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HAWKS SOFTBALL: FIVE YEARS IN – FIVE YEARS OF SUCCESS

HAWKS SOFTBALL: FIVE YEARS IN – FIVE YEARS OF SUCCESS

ETOBICOKE, ON: At the urging from a number of passionate student-athletes, the Humber Hawks women's softball team returned to OCAA play after a twenty-five year hiatus, and have experienced great success over their five years in existence. The Hawks, post-season attendees in all five years, have made four trips to the OCAA finals, resulting in two gold and two silver medals.

A number of names quickly come to the surface when credit is to be doled out. Jess Raymond, already a valued student employee of the Humber athletic department, captured the ear of then Athletic Director Doug Fox and not only proposed adding softball to the roster of Hawk sports, she delivered a group of potential skilled players. She was both the architect of the early teams, and a three-year starter on the teams that won silver and then back-to-back golds.

As the team came closer to being introduced to the OCAA scene, the next block to be laid was leadership of the squad. Enter Bob Acton, one of the most accomplished coaches on the women's softball scene in Canada. With a number of national titles in club play and proven mentoring of some of Canada's best players, many of who that plied their trade in the NCAA, he signed on to be the first head coach.

With fervent players committed, the next step was to assess the talent and mold this group into a team that could compete quickly. The talent was there, but what needed to be found was a true superstar, and then after the first try-out that player appeared, in Jessica O'Quinn. A true outfielder, she was given the task to play shortstop and ultimately be the go-to pitcher on the mound. She not only accepted this, she went on to set and currently hold almost every offensive and pitching record in Hawks history. For her efforts, she will be the first women's softball player inducted into the Humber Varsity Hall of Fame this coming Fall.

Although it took almost the entire regular season, the coaching staff had to instill a winning attitude along with teaching the skills needing to compete in each and every game. By the time the play-offs came around, the team found themselves in fourth place and needing to defeat the fifth place Conestoga Condors for the right to go to the OCAA Final Four. A win in this game vaulted them to the championship round. After losing game one, they responded with back-to back wins to get to the finals. Their second win in the Final Four was a blowout win against the defending champion St. Clair Saints. Durham was ultimately the overall champion, but the first-year Hawks stunned all with a silver medal.

The final step was to prove that year-one was not an accident by competing the very next year. After adding a few key parts, including Jessica's twin sister Jacqueline, OCAA Rookie of the Year Natalie Stoberman and two-sport star Kelsey Bardy, the Hawks avenged the loss the year before by knocking off the Durham Lords for the title.

Another crown came the next year, with the Final Four championship being held in the friendly confines of Humber's home park. How it was accomplished was incredible. After losing to number one St. Clair in the second game of the event, the Hawks defeated the Saints twice in a row. The title game saw the Humber team come from a 5-0 deficit with only four outs to play, and ultimately win in extra innings.

 Year four saw a coaching change and yet another final four appearance, and a nail biting 1-0 quarter final loss to the eventual champion St. Clair squad. This past year, they returned to the final, coming from a lower seed spot to snare a silver medal.

The Hawks will move into the 2016 season with new leadership, and the knowledge that, after five years of successful play, Humber will certainly be looked at as a team to be reckoned with.

SEASON SUMMARY

REGULAR SEASON

POSTSEASON

YEAR

GP

W

L

WIN %

GP

W

L

WIN %

MEDAL

2011

10

5

5

0.500

5

3

2

0.600

 Silver

2012

15

13

2

0.867

3

3

0

1.000

 Gold

2013

15

12

3

0.800

4

3

1

0.750

 Gold

2014

17

10

7

0.588

2

0

2

0.000

 Final Four

2015

22

15

7

0.682

4

2

2

0.500

 Silver

 

79

55

24

0.696

18

11

7

0.611

 
HAWKS AND DURHAM WASHED OUT
October 15, 2015 HAWKS AND DURHAM WASHED OUT