The Central Vancouver Island Rage U12C were happy to be back in action.
And to top off their return to play, the young players from the Oceanside Minor Softball Association clinched the U12C Regional Softball Tournament title in Sooke.
Coach Chris Grootendorst said the 12-team tourney, from July 9 to July 11, was an exciting way to end the season for the team as this was the first tournament for most of the players.
Initially, the Rage team did not have enough players for the tournament and had to recruit additional members from the U10 division to complete the roster.
“The team consisted of a mix of players with experience to brand-new to softball,” said Grootendorst,
Despite having many new players in their first tournament, the CVI Rage still dominated throughout. They won their first four games via mercy rule.
They trounced Carnarvon Hats 15-5 with pitcher Krista Grootendorst game MVP honours. They followed up with a 10-0 win against Ladysmith Lighting, paced by the game MVP Anika Grootendorst, who twirled a no-hitter.
In game three, the Rage took the sting out of the Port Alberni Hornets with a 15-5 decision to earn their spot in the semifinal. Catcher Ella Rose was named game MVP. She had three RBIs.
The Rage booked their place in the final when they blanked the host Sooke 10-0, paced by centerfielder Alyse Stevenson who struck a three-run home run and was named game MVP.
In the contest for the gold medal, the Rage faced their toughest opponent, the Carnarvon Raiders, and had to work harder to earn a 4-2 win and clinch the regional crown. First baseman Savana Tyron had a double, two RBIs and scored a run to earn the game MVP.
Pitching was the key to the Rage’s success with Krista Grootendorst posting two wins in eight innings of action on the mound, posting a total of 24 strikeouts, two walks and zero earned runs.
In her first ever tournament, U10 player Anika Grootendorst also had two wins, striking out an impressive 29 batters, while walking six and giving up 1 earned run.
“The entire tournament the Rage were the loudest cheering team and received accolades on their play and sportsmanship,” said coach Grootendorst. “The entire team’s bats came alive as every player contributed offensively.”
Oceanside Minor Softball will be back in September and will hold trying outs for the U12B and U10B squads. Grootendorst said they are aiming to have two competitive teams represent Central Vancouver Island.