The legend lives on.
With two of the patriarch’s granddaughters on the team, the Kelowna Kaos won the women’s portion of the fourth annual Andre Blanleil Sr. Memorial Fastball Tournament on the weekend at King Stadium.
Courtney Blanleil hit a single and scored twice, while her cousin, Taylor Blanleil, added a hit and one run as the Kaos completed a sweep of their three games over two days by outscoring the Kelowna U18s 6-5 on Sunday Kkwin the first womens’s championship game.
The Kaos, who downed the U18s and Vernon Tanks for the right to play in the final, took a 4-0 lead after three innings and went ahead 6-2 in the fifth. But the U18s wouldn’t go away, scoring two runs of their own in the bottom of the third, two in the fifth and another in the sixth to make it close.Twyla Whaler proved the biggest producer in the final, going 3-for-4 and driving in three runs for the Kaos in an event honouring the man who played, coached and/or managed fastball teams — both men’s and women’s — in six decades in Kelowna before he died of cancer in 2011 at age 74.
On the men’s side, Surrey prevented a Blanleil-family sweep by defeating host Andre’s 4-0 in the men’s championship game on Sunday.
Surrey scored the only run it would need in the fourth inning on a single and a run-scoring double. They put the game away with three runs in the seventh.
Andre’s, going into the final with wins over the Kelowna Brewers (3-1) and the Kelowna Rangers (1-0), threatened in the bottom of the seventh of the title matchup. They loaded the bases, but couldn’t cash in.
Five Blanleils were a part of the Andre’s team. Andre Sr.’s sons, Andre and Rene, were the first baseman and catcher respectively, while the youngest son, Maurice, was a coach. Grandsons Travis and Kyle played centre field and left field respectively.
Andre Sr.’s wife of 53 years, Eileen, was a familiar voice from her familiar perch at the foot of the stands.