After putting on a show on the final day of the girls under-19 provincial C softball championships, the View Royal Stingers ran into one hot team in the gold medal game.
Coming off four straight wins in which they piled up the runs, the Stingers had a tough time solving the Cranbrook Heat’s pitcher and lost the final 5-1.
The turning point in the game, played July 6 in Richmond, was a controversial play on a two-out popup to the Stingers’ first baseman, said View Royal coach Chris Kueber. The ball was being played in foul territory, but the hitter ran through the bag and collided with the Stingers player, who was shaken up, but stayed in the game.
The Heat went on to score four runs and held their opponent at bay.
“Their pitcher was good,” Kueber said. “We left the bases loaded twice; we just couldn’t finish it.”
View Royal went 3-1 in round robin play, then lost a 3-2 nailbiter to the Richmond Panthers to open the double knockout playoff round on the Saturday night. The Panthers scored twice in the bottom of the seventh for a walk-off win.
Sunday was a different story for the Stingers.
They began with a win over Alberni Valley, defeated Richmond Attitude, then gained a measure of revenge against the Panthers, winning 16-2.
That set up the semifinal, where View Royal edged the Gibsons Crusherz 7-5.
“The bats came alive on Sunday for sure,” Kueber said. “We couldn’t hit Saturday, then on Sunday we were a different team.”
The Stingers have nine players eligible to return for next season, with only four aging out of the U-19 category.