If you are reading this, then I welcome you to our final TWIS Notes of the 2011 campaign.
It is incredibly difficult to conjure up words as to what this year’s edition of the Cunningham’s Rockets has meant to me.
The league decided to allow the coaches to pick their team once the drafting was completed. I promised someone that the Rockets would be the team she would be part.
Val Duncan did an impeccable job of drafting character players who believe in teamwork.
I was extremely nervous about coaching 10 new players. “Are they going to like me? “ “Will they understand my coaching method?” were just two questions stirring inside me.
I have been fortunate enough to have coached Anne, Nance & Julia for several years.
What am I supposed to say to league veterans in Val, Colette, Cathy, Nat, Carolyn, Louise, Mel, & Nancy?
How am I going to make rookies Norma & Sarah feel welcome?
It was apparent that this team was something special despite our sluggish 1-4 start. We had to contend with six rainouts which prevented us from game action for an unheard of 17 days. The key turning point was convincing Louise to stay on board. Her important role at catcher allowed us to utilize Val, Anne, Nancy, & Sarah Star with much diversity. This complimented our staple positions with Co, Cathy, Nat, Purdon, Carolyn, Mel, Norma & Julia manning their respective positions.
We would put together a six game winning streak which got us to finishing 1 point out of 1st place.
The playoffs would prove to showcase our incredible intestinal fortitude as individuals. It would bring us together.
We lost our opening playoff game to Delibee in a 2-1 final score, in what arguably is the greatest softball game in PCLSL history.
It would have been easy for us to hang our heads. It would be easy to be satisfied with a good season. This team REFUSED TO LOSE!
Our defense allowed 15 hits in beating the 6th seeds of Wild Willy’s 8-5 in our 2nd game, thus eliminating them.
We would face the 4th seeds in Carlyle. Our offense provided us with a 12-6 lead going into the 7th, when….
7th Inning: Rockets 12, Carlyle 6
A single, a FC, and an error provide a run. We are up by 5 runs. A 3 run home run has us up 12-10. Carlyle scratches up another run to close the Gap to 12-11.
This is when this majestic team showed its mettle. The tying run was on 2nd and the winning run was on 1st with 2 out. The 8th place hitter lines a shot to Carolyn at 3rd for the final out!
We eliminate Carlyle by closing out this 12-11 final score.
Our 4th challenge came against the 3rd seeds in Carline. It will go down in history as simply “The Catch”, as Purdon reaches cross body over the shoulder to snare a flare in shallow left field in preserving our season in an 8-7, 8 inning thriller, as we eliminate Carline.
Our semi-final encounter was a return engagement with Delibee. Our defense dominated as we didn’t allow a single earned run! We were nursing a 4-3 lead when Miller tracked down a deep fly ball to Center, an over the shoulder grabs by Sarah Star, and a grounder to Carolyn to force at 2nd granting us the victory and eliminating a very pesky team.
Our first game of the finals against top ranked Caramia showcased all of your talents. Our offense EXPLODED for 15 runs including Melissa’s first ever home run! Our stellar defense was as stingy as ever by allowing 4 runs as we cruise home to victory!
The sense from the team was pure electricity. You all realized that one more victory would put a stamp of approval.
We played a razor sharp 2nd game considering its magnification. You lead from start to finish despite great gamesmanship from our opponents. We seal the deal with a 12-9 Final score!
Salut! Bonjour! Elvis has left the building!
Rockets take the PCLSL championship in grand style!
My review is quite lengthy. I want to illustrate what was accomplished.
We were toiling near the bottom of the standings the first half of the season. We strung together a series of win streaks. We began to gel. We began to believe.
We held off 4 elimination games while ousting the # 6, # 4, # 3 & # 7 seeds in the round robin.
Our depth and our character were far too rich for our adversaries. It is a rare moment in team sport when you see such industry at work.
I have had the great fortune of having great players on good teams over my 13 year tenure. I have never seen a team come together with such desire, hustle, and support in making it a GREAT team. It is a real credit to all of you.
You are all worthy of the name of CHAMPION! It will be with you forever.
In closing, I would like to thank the following people.
Ø Jim Beauchampfor his sponsorship at Cunningham’s Pub. I am thrilled to bring him home a championship after a 7 year wait.
Ø Rob Residefor lending us his talents on July23 for our annual bbq . That evening was instrumental in bring this team closer
Ø Val Duncanfor drafting one incredible cast of characters.
Ø To our super fans in Marissa, Johanne, Uncle Bob, and Sarah’s mom’s (Mary-Anne) got it going on! We all appreciated your support all season
Ø Nancy Miller, Nancy Purdon, Nat Bourassa, Cathy” Bam Bam” Gilligan, Coolette Prieur, Melissa Fleming, Sarah “Star” Macrury, Carolyn Weir, Anne Dionne, Norma “Mrs. Bond”, Louise “Weezer” Jarrold, & Julia Mackiewicz……….Thank-you for believing in me. Thank-you for walking with me all the way to our “Victory Day”.
You brought me such joy over the summer that I now have a huge void in my heart.