Host Slammers make early exit at women’s softball provincials

Surveying the depth of talent at the B.C. women's softball championships, Abbotsford coach Roy Ferraro felt it was anyone's ballgame.

Shayla Ferraro of the Abbotsford Slammers smacks a line drive during the B.C. senior women’s provincials at Exhibition Park.

Shayla Ferraro of the Abbotsford Slammers smacks a line drive during the B.C. senior women’s provincials at Exhibition Park.

Surveying the depth of talent at the B.C. senior women’s softball championships, held at Exhibition Park on the weekend, Abbotsford Slammers coach Roy Ferraro felt it was anyone’s ballgame.

Ultimately, it just wasn’t to be for the host Slammers, as they made an early exit from the ‘B’ division playoffs.

Rain delayed the start of the tournament on Friday, washing away all of the morning round-robin games. That limited each team to just one game in the preliminary round, and the Abby squad got off to a promising start, beating the Delta Spirit 7-2.

But when the double-knockout playoffs began Saturday, the Slammers were eliminated in short order, as they lost their first two games.

The Vancouver Spirit claimed the ‘B’ championship, edging the Surrey Steelers 7-6 in the final, while Delta won bronze.

The Slammers were the lone local team in the field, and Ferraro felt they were capable of a better finish. They’d defeated Vancouver in the final of a tourney in Cloverdale a couple weeks back, and had beaten Delta in the round robin.

“It was a very tough competition, and on another day, you might see three different (medalists) at the top,” he said.

“There were 15 strong teams here. Hats off to the Vancouver Spirit. They’ve got a great club, and they deserved to win it. You’ve just got to be on your game all the way through – defence and offence.”

In the ‘A’ division, the Surrey Storm juniors took gold, beating the New Westminster Kaos in the final. Bronze went to the Coquitlam Classics.

The Slammers are comprised of players in their early 20s, and Ferraro has been coaching this group for years. Two players – his daughter Shayla and Andrea Sigmund – have played for him since they were six years old.

“It’s been a long ride,” he said. “It’s a good group of girls, and that makes it fun.”