Every tournament, every game, every inning is important for a team vying to win a provincial title and the Battlefords Bantam Bandits came within an inning of taking the provincial B softball championship.
The Bandits were in Moosomin on the weekend hoping that, with the core group of girls who won a gold medal in 2008, they could do it again this year.
The Bandits started the tournament with an 18-6 win over the Regina Lazers. Kayla Hartley was crowned the winning pitcher and the Bandits' game MVP.
After the opening ceremonies Friday, the Bandits had the rest of the day off, but were up and ready to play at 8 a.m. Saturday. It was another lopsided win for the Bandits, as they beat the Martensville Magic 14-2. Catcher Tori Heinemann had a strong game at the plate and was the Bandits' MVP.
Saturday afternoon, the Bandits were back in action, this time against the Saskatoon Hustlers. The Hustlers handed the Bandits their first loss. The final score was 8-5 with Hartley coming in to pitch in relief and earning the game's MVP honours.
The Bandits wrapped up the round robin with an 8-1 win Saturday evening against the Watrous Royals. The Royals' only run was unearned after an impressive pitching performance by Sydney Rempel, who was named the team's game MVP.
The Bandits 3-1 record put them in the quarter-finals and in second place in their pool.
Sunday morning, the Bandits played the Saskatoon Rough Raiders with the winning team advancing and the losing team going home empty handed. It took an extra inning for the Bandits to pull out an 11-10 win over the Rough Raiders. Shanae Blaquiere was the player of the game after some crucial hits.
The Bandits went up against the Quill Plains Blazers, who went undefeated to that point after their three round robin games in the semi final.
Last year, the Bantam Bandits were knocked out of provincials in the semi finals and were looking to play for the championship this time around.
Rempel pitched another complete game and picked up the win. Heinemann's bat was strong once again and warranted the Bandits' MVP honour.
In the final, the Bandits went up against the host Moosomin 981 Predators. After the first inning the Bandits led 2-0 and were in control of the game until the fourth inning when it was tied 4-4.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Predators busted the score wide open and took advantage of the Bandits' one bad inning Sunday. The Predators held on to win 10-4 and took the gold medal.
The Bandits were left with a silver medal and Jamie Fedler was the team's game MVP after a strong showing at the plate and good fielding at the shortstop position.
"The season went very good," said coach Kelly Rempel. "We improved a bit while playing in the ladies' league and played well at provincials."
Rempel was proud of the way his team played on the weekend and said had it not been for that one bad inning things could have been different against Moosomin, but they did lose to a good ball team.
Along with a silver medal, two Bandits, Heinemann and Rempel, won top play trophies. Heinemann was named the tournament's top hitter while Rempel won the top pitcher award.