Oreos make it to the final

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo Stacey Barnes – a member of the Oreo's team from Hay River – gets a hit in the championship game on July 24 in the Coors Mixed Slo-Pitch Tournament.

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Stacey Barnes – a member of the Oreo’s team from Hay River – gets a hit in the championship game on July 24 in the Coors Mixed Slo-Pitch Tournament.

A Hay River team made it to the final game of the 34th annual Coors Mixed Slo-Pitch tournament over the weekend.

The Oreos came that close but lost 15-5 in the final to the Dettah Devils.

“We got second place and we were all pretty pleased with it,” said Brian (Chabby) Morin, the player/coach and captain of the Oreos.

“I bet for over half the team this is their first time in the finals,” said Morin. “They all had fun, they all kept it loose and they all played their game. We had a little struggle once in a while but we all basically kept it in check.”

The Oreos finished the tournament with a record of 6-1.

For claiming second place, the Oreos walked away with $1,500.

The Dettah Devils claimed $2,500 as the tournament champions.

Super A from Hay River and the Fort Fitz Bombers, each collected $800 as the next best teams in the tournament.

Glenn Smith, the vice-president of the Hay River Mixed Slo-Pitch League, said 14 teams participated in the tournament.

“That’s pretty good,” he said. “We set our maximum at 16 usually.”

The turnout was even more impressive considering that the tournament was not held on its usual long weekend in August. This year, the tournament gave up that prime time to the Western Canadian Masters Fastpitch Championships.

Smith said about half the teams for the Coors tournament came from out of town, including from Fort Resolution, Yellowknife, Fort Smith and High Level, Alta.

This year’s tournament was notable because it was the first at the twinned Pine Point ballparks, which is going to be renamed the Keith Broadhead Memorial Ballpark.

Games were also played at the Don Wright field.

The tournament was hampered by rainy weather on the weekend.

“I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get all the playoffs in today but we did,” said Smith just after the final game on Sunday. “We fought through it.”

The rain was puddling on the fields quite a bit, he said. “But we brought in a shop truck and sucked up the water and put some product on the field to get it into a little better shape.”

While it was raining steadily on the morning of July 24, it eased up enough that afternoon to get the tournament completed.

Morin of the Oreos said the tournament featured pretty competitive games.

“Everybody played hard,” he said.

Morin, who was playing in his 25th Coors tournament, said it is always a good event and always well run, adding, “It’s a lot of fun.”

–Paul Bickford