Gee-Gees finish behind Western despite ending Mustangs’ 103-game win streak
The women from the Gee-Gees fastball team were busy during the reading week with nationals Oct. 11–12 followed by provincials Oct. 19–20, and in both cases, they received silver medals behind the Western Mustangs.
Their regular season normally starts in September and ends the first week of October, with nationals and provincials extending well into the third week of October.
Beating Western is the golden apple for any Ontario Intercollegiate Women’s Fastpitch Association (OIWFA) team. In fact, since 2008, Western has accrued more than 100 consecutive regular-season wins—perhaps the longest winning streak in the league until they met the Gee-Gees this September. The Gee-Gees played two games against Western on Sept. 15, beating them 4–1 in the first game in what would’ve been Western’s 104th win.
“It was a great win for us,” said fourth-year U of O science student Elyssa Dobson. “Almost enough to make the season. Winning provincials would’ve been nice too.”
The Gees came out strong showing their intention to win, especially against the Mustangs, the two-time national champions who had beaten them in a close match at last year’s provincials.
The fastball teams play each of the opposing teams twice in regular season play, with a couple of exceptions due to rainouts. The Gees went on to finish regular season play with a record of 17–3, with a second place overall ranking. Their first loss was to Western, while the other two were forfeits due to player shortages. The Gees’ record could’ve easily been 19–1.
Statistically, the Gee-Gees have a strong game when they’re on defence, only allowing an average of 1.8 runs against per game; however, despite having batters that hit with over .500 batting rates, they seem to have struggled on offence this season.
The fastball club doesn’t receive very much funding from the school, in spite of its strong competitive club.
“It’s difficult to recruit when you have to measure up to Western and other teams who receive more funding and support,” says Dobson.
The team has been slowly shrinking over the past couple years, only bolstering 11 names on the roster this year. They’ll also be losing nearly half the team in the upcoming year due to graduations.
“We definitely need to focus on that for next year,” Dobson says. It isn’t all bad news for the club.
“It just shows how passionate we are for the sport,” says second-year health science student Michelle Miller. “We still perform well in spite of these hardships and barriers.”
The team also boasts four very committed coaches, and a strong sense of solidarity.
“This has been the greatest university experience for me,” said Dobson. “Leaving the Gee-Gees was a sadder moment for me than when we lost in the Provincials.”