Until the National Slo-pitch Association’s Co-ed World Series in Kamloops, most of the Lightning players had only faced each other in various mixed, men’s and women’s Penticton leagues.
Yet, the Lori Lancaster Realty Lightning pulled off a second-place finish on Sept. 4 against the Indians, losing 18-8 and finished with an 8-2 record.
“We did good for a team that has never played together,” said Lightning architect Chris Bradford. “We were pretty proud of ourselves.”
The highlight of the four-day championship for him was the team’s ability to come from behind in the semifinal game which had the Lightning play the Indians for the second time. The first time the teams met they were undefeated at 7-0. The first loss to the Indians forced the Lightning to come back through the bottom brackets of the recreation A bracket. The recreation A division, Bradford said, is the equivalent of playing in the A or B division locally.
|Penticton’s Kyle Robson and Andrea Inglis played for the Vancouver-based Indians, which went undefeated for the duration of the tournament and won $1,000, jackets and championship rings. -Submitted photo|
Bradford said it was a tough game to go into as both teams were undefeated and they had come off a 22-1 loss in three innings.
“We were a little bit down. To have our team come back and respond like that and then win a game in the other semifinal was pretty cool to see,” he said.
It was an experience Bradford liked, especially seeing different teams, including one from Newfoundland. The Lightning also stayed to watch the open division championship with $10,000 to be won. He enjoyed seeing the difference in that high calibre of play and how good the slo-pitch is.
One thing he will remember is how composed the Lightning was compared to other teams, which got under each other’s skin.
“Our team just kind of stayed mellow, in the bad times and super happy through the good times,” he said.
For coming in second, the Lightning won their entry fee and received custom NSA jackets with their names and numbers on them. Bradford said the majority of the players want to return.
“We feel like we have unfinished business. We need to win that division,” he said.
Members of the Lightning are Chase Fillion, Dallas Janni, Brady Byrne, Dean Witkowski, Bradford, Ian MacMillan, Nick Babyn, Joley Lew, Leigh Raymond, Jen Teichroeb, Nicole Cottenie, Chandra Meeds and Charlie Parcher.
The Indians, a team mostly of Vancouver-based players, also included two Penticton slo-pitch players — Andrea Inglis and Kyle Robson. The Indians went undefeated for the duration of the tournament and won $1,000, jackets and championship rings.