Sammie Olexa of the Surrey Storm reaches for a ground ball during a game in Cloverdale earlier this season. The Storm have won two of four games at the national championship tournament in Winnipeg.

Two wins in Winnipeg

Surrey Storm at nationals

Handed two disappointing losses to start the tournament, the Surrey Storm ‘93 are back in contention at the Canadian Under-19 (Midget) Fastpitch Championship in Winnipeg.

The Storm knocked off two previously unbeaten teams Tuesday, serving notice they intend to defend their national championship. They scored six runs in the extra inning to down the Guelph Gators 8-3 in the first game, then handed the Winnipeg Lightning a 5-1 defeat a couple of hours later.

“It was a very good rebound,” said Storm head coach Kim Wright after the second win. “We’ve been flat for a few days, and the girls know it. But we addressed it as a team, we knew there was a problem.”

The team also falls back on their “reference point,” a win over the White Rock Renegades senior women’s team at a tournament in Cloverdale last June.

“They won the senior national championship,” said Wright. “So we figure, if we can beat them, we should be able to beat anybody.”

Surrey forced Guelph to an extra inning with a run in the top of the seventh inning, when pinch runner Amy Acheson scored on a passed ball with two out to knot the score 2-2.

Six runs in the extra inning – four of which were unearned – tilted the game in Surrey’s favour.

Against the Lightning, Sammie Olexa broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double in the top of the third inning. Jenelle Smith followed up with a single that scored Olexa.

The Lightning got their run in the fifth, but Surrey responded with two scores of their own in the sixth when Jenna Neufeld and Jaycee Affeldt drew bases-loaded walks.

The Storm began play Sunday night, falling 8-7 to the Saskatoon Selects.

Tessa Loewen and Affledt each had three hits.

On Monday, the South Interlake Phillies of Manitoba handed Surrey an 8-5 setback. Loewen and Affeldt were again the top hitters, with two each.

Surrey has three games to play, and has set a goal of winning them all. Eight of the 18 teamas at the tournament advance to a modified double-knockout playoff. While the first through fourth place teams need to lose twice to be eliminated, the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place squads are ousted after just one defeat.

“We want to be 5-2 (won-lost),” said Wright. “That will get us into the playoffs, and hopefully a top four position.”

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