The Moose Jaw U17A Ice’s expectation coming into provincials last weekend in Regina was to get to the championship on Sunday, which is what they did, taking down their arch rival the Lumsden Cubs 9-5.

Head coach, Paul Litzenberger says that their team has a saying when it comes to tournaments.

“One of the other coaches Darren Newberry has a saying “Play for Sunday”, and that’s what we wanted to do, we wanted to play all of our games like we’re getting ready to play in the Championship Round on Sunday,” says Litzenberger.

The U17A Ice came into the provincial weekend with something to prove after losing to the Cubs in the Regina Minor Softball League final. They came out firing on all cylinders, outscoring their opponents 51-12 in their four round-robin games.

“We knew that we could compete with any team, but what shocked us was how well they did against everybody. Some of the margins of winning was a big range.”

With a 4-0 record in round robin play, the Ice earned themselves a spot in the Championship Round, against none other than the Lumsden Cubs. Playing in their closest tournament game, the Ice couldn’t get past the Cubs losing 4-3.

The loss meant playing another game to earn a spot in the final against the Saskatoon Raiders. Not phased by the previous loss the Ice dominated the Raiders in the semi-final winning 10-3, earning themselves a rematch with Lumsden.

The Ice won when it mattered the most, beating the Cubs in the final 9-5, to be crowned the U17 A Girls Provincial champions.

“The girls have worked their butts off for not only this year, but we’ve had this core group together for three, four, five years at this point and we know what we’re getting and they were able to put it all together.”

Coming into the provincial tournament, Litzenberger says that their pitching was their greatest weapon having two of the best in the province in Katie Newberry and Ava Unser, but what surprised him was the batting performance that came alive.

“We only had one home run, other than that it was all line drives, bunting the ball down, and doing those little things well. Teams were wondering how to defend against this.”

Litzenberger says that in the final against the Cubs that every hitter had a batting average of .300, with a couple of girls batting over .700.

It was a team effort all around for the Ice to be as dominant as they were with their pitching, fielding, and batting to be named provincial champions.

“I wanted to give a shoutout to Macy Litzenberger she batted over .700 for the weekend, she was just clutch with 15 RBIs, and it got to the point where she came up to the bat and the other team would pitch around her. Makena Simmons is the best lead player in our division in the province. Aubrey Clarke batted over .500.

Ashley Breitkreuz is absolutely terrifying because she swings so hard every single time, and when it touches it’s going. Girls like Cassia Montgomery our No. 9 batter, deliberately because she’s able to bring that order around, she bunts well, clutch hits, and batted over .500."

Other top performers for the Ice throughout the season and the provincial tournament Litzenberger notes were Callie Klemenz, Haily Molde, and Jasmine Kohl.

Winning the provincials has earned the U17A Ice a spot in the Canadian Fast Pitch Championships in Montreal, Que. From August 17-21.

“It’s been a whirlwind this morning as we’re going through the teams, and things we have to do to get organized for it. The excitement is awesome.”

The Ice will kick off their tournament on August 17, against BC1 at 9:00 ET.