Stacy Patey has been warning her team all season not to take anyone for granted.
Her teammates had the point illustrated in technicolour Monday night.
The Fort Frances Her-icanes got all they could handle–and nearly more–from the upstart Fort Frances Angels, who fell just short of a stunning upset as the defending champs held on for a 13-12 win in Rainy River District Women’s Fastball League action at the St. Francis Sports Field.
The first-place ‘Canes (13-1) jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning but the ninth-place Angels (3-11) struck back with two in the bottom half.
The Angels then tied it in the second in a costly inning for the ‘Canes, who lost shortstop Sarah Noonan to a thumb injury.
After the ‘Canes built a 6-3 lead over the next two innings, the Angels showed their resilience with a four-run fourth–taking advantage of several errors to go in front 7-6.
More defensive miscues in the fifth led to the Angels scoring three more runs.
With the two-hour time limit to start any new innings becoming a factor, and Angels starter Rylee Redford seemingly in control of the league’s top-ranked offence, the ‘Canes pounced with a seven-run assault.
After tying the game at 10-10 and loading the bases, Redford hit Patey with a pitch to give the ‘Canes the lead.
Taylor Pagee then hammered a pitch that caused an Angels’ error and brought Andrea Sweigard and Gina Pope home for a 13-10 advantage.
The Angels still wouldn’t go peacefully, though, with Redford bringing in Hanna LeDrew before Courtney Carlson drove home Redford, both with two out.
A single by Avery Sivonen then put Carlson at second with the tying run.
But Laureen Hill, who started and pitched four innings and then took back over for reliever Dana Ward in the fifth, finished her almost complete-game effort by fanning Rochelle Jack.
Meanwhile, a pair of long losing streaks fell by the wayside Monday.
Ashley Barker’s two-run triple sparked a five-run sixth inning as the Emo Renegades (5-8) beat the Dawson Tigers (6-6-1) by a count of 16-13.
Winning pitcher Mykenzie Borger escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth by giving up just one run, then she struck out Charmaine Hunter to end the game–and the Renegades’ eight-game losing streak–after Tina Jack’s RBI triple.
Alicia Anderson took the loss as the sixth-place Tigers had their six-game unbeaten string snapped.
Sabaskong Tebinaak (2-11) stopped a nine-game skid with a 14-13 win over the Manitou T-Birdies (2-12).
Candi Kelly got the win over Bev Cochrane.
Stephanie Racine hit her league-leading fifth homer of the season to help the Couchiching Lady Raiders beat the Fort Frances Mud Dogs 21-13.
Racine also got the win on the mound for the seventh-place Lady Raiders (6-7-1), who stopped a two-game losing slide.
Rachelle Yeo took the loss as the fourth-place Mud Dogs (9-5) fell for the third time in four games.
And the Red Gut Babes (10-3-1) moved into second place ahead of the idle Big Grassy Lynx (9-1-3) by downing the fifth-place Northwest Bay Beavers 9-2.
Reigning league MVP Tracy Morningstar earned the win for the Babes, who are on a 10-game unbeaten streak.
Darcy Smith suffered the loss for the Beavers (6-6-2).
Tonight’s action will feature a full slate of makeup games from a rain-out June 28.
The ‘Canes and Babes will meet in Red Gut in what could be a preview of a championship final rematch from last season.
The Mud Dogs host Northwest Bay at St. Francis while the Angels are at Couchiching to face the Lady Raiders.
Sabaskong heads to Pinewood to play Dawson, with Emo visiting Big Grassy.