Manitoba makes history at 21U Women's Invitational

Manitoba won their first-ever medal at the Baseball Canada 21U Women's Invitational with a 13-0 win over Nova Scotia in the bronze medal game in Ottawa, Ont. on Aug. 4, 2019. (Photo credit: Darryl Gershman/Baseball Canada)

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For the first time ever, Manitoba has earned a medal at the Baseball Canada 21U Women’s Invitational.

In the bronze medal game, Manitoba crushed Nova Scotia 13-0 in five innings for their first-ever third place finish at the event in Ottawa on Aug. 4.

Arborg’s Jamie Johnson threw five innings without giving up a hit, only allowing one walk and striking out four Nova Scotia batters. Teulon’s Jacey Ledochowski made the final out in the victory and was the only Manitoban with two base hits. Boissevain’s Zoe Hicks led the team with three runs batted in.

Manitoba scored nine runs in the top of the second inning and added four more in the fifth. Nova Scotia needed four runs in the fifth to extend the game, but were unable to break the goose egg.

Just like in previous years, Manitoba’s roster included plenty of Interlake talent. Along with Johnson and Ledochowski, Garson’s Brittney Langlais, who is also on the national women’s baseball team, also competed in Ottawa. Two newcomers, East St. Paul’s Tesia Rhom and Oak Point’s Steph Byron, were also on the squad. Langlais’s father Roger was one of the coaches while Johnson’s mother Joanne was the chef de mission.

In the previous two events which were held in Stonewall, Manitoba finished fifth in 2017 and lost the bronze medal game to Nova Scotia 14-4 last year.

The tournament for Manitoba was an exercise in perseverance. The black and gold lost to Nova Scotia 10-0 in five innings, scoring five runs in each of the second and fourth innings on Aug. 1. The next day, Manitoba was mercied again, this time against Ontario 13-3 despite being tied 2-2 in the second. Hrom had two hits in the contest, but Johnson and Langlais combined to surrender 11 hits and seven runs (only one earned). On Aug. 3, Manitoba scored nine runs in the third, but still lost to Quebec 12-9. Johnson had a hit and two runs batted in during the game.

Needing a win against Saskatchewan to play for a medal, Manitoba did just that. Tied 2-2 in the sixth, Manitoba exploded for 10 runs to win 12-2 and advance to the bronze medal game. Johnson scored a run and had two hits while Langlais only allowed one hit in six innings on the mound, striking out five.

Down 8-6 in the seventh, Ontario scored twice and walked off Quebec with a 9-8 eight-inning victory to take the gold medal, also on Aug. 4.