Liners win MacLean-Ross Cup

By Jamie Harkins

June 29, 2017 12:00 AM

GPLS CHAMPS The Lloydminster U12 A Liners, with back row from left, Lindsay Schemenauer, Sarah Minish, coach Evan Zacharias, Chloe Dorchak, Ileanna Kokonas, coach Sheldon Minish, Hannah Barnes, Briza Zacharias, coach Dustin Orr, Avery Somers; front row, Rose Rusteika, Haley Payne, Lylee Orr, Olivia Medernach and Shaye Thompson, won the GPLS Maclean Ross Cup this past weekend. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Lloydminster U12 A Liners are the 2017 Girls Prairie League Softball (GPLS) champions.
The Liners came back from an early deficit to mercy the Red Deer Rage 15-8, after five innings in the GPLS MacLean-Ross Cup final at St. Albert on Sunday.
The contest was actually one of the team’s easiest during the two-day tournament, with two of their three previous matches before the championship being decided in the final inning, and their first game going to the Rage 12-9 in an extra frame.
“We were kind of nervous and we were down (after the opening loss), but we held our heads high,” said Liners pitcher and second baseman Briza Zacharias. “We had confidence in ourselves because we won the first tournament that we played, and we knew that if we tried our hardest, if we played our hardest, we could get back on top.”
Dustin Orr, head coach of the Liners, said the girls bounced back after the Saturday afternoon defeat to beat the Calgary Adrenaline 11-0 later that evening.
He said the team then overcame a 5-2 deficit in the bottom of the seventh and final inning to the Sherwood Park Storm on Sunday morning, thanks to a three-run home run by Zacharias, and a solo shot from Sarah Minish.
Liners catcher and second baseman Olivia Medernach said all the players on the team support one another and get loud during the games to pump each other up.
She said that helped them earn a last-inning 13-11 comeback victory over the top-ranked St. Albert Angels in the semifinals on Sunday afternoon, which earned the Liners a berth in the championship game.
Zacharias said winning three contests on the B side of the bracket to get to the final came down to great fielding and clutch hitting from everyone on their roster.
She said picking up the thrilling comeback wins over the Storm and Angels also boosted their confidence before the last game against the Rage.
“They were in the lead at the start of the game then we battled back,” said Zacharias. “We battled back with our bats and with our defense. Our pitching was definitely a big part of that.”
Orr said the Liners will head back to St. Albert late next week for the July 7-9 Alberta Provincial Championships.
He said they’ll be competing against the same teams the club regularly played throughout the GPLS season, and all are evenly matched, so the girls will have to be on their game to take home another championship.

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