Last week the female U17 softball teams played provincials and instead of huge disappointments or a rivalry, two teams were cheering each other on.
"Our whole team went into provincials and we thought we were going to have a good outcome because we have a very strong team," says Faith Minsky of the Winnipeg Storm. "We did good in the round-robin games. We got to the playoffs. The first day we did really well and then the next day we lost to see if we went into the gold or bronze medal game."
The Storm ended up playing the bronze medal game against Hamiota Red Sox.
"We went into the bronze medal game against Hamiota and we love Hamiota. We were really excited to be playing against them. It was a really close game and I felt the game could've gone either way. It was a nice way to finish off the season."
The Red Sox ended up winning the last game against Storm, taking the bronze medal. Rather than being angry or disappointed with the outcome, both teams came together to take a photo at the end.
"We won our first four round-robin games," says McKenna Laberge, who plays for the Red Sox. "One of those includes the Winnipeg team. We played bronze with the team from Winnipeg, whom we get along with very well."
The Brandon team ended up taking gold with McDonald taking silver.
"Honestly, I have no idea how our friendship started," says Minsky. "It just kind of happened. The Hamiota girls are just so nice and our team just loves them to death. It's so odd. I remember last year, I hadn't been playing community ball last year, it was my first year back. When I came into Provniclas I saw this team and thought, they're crazy."
Minsky says things escalated in a good way after that.
"After playing, a bunch of the girls added each other on social media. I think some of my teammates started conversations with Hamiota. This year when we saw them again, we were consistently rooting for each other. It was a really nice relationship between the two teams. Before a couple of our games they'd be like, 'We're rooting for you,' and we would say 'we're rooting for you too, good luck.'"
After the final game, with the Red Sox on top with bronze, they suggested everyone come together for a final picture, as friendly competitors.
"The Hamiota girls at the end said, 'We should take a team picture, you're like our BFFs. We need to take a picture together,'" according to Minsky.
Laberge, who's played baseball for nine years, recalls meeting Winnipeg Storm last season.
"We met them last year in our first round robin game. It was just a fun game, it was raining and everybody was laughing about it," says Laberge. "There was chatter on the team and you'd give compliments to the other team and they gave us compliments. Even our coaches got along."
Laberge's mom, Tara, posted one of the group photo's on her Facebook account, saying "And this is how every game should end! These girls don’t know each other but have met on the diamond in the past. They laugh and joke and make the game what it should be. Well done coaches and parents! Until we meet again!"
Both teams watched each other's games throughout the provincial weekend, cheering each other on.
"Even though it was a medal game, it was fun with laughter and talk. We all said, if we were to lose to one team, that would be the team that we'd expect to lose to," Laberge says.