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Red Hawks dominate.

The Alexander Red Hawks were simply unbeatable at the Canadian Native Fastball Championships. The Alberta-based women's squad won all six of its matches at the tournament held July 29 to Aug. 1.

The Red Hawks were dominant in what proved to be the championship final, blanking Field of Dreams, a club from Vernon, B.C., in a 10-0 tilt. It was a double-knockout tournament, meaning teams had to lose two games before being eliminated.

If Field of Dreams had beaten the Red Hawks, both clubs would have had one loss. That would have meant the two squads would have been forced to play each other again to decide a champion. But the Red Hawks' convincing triumph negated that need.

Only three innings were played in the final due to a tournament mercy rule. That rule stipulated a game would be over if one team had a lead of at least 10 runs after the third inning.

"We thought we'd get a better game," said Red Hawks' field manager Jody Arcand.

Besides managing, Arcand also played for the team. When she wasn't occupying an outfield position, Arcand was toiling at third base for the squad.

Though the Red Hawks were expecting some stiffer opposition in the final, Arcand was not surprised her teammates fared so well.

"We were very eager," she said. "The girls were pumped to play that game. We brought our best game forward. And we were on top of our game."

By winning their division the Red Hawks were awarded $5,000. As the runners-up, Field of Dreams took home $3,500.

The Alexander lineup though included six players who had helped the Hobbema Challengers win the women's division at the 2002 Canadian Native Fastball Championships in Brandon, Man.

Arcand said it wasn't just the former players from the Hobbema side that contributed to the Red Hawks' success.

"We had a lot of good players from both teams," she said.

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The Alexander team roster this season featured 15 players. The majority of the Red Hawks are Cree. The club's lineup also included some Metis players and players from the Kamloops area.

This marked the first season the Red Hawks opted to enter the First Division of the Edmonton Ladies Fastball League.

Alexander was a middle-of-the-pack team and finished with a sub--500 mark in the league which featured 16 clubs.

Though her squad did not have a lot of league success, Arcand believes playing in the loop was just what the Red Hawks needed in order to fare well at their national championships.

"It prepared us mentally and physically to play that calibre of ball," she said.

Arcand said the Alexander team will, in all likelihood, compete in the First Division of the Edmonton Ladies Fastball League next year as well.

And she also expects the Red Hawks to try and defend their title at next year's national Native championships. That tournament will be held in Prince Albert, Sask.

"I'm pretty sure we'll be there," Arcand said.

By Sam Laskaris

Windspeaker Staff Writer

ALEXIS NAKOTA SIOUX NATION, Alta.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:sports
Author:Laskaris, Sam
Publication:Wind Speaker
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
Words:511
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