Women's Softball

Women's softball was a popular sport in the Depression years of the 1930s and Coniston supplied a number of talented stars to other district teams, including the Sudbury Canoe Club and Garson Combines, in addition to its own town teams.

Coniston never won a provincial championship, coming close in 1936 but losing to Windsor in the 10th inning of the third game in a three-game series.  The Coniston-Windsor championship game was one of the great title competitions to be held in the league.  Game One took place on Coniston's home field where they lost to Windsor with a score of 10 to 4.  Game Two became an intense battle as Coniston fought to win on Windsor's home field.  After an intense 15 innings, Coniston emerged victorious with a score of 8 to 5.  After a brief rest, Game Three began.  The game started at 5:30p.m. (a late start time given that is was now early October) and after only six innings, the game was called.  At the time, Coniston was winning 4 to 3.  A rematch was scheduled on a neutral field in Toronto and despite a dedicated effort, the Coniston women were unable to secure a victory, losing in the 10th inning of play.

Among the great players of the day were Helen Buchowski, Julia Buchowski, Gladys Stacey, Ina Bryce, Irene Horrick, and Dolly Horrick.

In the early part of the 1930s, the Sudbury Canoe Club was a dominating force in women's softball winning four district titles in a row from 1931 to 1934, three northern titles in the last three of those years, and the Ontario championship in 1934.  The victories were shared by Coniston as the community cheered on its local girls (Ina Bryce, Gladys Stacey, and Marg Deeks) who were part of the Sudbury Canoe Club team.

Ina Bryce was a pitching force to be reckoned with.  As a member of the Sudbury Canoe Club softball team from 1931 to 1934, Bryce pitched most of the regular games and every inning of the ten playoff games that led to the team's provincial title victory.  After Ina Bryce left the Sudbury Canoe Club team another Coniston pitcher emerged as a leading contender.  That pitcher was Gerry Fitzgerald, the pitcher for Coniston's team in 1936.  Fitzgerald would become one of the best pitchers in the league.

Women's softball was revived off and on throughout the 1940s and 1950s but never regained its former popularity.


Material compiled from The Coniston Story II.

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