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Braves, Knights into division finals


They were missing their 'Tom'-boys, but it didn't matter.

The top-ranked Fort Frances Braves pulled out a 3-1 win over the defending champion and No. 3-rated Sight & Sound Wolves in Winner's Bracket action in the East Divison of the Rainy River District Fastball League playoffs this past Tuesday at VanJura Ball Park.

Jaden Gustafson outpitched the Wolves' John Desaulniers in going the distance for the Braves, who played without brothers Travis and Jesse Tom, the league's home run champion and the team's starting shortstop, respectively.

The victory boosted the Braves into the East final, which will be held at a still undetermined date.

Sight & Sound now drops down to the Loser's Bracket and will await the winner of tonight's elimination game at 6:30 p.m. between the No. 2-ranked Couchiching Raiders and No. 4-seeded Windey's Warriors in an all-Couchiching battle at the Rodrick and Telford Bruyere Ball Field.

Those teams sent a pair of Northwest Bay squads home for the year with triumphs this past Tuesday at home.

The Raiders ousted the No. 5-rated Northwest Bay Chieftains 13-4, with Sheldon Kelly, Sr., besting Don Smith in the pitching matchup.

Meanwhile, Windey's blew past the No. 7-rated Northwest Bay Juniors 24-0 in a game that lasted only 4.5 innings.

Marcel Pagee got the win on the hill with three strong innings of relief after taking over for starter Sean Councillor following the first.

Daymond Morrisseau showed no sibling love, taking brother and losing pitcher Aiden Morrisseau of the Juniors deep for a three-run inside-the-park homer for the Warriors.

Over in the West, the top seed will now have to take the scenic route to the division final after the Dawson Tigers were upset 9-4 by the No. 2-ranked Barwick Blue Knights in the Winners' Bracket semifinal in Pinewood.

Kevin Gemmell's grand slam turned a tight 4-3 contest into an 8-3 Barwick lead, with Brett Mann also smacking a four-bagger off Tigers ace Jeff Morrison.

JJ Landry went the distance on the mound for Barwick, who now advances to the West final.

Dawson will have to bide its time until next week when it faces the survivor of tonight's Loser's Bracket semifinal between the host No. 3-rated Stratton Eagles and the No. 6-seeded Sabsakong Cubs at 6:30 p.m. in Stratton.

As for the Rainy River District Women's Fastball League, just one game was able to be played as the rain wiped out two other scheduled matchups among the final six teams left standing in the postseason.

Shae Smith blasted two home runs to lead the No. 5-ranked Northwest Bay Beavers to an 11-8 defeat of the No. 3-rated Big Grassy Lynx in a Losers Side matchup that closed out what had been a great season for Big Grassy.

The Lynx lost just once in the regular season and once in the playoffs before last night.

But Smith's downtown double shot off Big Grassy ace Candace Handorgan and a solid effort from starter Darcy Smith put the Beavers one step closer to getting back to the league final for the second time in three years.

Meanwhile, the other Loser's Side game was lost to the elements as the No. 8-ranked Emo Renegades were washed out against the host No. 2 Red Gut Babes.

The same fate struck the Winner's Side final between the top-ranked and defending champion Fort Frances Her-icanes and the No. 6-seeded Dawson Tigers at VanJura.

Both those games will now be held on Monday at 6:30 p.m.

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