Gryphon Fastball

Gryphons and York split to open women’s fastpitch campaign

GUELPH — The Guelph Gryphons opened their Ontario Intercollegiate Women’s Fastball Association season by splitting a doubleheader with the York Lions Friday night on the University of Guelph Campus.

The Gryphs took the opening game 7-4 and fell 11-4 in a nightcap that was halted in the sixth inning by the league’s seven-run mercy rule.

For the Gryphon coaching staff, the doubleheader was used as a chance to see the players perform in a pair of games that count toward the league standings.

“I’m pleased with it,” head coach Craig Christie said of the doubleheader. “It’s Games 1 and 2 of a 24-game schedule.”

The Gryphon season openers came less than a week after the team held its tryouts on the long weekend and tryouts culminated in a doubleheader with Mohawk College of the Ontario colleges league on Labour Day. The Gryphs split that one, too, winning the second game 10-7 after dropping the first 8-3.

The Guelph side has six returnees from last season, making it inexperienced in terms of the OIWFA, but most of the newcomers played rep fastball in their hometowns during the summer.

Compared to last year’s squad, Christie feels this year’s team has better hitting and is a faster team. They tried to use their team speed on the bases Friday night with several bunt attempts, most paying off in moving the runners.

This year the league has expanded to 13 teams with the addition of the Ryerson Rams. Rounding out the membership are the Brock Badgers, Carleton Ravens, Laurier Golden Hawks, McMaster Marauders, Ottawa Gee-Gees, Queen’s Gaels, Toronto Varsity Blues, Waterloo Warriors, Western Mustangs and Windsor Lancers.

Each team plays 24 regular-season games by having doubleheaders with each of its league opponents.

Most weeks the Gryphs play two doubleheaders on weekends although they finish their campaign with a pair of three-doubleheader weeks.

The Gryphs have the goal of competing in the league’s championship tournament Oct. 14 to 16 at Innerkip. Top eight at the completion of the regular season advance to that tournament.

Guelph is also scheduled to start its season with four consecutive home doubleheaders. The Gryphs are to host Queen’s Saturday, Carleton Sept. 17 and Ottawa Sept. 18. First game of the Saturday doubleheaders are to start at 2 p.m. while the Sunday doubleheader is to begin at 11 a.m.

  • Guelph Sports Journal