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Wild wrap up first season in SI with win

MARION — The Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois wrapped up their inaugural campaign in the National Pro Fastpitch league with a 10-5 win over the Cleveland Comets.

The finale didn’t start well for the Wild as Cleveland jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two and a half innings.

The Wild came alive in the third.

Erika Polidori’s two-out RBI single scored Kelsey Jenkins with the first run for SI.  A couple of batters later, Holly Speers delivered a bases loaded, ground rule double to tie the game at three.  Jenn Salling followed with another 2-run double, giving the Wild their first lead at 5-3.

The Comets scored a run in the fourth to cut it to 5-4.  Cleveland was on the verge of tying it, but Polidori robbed Tori Vidales of a potential tying home run.

The Wild piled on from there adding four in the fifth and another in the sixth to cruise to the win.

"It was important for us to finish right at home," said Wild head coach Mark Smith.  "The fans have been wonderful coming out supporting us all summer long.  You don’t want to leave with a bad taste in your mouth.  The first couple of innings were leaving a bad taste in my mouth.  We weren’t hitting the ball well.  We weren’t defending the ball well.  Things started to click in the third inning.  We put up four or five more, and the bats came alive and did what they’re capable of doing.  It’s a nice way to finish. "

The Wild finished in third place in the NPF at 22-20.  They will not participate in the league’s postseason tournament due to international obligations.

Wednesday, the team will fly out of Chicago to Lima, Peru for the Pan Am Games.  The Canadian National team will compete in Lima August 4-10.  Players will head home for a few days, and then Canada will host the Olympic Qualifier August 25-September 1 in Surrey, British Columbia.

The 2020 Summer Olympics will be in Tokyo.

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