U17 Aces open Shaye Amundson tournament with win over Melfort

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Rhyan Amundson of the Prince Albert Aces attempts to lay down a bunt during the Shaye Amundson Memorial Tournament opening game on Friday afternoon at Rotary Field.

The Prince Albert U17 AA Aces picked up their first victory of the Shaye Amundson Memorial Tournament with a 9-4 win over the Melfort Spirit on Friday afternoon at Rotary Field.

Aces head coach Jenn Ferguson says she was impressed with role players stepping up and taking charge in the victory.

“The best part of the game today was we had a bunch of different players step up who normally don’t take leadership roles and they did a really good job today. So, we were impressed with that. Our pitching was excellent. Our defense struggled. A couple made a few errors, too many. We have a motto. If you make one mistake, don’t let it turn into two or three and try and control the damage. I thought we recovered pretty nicely there in the seventh inning when we started with what should have been two easy outs and instead both runners on base.”

Both starters would match each other through two innings, but the Aces would explode for four runs in the top half of the third inning off Melfort starter Jayda Wallington.

Ferguson says the four runs in the third inning set the tone for Prince Albert.

“That was huge, especially because we did lots of our scoring today with two outs, which is really important to do. Not leaving baserunners on and believing that you can rally even when there’s two outs. It wasn’t necessarily our usual big hitters that were hitting in the runs today, so it was nice to see everyone do that.”

Aces starting pitcher Rhyan Amundson earned the win surrendered three unearned runs on three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out eight over five innings of work.

“She’s not an overpowering pitcher.” Ferguson said about Amundson. “She throws a lot of strikes, and she can move the ball and she’s got a really nice little curve ball. And it was working today. She used that to her advantage, and it keeps the hitters guessing. It’s hard to hit off her.”

Offensively, the Aces were led by Martina Moore and Lucy Lockhart who each drove in a pair of runs for Prince Albert. Catcher Sydney Peake also recorded three hits.

For Melfort, shortstop Julia Leicht drove in a pair of runs in the fourth inning.

The Aces return to action at 9 p.m. Friday night when they take on the Saskatoon Lazers at Rotary Field.