Central Energy are Softball Manitoba's Provincial U13 AAA champions.
Central captured the provincial championship plaque this past Sunday at the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex in Brandon.
Central Energy played 10 games over four days.
The Provincial champions had a 5-2 round robin record as they beat Smitty's 12-3; lost 3-2 to Interlake; beat the Manitoba Angels 12-2; dropped a 3-2 decision to the Westman Magic and then reeled off three straight win; 3-2 over the Eastman Wildcats; 7-3 over the Manitoba Thunder and 11-4 over the Winnipeg Lightning.
In the playoff round, Central lost 7-2 to Westman in the 1 vs 2 page playoff game.
Energy then downed Eastman 6-2 to earn a berth in the final.
In a rematch of the 1 vs 2 game, Central defeated the Magic 3-1 in the gold medal game to win provincials.
Head coach Tara Pettinger of Portage said it was deja vu from last year and the team never gave up.
"For the second year in a row, we did it the hard way," Pettinger said. "A one-two game loss and then we had to come and play the next game to get our chance at gold. The beauty of this group of girls is that they never believed for one second that they couldn’t do it"
Central put on the pressure from the start, stranding a pair of runners in the top of the first inning, and taking a 1-0 lead in the third inning when they put together three hits.
They added to the lead in the fifth inning, scoring again to go up 2-0 before finally winning the match 3-1.
"It’s always a great battle with Westman," Pettinger said. These are young girls, and they grind hard, they work hard and they play hard. These two teams have so much respect for each other. They’re probably all going to continue to play each other for years to come"
The team's assistant coach is Morgan Miller, also from Portage. The players on the team come from all around the Central Plains region.
Golden West Sports Reporter Clayton Dreger caught up with head coach Tara Pettinger