Baker Lake’s Balls Deep team celebrates after winning the third-annual Swing Flames Cup in extra innings. The tournament is dedicated to the late Solomon ‘Sala’ Tulurialik. (Photo courtesy of Shawn Attungala)

Baker Lake softball tournament finishes with nailbiter

It’s the 3rd year for Swing Flames Cup that honours memory of late community volunteer

By David Lochead

It was 18-17 in the bottom of the ninth in the gold-medal game of Baker Lake’s softball tournament.

The seven-inning game was in extra innings. Balls Deep were leading the Wardogs by one. The Wardogs were batting with two outs. One more out would capture Balls Deep a victory.

A crowd of a couple hundred were gathered to see what would happen next.

The Wardogs batter hit a ground ball to the shortstop, who tried to tag the runner going from second to third but missed. But the play wasn’t over yet — the shortstop fired the ball to first base, beating the runner to get the final out.

Game over!

And with that, Balls Deep had won the third-annual Swing Flames Cup.

“Everybody was into it. It was pretty loud,” said organizer Shawn Attungala, who also umpired the game.

The Swing Flames Cup is held each year in Baker Lake, running this year from Aug. 11 to 14, with the gold-medal game on the night of Aug. 14. Most of the teams are local, but this year the Arviat Eskies travelled in to compete and finished third.

Attungala came up with the idea of hosting an annual softball tournament in the community in honour the late Solomon Tulurialik, known as ‘Sala.’ Tulurialik was heavily involved in the community, from coaching hockey to volunteering. He died in 2019, at age 29.

“He was always smiling and friendly to everybody,” Attungala said.

“He was one of a kind.”

The tournament has grown over its three years.

In the first year, there were five or six teams compared to eight this year. The size of the crowds have grown, too.

The tournament is mainly funded through donations and people volunteer their time to help the games run smoothly. This year, Richard Aksawnee helped with scheduling and Francis Iyago assisted in keeping the standings. The scorekeepers were a big help, said Attungala.

After the final game ended, there was a fireworks show to celebrate the successful tournament.

“We’re hoping more communities come next year,” Attungala said.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Bubba on

    bubba like bash with bat bash good!

  2. Posted by Old timer on

    Lot of young kids when to attend this solf ball and no wonder you guys won I don’t see kids in your team


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