The Owen Sound Junior Selects take the First Ward Falcon championship home

Canadian invasion

OBSERVER Photo by Christian Storms. The champions of the First Ward Falcons softball tournament, the Owen Sound Junior Selects.
OBSERVER Photo by Ron Szot. Quinton Bruce high-fives coach Jamie Simpson after hitting a RBI triple in the third inning against the Toronto Batmen.
OBSERVER Photo by Ron Szot. Luke Zottel fields the ball during Sunday’s championship game.

On Sunday afternoon, the First Ward Falcons softball championship game saw a Canadian invasion. Both the Owen Sound Junior Selects and the Toronto Batmen travelled south of the border for a week long battle to win the 44th edition of the First Ward Falcons fast pitch softball tournament. The Owen Sound Junior Selects first found the lead in the third inning, and behind lights out pitching in the circle from Matt Wardrop, they did not look back as they cruised to a 5-1 win over the Toronto Batmen.

Despite a dominant performance in the championship game, the Junior Selects faced a tough path to the championship game. In the semifinals, Owen Sound took on Ashland and rallied back to win on a walk-off homer and carried that momentum into the finals.

“We came back this morning and beat Dunkirk Fast Pitch,” said Owen Sound Coach Jamie Simpson. “In the semifinals, we played against Ashland again. It’s kind of a bit of momentum, we’re building for our Canadians here, we’re going to the U-23 Championships in Saskatoon next week to defend our championship. We were down 6-2 [against Ashland] and we rallied to score on a walk-off bomb.”

Not only was Owen Sound’s offense potent in the championship performance, but their pitching continued to shut their opponents down.

“We threw four of our pitchers,” said Simpson. “We had Kirk Santala win a couple games for us and Matt Wardrop pitched the final, and threw great for us.”