The Swift Current Sonic will be one of 12 teams competing at the 2018 Softball Saskatchewan U14 ‘C’ Girls Provincial Championship in Swift Current this weekend.
The Sonic will be joined at Provincials by teams from Redvers, Kindersley, Shellbrook, Leader, Macklin, Melville, Kipling, Estevan, Southey, Turtleford, and Hague Valley.
The Sonic will open the tournament on Friday at 6:30 p.m. against the Shellbrook Parkland Predators. They will also face the Kindersley Royals on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
The Sonic will conclude the round robin at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday against the Redvers Red Sox.
The top two teams in each four-team pool will advance to the playoffs, with the top two overall teams receiving a bye to the semi-final.
The Sonic were at Provincials last season and finished with one win and two losses.
Coach Terry Pavely is hoping that his team can advance to Sunday’s playoff round.
“For us, we’d like to make that step. We’ve been at Provincials three years in a row and we’ve been close, but we haven’t got to the playoff rounds yet. We want to make that next step and qualify for the playoffs, especially at home would be nice to get a chance to hopefully get into a playoff situation and get a decent crowd out to support the team.”
The Sonic had a 5-1-1 record heading into a couple exhibition games this week.
“We’re a real good hitting team,” said Pavely. “The heart of our line-up hits the ball really hard. Those kids in the middle of the order, when they hit it we are hitting for doubles and sometimes triples. Up and down our line-up we can find a way to get on base, whether some kids use their speed and they bunt and get on, some kids just battle real hard at the plate and find a way to get on. When we are playing our best we’re hitting the ball, hitting it hard and making other teams have to make plays against us.”
Pavely also noted that the team’s fielding has made major strides over the past year as well.
“We are understanding the game better, whereas maybe in the last couple years, because a lot of our girls have not played a lot of competitive ball, we got caught watching the game a lot instead of reacting and knowing ahead of time what to do with the ball. I think our understanding in the field of what to do is getting a lot better. We are making good plays defensively.”
Pavely said the Sonic have seen a few of their potential opponents at Provincials.
“We stack up very well against the teams we’ve seen. The bottom line for us is if our pitchers are throwing strikes we have a chance to win games. If we’re not, obviously it makes it a lot more difficult.”
He also noted that they are not as familiar with the teams in the north.
“One of the negatives of ball at this age is you have one pitcher they can really dominate. Even though they can only pitch four of the seven innings, but if you have a pitcher that really dominates it makes it really tough. We haven’t seen one of those pitchers yet this year. We may see one this weekend,” said Pavely.
The playoffs begin Sunday morning with the gold medal game slated for 2 p.m.