Gee-Gees catcher Katrina Guenter was a key element of the team’s run in Hamilton. Photo: Sportsgate Kingston
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Dubé sisters, Dupuis, and Levesque have huge weekend for club in Hamilton

The U of O fastball club took part in the Ontario Intercollegiate Women’s Fastpitch Association Championships over the weekend in Hamilton. 

Coming in as a lower seed with a 9-7 record in the regular season, the Gee-Gees started the tournament with low expectations but a never-say-die attitude.

“Our motto was we’re not going there to participate, we’re going there to compete,” said Megan Dupuis, a second-year player.

Ottawa faced off with the second place Wilfred Laurier University Golden Hawks in their first game.

“We were all a little bit scared going in, I think because we knew it was going to be a tough game to win, but then we got some runs early and we fed off that and just kept going,” said Dupuis.

The Gee-Gees got up early and never looked back against Laurier, winning 6-2. Shortstop Arianne Lévesque went 2-4, pitcher Camille Dubé went 2-3 with three RBI’s and catcher Katrina Guenter went 2-4.

Dubé also pitched a complete game, giving up only two runs on six hits to the strong Laurier offence. 

“They kinda underestimated us by not putting their best pitcher in to start, then they put in their best but we just kept hitting and we hit her hard,“ said Lévesque.

In the second round, the Gee-Gees faced the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

“Their game that they won to us was also an upset, so we weren’t actually expecting to face them in that game but they played really well against Queen’s,” said Mireille Dubé, a rookie pitcher.

Toronto never stood much of a chance against the ladies in Grey and Garnet as the Dubé sisters combined for a five hit shutout in a 7-0 win. Offensive highlights included Vanessa Tinlin 3-4 with three RBI’s, Lévesque 2-4, Camille Dubé 2-4 and Jessie Cameron 2-3.

“We fed off the Laurier game and went into (the U of T) game thinking we just beat the second-place team — who can’t we beat?” added Dupuis. “We were ready to win.”

The Gees then played the 10-time champions, the Western Mustangs. The game didn’t go quite the way the Gee-Gees might have wanted to, as the Mustangs dominated Ottawa in a 5-1 game. However, Lévesque had a strong performance, going 2-2 with both hits being triples.   

Since the OIWFA championships follow a double knockout format, the Gees weren’t eliminated after their loss to Western and needed to face the host McMaster to make it to the finals where they’d need to beat Western twice.

Ottawa played an inspired game against the Marauders. Dubé pitched another complete game, allowing only five hits in a 3-1 Ottawa win to send the Gee-Gees to the finals against the Mustangs.

“It was crazy in the finals,” said Dubé. “All the fans wanted us to win and were cheering for us to beat them.”

But the Gee-Gees hit a wall as Western caught every ball hit and their pitcher overpowered the ladies in Grey and Garnet with her fastball. The Gees played a strong game but their opponent was on a different level. At the end of the day, the Gees lost 7-1  in spite of Dubé’s third complete game. 

“A Gee-Gee is a Gee-Gee”

For Lévesque, Dubé, and Dupuis, this historic run just shows how much competitive clubs can do with a few resources and few media coverage behind them.

“I think it’s not fair that varsity teams such as football and soccer get so much more credit for their accomplishments then we do,” said Lévesque. “Everybody should get the same coverage. Yes, maybe they have scholarships, yes, they’re varsity, but I don’t get why we don’t get as much credit in general as they do. 

“I think the fact we’re an all-girls team run by coaches that made it to the finals of their provincial championships should be a great storyline.

All of them agree that a “Gee-Gee is a Gee-Gee.”

They all agree that a varsity status would be ideal for their team.

“I think softball in generall is very underacknowledged and undermined, if you look at the stats we’re doing very well as a Gee-Gees’ competitive club,” said Dupuis. “I definitely think we have what it takes, even the league itself should all become varsity because it’s definitely a high-intensity league filled with very good young athletes, and we definitely don’t get the acknowledgment we deserve.”

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