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Softball tournament rings in Aboriginal Day
Teams play for fun as the midnight sun sets

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 28, 2012

The crack of bats and cheers from the crowd echoed across the Fort Simpson baseball diamond to welcome Aboriginal Day.

NNSL photo/graphic

Aaron Nadia pitches for the Homers during one of the round robin games in the Aboriginal Day Classic in Fort Simpson on June 20. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

The Aboriginal Day Classic, a slo-pitch tournament, began at approximately 10:30 p.m. on June 20. The final game ended at 1:15 a.m. the following day.

"It's been good," said Dave Magarey, who organized the event.

With three teams and a crowd to watch the games, it's certainty been successful, he said. The tournament followed a round robin format with the teams chosen through random selection.

Team Discovery Channel, captained by James Erasmus, took an early lead, winning its first game 2-1 against the Homers and its second game 10-4 against The Pirates of the Mackenzie River. In the third game, the Pirates won 10-8 against the Homers.

Squeezed ahead

The final pitted Team Discovery Channel against the Pirates. The Pirates took a commanding lead and kept it into the third inning where the Discovery Channel had last bat and scored nine runs to squeeze ahead and win the tournament 12-11.

With 30 players and approximately 20 spectators, it was a great turnout, said Chris Hewitt, who captained the Pirates.

"It shows that people are interested in playing ball," he said.

Highlights of the night included pirates player Keone Villeneuve's grand slam during the second round robin game. Villeneuve said he was impressed by the turnout at the event. Villeneuve said originally he was just going to watch the games until he was asked to join a team.

Another highlight included Darren Hardisty making a diving catch in left field. Hardisty, who played for the Homers, is a regular at the Monday and Wednesday 7 p.m. pick-up softball games.

"It's all about the fun of the game," Hardisty said to explain what drew him to the tournament.

Hewitt said he would like to welcome anyone who's interested to join the twice weekly pick-up games. Gloves are available at the games.

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