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North Nova captures girls' fastpitch championship title amid weather delays


ST. CROIX, N.S. — Rainy weather wreaked havoc on the provincial D1 high school girls' fastpitch tournament schedule over the weekend, but the teams involved still managed to make the best of it.

The Avon View Avalanche hosted the five-team NSSAF tournament June 2-3. Schools taking part involved AVHS, Auburn Drive, Dalbrae, Cobequid Education Centre and North Nova.

“The last two round robin games got rained out but they were not going to make any difference for the teams in the championship game so at a certain point, we cancelled those and concentrated on just the championship game,” said Kelly Harnish, the coach of Avon View's team.

“Some of the parents from different communities stepped up and we got the field drained and in great shape and they were able to get the (final) game started by 5 p.m.”

Harnish said volunteers were key to making provincials a success.

The final came down to CEC and North Nova, with North Nova emerging victorious by a score of 6-4.

 

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Harnish said Avon View had a good season — they went 8-3 — and while they didn't capture a provincial title, they did well.

“It was a difficult season because we had many practices and games and a tournament rained out this year. It was a season with many interruptions,” said Harnish.

In the provincial tournament, Avon View lost to Auburn Drive 11-5; rebounded to defeat Dalbrae 18-3, and then lost to CEC 10-0. Their afternoon game against North Nova was cancelled due to the rain.

“I'd have to give kudos to the pitcher who pitched every game,” said Harnish, noting that Grade 12 student Emma Creaser provided “pretty solid” pitching.

The team will lose about half of its players to graduation this year.

But, Harnish said, Avon View might not even be able to form a team next spring. He said the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) has decided to drop fastpitch from their offerings.

“The schools involved are not quite happy with this decision and they're working hard to get the decision reversed and continue with the fast pitch sport,” said Harnish.

In order to not spoil the spirit of the tournament, Harnish said the coaches didn't tell the teams until the final was played.

“They were quite bummed out; quite disappointed,” said Harnish, adding that the students “were quite happy to know that in the background, their coaches were working and lobbying hard to get the decision reversed.”

He said at least five schools are committed to continuing to offer fastpitch in the future if NSSAF will reinstate it and they will be meeting in the fall to try to sway the NSSAF to allow the high school sport to continue.

 

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