NAPANEE—Four runs in the bottom of the third inning broke a 1-1 tie and propelled the Irma, Alta., Tigers to a 6-1 win over Napanee Shoeless Joe’s Express Sunday afternoon in the penultimate game of the Softball Canada junior men’s championship tournament at the Fairgrounds.
One man was out and the bases were loaded when Taylor Schubada doubled to the fence in left-centre field, driving two men home. The next batter, Cody Anthony, drove in two more runs with a single.
Napanee got its run in the top of the third, when Cole Bolton tripled. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Maguire, briefly tying the score 1-1, but the Express never threatened after that.
Riley King, the No. 9 batter in the Tigers’ order, ended scoring when he led off the fourth inning with a home run over the fence in right field.
From that point, Irma pitcher Carson Soucy was in command. He retired 14 of the next 17 batters he faced, including the last six in a row, and he allowed just one Napanee runner to get as far as second base.
Soucy struck out eight, seven of them in the last four innings.
Napanee was unable to score, despite putting the lead-off man on base in both the fifth and sixth innings.
Irma, the team that defeated Napanee in the gold medal game at this tournament a year ago, had 10 hits against two Express pitchers, three of them doubles by Schubada, the national junior team catcher. In addition to his two runs batted in, he scored two runs.
Napanee managed just five hits, four of them singles, two of them by Taylor Brown.
Bolton, the Napanee starter, surrendered seven hits in three innings before he gave way to Kyle Ainslie. After the home run to King, he allowed just three men to reach base.
Both teams played error-free ball.
With its win, Irma advances to the gold medal game at 3 o’clock against the undefeated Ontario champion Stratford-New Hamburg Cubs. Napanee, silver medalists at the national championship the last two years, settled for bronze.
Napanee Shoeless Joe’s 001 000 0 — 1 5 0
Alberta 014 100 x — 6 10 0
Cole Bolton (L,4-3), Kyle Ainslie (4) and Cody Brooks; Carson Soucy (W,6-1) and Taylor Schubada. HR: Alta—Riley King (1).