Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Morris Prokop

DOWN BUT NOT OUT – Borealis Heat’s shortstop Jordan Cowman tosses the ball during Softball Yukon’s opening tournament Upper Division final against the YYW Hawks Sunday at the Pepsi Centre in Whitehorse.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

RYLED UP – Borealis Heat’s Cam Ryles about to rip one of his many inside-the-park home runs during the tournament, this one against the YYW Hawks.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

RIPPIN’ RYAN – YYW Hawks’ Ryan Lane moves to corral a ball hit by the Hawks. Lane ripped the cover off the ball all day Sunday, including hitting a towering home run to right field off Dave’s Cleaning Crew in an earlier game.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

MARVELLOUS MARCY – The Hawks’ Marcy Mills, right, celebrates her inside-the-park home run while the Heat’s Jordane Cave grabs the ball.

Heat scorch Hawks in season-opening softball tourney

The Borealis Heat scorched the YYW Hawks for the Upper Division softball title in the Softball Yukon season-opening tournament of the year.

By Morris Prokop on June 2, 2023

The Borealis Heat scorched the YYW Hawks for the Upper Division softball title in the Softball Yukon season-opening tournament of the year.

The game took place Sunday afternoon at the Pepsi Softball Centre.

The Hawks mounted a late comeback but came up short, losing 25-19.

The Heat got off to a hot start, leading 5-2 after two innings.

The Hawks responded in the top of the third with two runs to tighten up the game, 5-4.

The Heat answered right back with three runs to take an 8-4 lead into the fourth.

The Hawks cashed in two runs in the fourth to again pull close to the Heat, 8-6.

The Heat responded with three more runs in the bottom of the inning, making it 11-6 Heat after four.

Cam Ryles hit an inside-the-park home run in the inning.

The Hawks stormed back with six runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead, 12-11.

However, Borealis came right back with the maximum seven runs to retake the lead, 18-12 after five.

The Hawks scored three in the sixth, but Borealis, on the strength of another inside-the-park two-run home run by Ryles, made it 25-15 after six.

The Heat then closed out the Hawks in the top of the sixth to take the title.

The Star spoke with Heat coach Cliff Cave after the victory.

“It feels great. We weren’t sure if we were gonna have a team and everybody came together and played really well. Our young kids played great. Cam Ryles, I think he had seven (inside the park) home runs. Just a young kid – played fantastic.

“Our young girls hit the ball really, really well. Honestly, girls, they’re the difference in co-ed.”

Cave said the key to winning was familiarity.

“We’ve been a team forever. We know each other really well. That’s a big part of it for us. We had a lot of fun, which is big, too.”

Cave added, “We help each other out, out there, we talk a lot, have fun.”

Cave said Line Jensen played really well.

“Brian Power, our pitcher, played great.”

“It was awesome. It was a ton of fun.”

Cave added a thanks to Borealis. “They’ve been really good to us. And Softball Yukon for putting it together.”

The Hawks Brett Skookum said, “It was good. It was fun. It’s always a close game against them.”

Skookum said they were missing some players from Carmacks on Sunday because of a funeral in that community.

“But I think we played good overall today.”

Skookum said teamwork was the key in getting to the finals.

“I think we played good as a team.”

Meanwhile, in the Lower Division final, the Whiskey Jack Barbarians defeated the Silverbacks 16-11 to claim the crown. The Barbarians exacted their revenge after a loss to the Silverbacks earlier in the tournament.

On the women’s side, Team Grey defeated Team Green to take the title.

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