The Virden Wild senior women’s fastball team is not just focused on wins and losses.
“The things that I enjoy most about playing for the Wild is an opportunity to once again play some competitive fastball with a great group of ladies,” said Karla Robertson, a second-year player who teaches Grade 2 at Goulter School.
The squad plays in the 11-team Westman Ladies Fastball League. The loop also features local players on such teams as the Westman Fusion out of Reston, the Southwest Wildcats, and the Elkhorn squad.
“I enjoy playing fastball because not only do you have to work well as a team to reach your goal, but each player gets to demonstrate their individual strengths to get us there,” said Adelle Gervin, a University of Manitoba student who plays for and helps organize the Virden squad.
Fourth season for Wild
The Wild are in their fourth season. Women’s fastball was last in Virden around the late 1990s with such players as Linda Heaman, Marla (Hicks) Wilson, Bonita Frederick, Teresa Simpson, Amber Wright, and Tara Cameron.
Wilson had looked into restarting a team about five years ago. Julie Mathieson, who was already playing and coaching for the Fusion, got things going when she approached Doug Roach and some local women about entering a squad. Those efforts helped Virden get voted into the league.
That first season the team, with only nine players on one of the hottest weekends of the summer, won the B-side championship at the league tournament.
“Since then we have continued to be a strong team, however we do not focus on the wins and losses,” Gervin said. “We are just happy to get out and play and have a fun time doing it.”
From that debut season, Gervin, Wilson, Carly Hayward, Devan Sawyer, Whitney Wright, Baylie Koop, and Tara Mooney remain. Players on the Wild range in age from 18 to their mid-40s.
Gervin, one of the younger players, said she has made a lot of friends on the team that she would not have had otherwise because of the age difference.
“It is nice to see that even though there is a large age difference, we all get along great and play well as a team because we all have a common interest of fastball,” she said. “I also believe that having such a wide range of experience on our team helps us do so well.
“We have experienced players that help out a lot with strategy and just bring so much knowledge to the field, and we have young players that make sure we keep proper form for those of us that have gotten a little rusty over the years. Overall, each and every player we have brings something different that helps us excel as a team. “
The camaraderie and personalities of the players help create an enjoyable atmosphere. Local hairdresser Sharie Haines has played one full season with the Wild and spared for two others.
“It’s a fun night out on the ball diamond with a great bunch of girls,” she said.
The Wild have started this season off 1-1, including a close two-run loss.
“The team has been getting out to the batting cages as much as we can to improve our offence so we can hopefully come out on top of those close games in the future,” Gervin said.
The Wild’s upcoming home games, which are played at 7:30 p.m. on diamond six, include July 12 vs. Wawanesa, Aug. 2 vs. the Westman Fusion, Aug. 9 against Deloraine and Aug. 16 vs. Killarney 2.
Fans will notice the new jerseys that Gervin designed, made possible thanks to the support of MyPhone / Telus in Virden.
“We also really appreciate all of the support we get from family and friends, whether it be in the form of babysitting for the evening or just coming out to watch a game,” Gervin said.
Other team members include Avery Hayward, Brittanee Beazer, Courtney Eilers, Erica Snyder, Hanna Cantelo, Jenn Mitchell, Madison Motheral, Mandy Taylor, Morgan Kotylak, Sadie Riendeau, and Tara Pitz.
The league runs until Aug. 16 and the season is capped off with a tournament on Aug. 18 in Wawanesa.