Sooke’s U16 girls kicking up dust at Art Morris Park last week during their game versus Oak Bay’s Carnavaron.

Fastball girls turn up the heat at Art Morris Park

Sooke's minor fastball U16 girls making good progress towards the Districts.

To anyone not from around Sooke, the scenery and fastball action going on at Art Morris Park last Thursday evening seemed like it was out of a feature film; sun trails bathing green fields, crowds cheering by the sidelines, and all the dust getting kicked up in the air as the U16-C minor fastball girls faced off — and won — versus Oak Bay’s Carnarvon team.

Some may even call that epic.

To everyone else though, it’s just good ol’ fastball; hot dogs, friends and family, sunshine, and a lot of batting action on the diamond. And there will be more to come as the girls seem to have no problem with keeping their hats on tight and their eyes firmly on the ball.

”We know how to turn it on. We’re first place out of an eight-team league,” said head coach Mike Dodd. “The girls are enthusiastic, very attentive and pretty aggressive too, which is good.”

Dodd added that the team currently has seven wins and two losses, putting them first place in an eight-team league. Dodd himself has been coaching fastball for about 15 years — he says he took a break from coaching a few years ago, but couldn’t resist the itch to do it again.

“It’s a faster game, games are an hour-and-a-half, seems like you can keep the interest level longer as a coach,” he said. “There’s a lot more strategy involved in fastball, or what we call ‘small ball’, with bunting and stuff like that.”

With the Provincials slowly approaching, Dodd said the team is very much looking forward to the new challenges.

“We have about eight or so more league games, some exhibition games, some tournaments, they all get you prepared for the Districts,” he said, adding that all eight teams will participate in the Districts playoffs, regardless if a team wins or loses. Out of that, the teams qualify and move on to the Provincials.

“Districts are mid-June, then there’s about a three-week layover, and then the Provincials are the long weekend of July in Kamloops. They’re pretty stoked,” Dodd said.

He hopes the number of minor fastball players in Sooke stays strong, considering his U16 girls team had to play boys teams on several recent occasions due to the low number of participants. He’s optimistic though, considering the history fastball has here in Sooke and the positive impact it has on the community.

“Anybody who’s been in the game of ball and their family years ago, they love coming to the park, it’s just that kind of atmosphere; you get your hot dog and enjoy the show.”

Here’s a quick summary from coach Mike Dodd himself, explaining some of the action from last Sunday’s game in Duncan versus two of the local teams up there:

“The first game went the full seven innings with Daniela Hoolaeff pitching her best game of the season so far. Taylor Clawson and Tanya Fogarty shared the catching duties and both players provided aggressive base running.

“Paiton Cameron and Hailey Steele provided several defensive highlights, and Olivia Carello was a brick wall on defence.

“This game was an exciting one, with the Sooke bats coming alive in the late innings to rally from a 2-1 deficit, and win 6 -2.

“In the second game, the girls fought hard, but playing a second game in the Duncan caught up with our girls and Duncan prevailed in a close one.

“Jenna North and Emma MacDonald provided solid line drives, and solid base running to start a middle inning rally, which got the game close.

“Brianne Barton and Anya Nielsen Rhoads shared four strong innings of pitching, and first year players Jessica Graham and Olivia Lessard provided steady defence in the field.

“A little less heat and one more inning and the girls may have pulled the second game out.

“The girls are looking for some redemption at this coming Thursday’s game in Sooke, against a Duncan team that handed them one of the two losses.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tour de Rock turns community bubble relay race amid pandemic

Alumni will take on socially distanced leg of race in their hometowns

North Saanich among six communities facing ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Findings appear in a report that also analyzed daycare in Central Saanich and Sidney

Sooke jumps on board to ban use of rat poison

City staff will educate residents on harmful effects of rodenticides

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Most Read