The Victoria Devils under-17 women’s fastball team is full of excitement after bringing home a silver medal from the Colorado Sparkler Tournament this week.
The tournament consisted of 900 teams, 32 of which were in the Devils’ pool.
The Devils were in Denver for 10 days, and registered a 13-2 record.
“It was definitely a different experience,”said Devils catcher Jade Hadle. “I had a lot of fun playing alongside my teammates.”
The team was up 5-1 going into the fifth inning in the final, but fell short and ended up losing 8-3 against the Lakewood Firecrackers-Gutierrez from California.
“I think it’s amazing how we placed in the tournament, and we are going to keep fighting to the finish like we did at that tournament throughout the rest of our season,” Hadle said.
Coach Rocky Vitale said this was the highest a Canadian team has ever placed in the 18U Kennedy division at the tournament.
“It was exciting to be representing a different country than most of the teams there and to do so well in the tournament,” said Hadley. “I think a lot of the American teams were shocked.”
The tournament was designed for young players to be scouted by college coaches. more than 600 scouts and 400 umpires attended.
“I think this tournament helped the girls understand what their capabilities are,” said Vitale. “The reason for going to the tournament is to see how good you are. Every team there thinks they’re good, but you have to go and prove it.”
Vitale said the Devils were the only Canadian team in their division competing at the tournament, so people were taking notice and often coming to watch them play.
“Placing so well in the tournament helped give our team a good rep,” said Vitale. “Now scouts know this team can compete.”
With provincials and nationals still ahead of them, the team is far from slowing down.
“We are just going to keep working on the little things,” said Vitale.
“A lot of the players have either been signed or have verbal agreements with colleges in the states, and now it’s up to them as individuals to improve themselves.
“They need to decide, ‘When you reach that pinnical, do you rest or do you rest or do you push even harder?’”