that helped them put up an early lead, only to see St. Albert claw back and overtake them thanks to timely hits and a quality outing from their bullpen.
The championship weekend put an end to the Liners GPLS season, but more games and another chance for a medal remains. The girls are hosting Unity this Saturday afternoon at Jaycee Park, head to Irma on Monday, and then go back to Unity for a doubleheader on July 3 in an effort to be ready for the Alberta B Provincial Championships in St. Albert on July 7 to 9.
Liners catcher and utility fielder Madison Burrell said the team is stocked with good batters, and that propelled them to the four straight wins at the GPLS championships, but they can still improve on their defence. She said if they can get better at catching pop flies in the next few weeks a solid result at provincials is possible.
“We’ll be ready,” added Liners catcher and shortstop Emily Hourie. “We’ll practise on what we need to practise on.”
Zerr said they have a good group of returning players and a strong crop of first-year athletes. He said that has allowed them to play more advanced opposition during the season, which should give the girls a good chance at excelling in St. Albert.
“We haven’t been in true B competition all year,” said Zerr. “We’ve stretched ourselves a little bit and gone for higher competition, and I think it’s paid off. It’s made us a strong crew overall.”

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