Storm in second at nationals

Storm win seven of eight, start double-knockout playoff Friday

Their first loss of the tournament has knocked the Surrey Storm from first place at the Under-18 Women’s Fastpitch Canadian Championship in Montreal.

Surrey fell 3-2 in extra innings to the Guelph Gators Thursday afternoon in a contest between the 17-team tournament’s only two undefeated teams.

The loss, however, means little to the Storm. Surrey will finish in second place with a 7-1 won-lost record, and like the 8-0 Gators in first place, will begin the double-knockout playoff tomorrow (Friday) as favourites to advance to Sunday’s championship game.

The Storm led Guelph 2-0 in the top of the second inning, after Taylor Miller scored on Dallas Tilley’s infield out, and Chelsea Jenner crossed the plate on a passed ball.

The Gators got one run back in the bottom half of the inning, tied the game in the fourth, then won the game with one run in the ninth inning after Surrey failed to score on the top half of the frame.

The Storm will be the home team against a yet to be determined third place squad tomorrow night at 6 p.m. (PDT).

Last night, the Storm earned their third consecutive mercy-rule victory by defeating the Calgary Kaizen 14-3.

Anna Battison broke the game open in the second inning with a three-run home run, putting Surrey ahead 5-1. Battison also drove in the only run of the first inning with a double, and finished the game going three-for-three at the plate.

Six runs in the fifth inning left the Storm with a 14-1 lead, and when the Kaizen scored just two in the bottom half of the inning, the game was called.

Kendra Goodman knocked in two runs in the sixth with a home run, and  Miller and Jenner also added two-run hits.

Tori Belton was the winning pitcher, giving up an unearned run on four hits and a walk while striking out five Calgary batters.