The Parksville Rage girls rep fastball team is back home and feeling good about their game after a great showing at their big year-end tournament.
In action in Victoria June 22-24 for the Squirt Girls Regional Championships featuring 21 Island teams and over 320 players aged 11-12, the Rage, who were competing in the C division, had a tough draw but beat Gordon Head 15-7 in their tournament opener.
Rage head coach Kevin Spicer said Maddi Campbell and Savanna DeBruyne “hit very well with the rest of team running the bases with speed.”
The Rage lost their second game, “a miserable cold and rainy game” 18-6 to the Peninsula Blue Eagles — standouts were Meriana Spicer and Erin Plank for their hitting.
The third game of the day at 6 p.m. was against the top team of the tournament, Langford Lightning #3. Starting pitcher Meriana led the team into the third inning and the Rage were leading 1-0 when she had to pulled with a back injury.
The Rage could not hold the top team down and lost 9-3, “but the Langford team and coaches were very impressed with all the girls in their base running, hitting and positional play as we gave them a good scare,” said coach Spicer.
Back at it Sunday morning for the playoffs, Parksville hung on to beat the Central Saanich Executors 15-12. Maddi Jacobsen and Megan McCrae pitched well while Taylyn Squire, Hailey Woods, Serena DeWaal contributed by getting on base at every bat.
In the semi-final against the Nanaimo Southside Sliders the Rage girls pulled off an exciting 12-11 win that included a clutch two-run single by Alexa Mitchell that scored pinch runner Taylyn Squire and Megan McCrae, “demonstrating that having fun is more important than winning.”
In the gold medal game against the Oak Bay Comets, Spicer said his squad “faced a strong pitcher that shut our hitters down for three innings.”
The locals were able to get a few runs back in the fourth inning led by Syvanna McNichol and Adyn Taporowski, but Oak Bay’s lead was too much to overcome.
“As a couple of girls pointed out though, we placed 2nd out of eight teams (in their pool), and 10th out of 21 teams on Vancouver Island.’
After receiving their medals the Rage players and their coaches were surprised and duly pleased to win the tournament trophy for ‘Most Talented team’.
This trophy, Spicer explained, was presented by the tournament directors to the team that demonstrated during the entire weekend the most sportsmanship, team spirit, cooperativeness, team play, class, best team poster and most importantly having the most fun, and as such, “I am very proud that my team won this trophy — it demonstrates to me that the girls learned fastball skills that improved their ability to play this game but more importantly it means they understand what it means to win with class.
“I believe all the girls will be back next year, not because of the scores, but because they have developed friendships, memories, and support for each other as a team, and Parksville should be proud of these kids as they represented our community really well.”