Vikettes will swing for the fences at provincial championships

Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST - The Amherst Regional High School Vikettes slo-pitch team is on the road to Bridgewater today.

They are in Bridgewater to compete in the 2014 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division 1 Girl's Slo-Pitch Provincial Championships.

The Vikettes were invited to the provincials after Cape Breton decided not to make the trip to Bridgewater.

Despite the fact they go in as a team that was invited, Vikettes coach Fred Gould believes his team has a good chance to win it all.

"They try to figure out who the top two teams are and put them in separate pools," said Gould. "From the way the teams are listed, South Colchester is considered the top team in the tournament and Yarmouth is considered the top team in our pool."

The Vikettes lost two close games to South Colchester at the Northumberland regional championships and, unfortunately, only one slo-pitch team from the Northumberland region can go to provincials.

"We also beat Yarmouth this year in a tournament, and we finished higher than Sackville, so we're right in the mix," said Gould.

Gould hopes that with a good showing at the provincials, the NSSAF might consider allowing two Northumberland teams to travel to the provincials next year.

As far as this year is concerned, Gould says the Vikettes bats are key to winning.

"When we went to regionals we went with our stronger bats and we averaged 14 runs a game," said Gould. "You have to hit ball in order to do well."

Gould says their fielding is looking strong and that their pitcher, Taylor Hoeg, will provide strong pitching.

"She's a Grade 12 student and she's done a lot of pitching for us this year and she will be pitching for us this weekend," said Gould. "Madison Bennett is a rookie and she's pitched well for us too."

Two players, Megan Proctor and Danielle Young, had to forego the track and field provincials in Cape Breton so they could travel with their slo-pitch team to Bridgewater.

"When we had tryouts they wanted to do both track and slo-pitch, and I told them they had to make a choice because if we go to provincials both sports are on the same weekend," said Gould.

Both girls said they would attend the slo-pitch provincials.

"They said yes and they told the track coaches that up front..." said Gould. "It's unfortunate. They feel bad because they're caught in the middle."

Asked why the NSSAF doesn't schedule track and slo-pitch on different weekends Gould says weather plays a role, and added, "They have to get it done this weekend because exams are coming up.

"The other thing is that you can only stretch the kids out so far but...having more sports provides an opportunity for more kids to play sports," said Gould. "We have a couple of athletes that are good at slo-pitch and track, and they had to make a choice. That's part of life."

Pool A is South Colchester, Sackville, Park View and JL Ilsley, and Pool B is Yarmouth Breton Education Centre, Halifax West and Amherst.

The Vikettes play their first game today at 1 p.m. against Breton Education Centre.

The championship game is Saturday at 2:30 p.m.





Organizations: Amherst Regional High School Vikettes, Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division, Breton Education Centre

Geographic location: Bridgewater, AMHERST, Northumberland Cape Breton South Colchester Yarmouth Colchester Park View Halifax West

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