On the weekend of Saturday, June 14, the Sooke U14C fast pitch girls became the South Island Vancouver Island District champions. They took the gold over Oak Bay in a final game that ended in Sooke’s favour, 16 to 8, on Sunday. Leading up to the finale were four decisive wins: against Central Saanich with a 15-0 win, against Langford with a 14-2 win, against Cordova Bay with an 11-2 win, and against Lakehill with an 8-3 win.
Many of the players attributed their win to the spirit of the entire team. Catcher Taylor Clawson noted that team members support each other tremendously. Karyl Musfelt-Trivino, second base and fielder added, “No one got mad when there was a mistake, and we all hit well and played well.”
“Our team has great team spirit,” observed Brianna Barton (short stop, outfield and second base), a sentiment echoed by all the other players on the team. “Girl Power,” Anya Neilsen-Rhoads (right field, second base) called it, and Jenna North (catcher and centre field) referred to the group as a “tight knit group (family) of girls who love competitive ball.”
Besides team spirit, the players kept their focus during the weekend’s tournament. When asked about the main contribution to their success, short stop and catcher Paiton Cameron said it was in part due to “paying attention to the game, (and) playing our hearts out.” To which Nielsen-Rhoads added “Our great coaches, and our great way of working together.”
The team felt relatively optimistic going into the tournament.
“Throughout the whole season, we won 24 out of 25 games and scored over 300 runs,” reported Erin Haldane (pitcher, first and third base). “Less than 100 runs were scored against us.”
Alana Gibb (second base, short stop and centre field) felt “extremely confident in our ability as a team,” and gave credit to both the team spirit and the coaching they received.
Daniella Hoolaeff (pitcher and third base) had a “good feeling” about the tournament although she “felt nervous about the last few games.” Nonetheless, Hoolaeff had full confidence in the hard work that the entire team gives to the game. Erin Nielsen (first base) also gave full credit to the power of teamwork in marking their success.
Ultimately, Hailey Steele (pitcher and then some) attributes their win to perseverance. “We didn’t give up,” she summed up.
That weekend’s tournament, graced with a gold, will see the Sooke girls head to the Provincials on the Weekend of July 4. The games will be held in Ridge Meadows, Maple Ridge BC.
With notes from Tanis Rhoads