The West Kootenay U16 Steelers won gold at the U16C Provincial Girls Fastball Championship in Burnaby earlier this month. Back row from left: Pam Caron (coach), Mckenzie Vayro, LeeAnn Zaitsoff, Grace Beetlestone, Clarice Tuai, Chelsea Ginther, Destiny Lattanville, Shannon Ballarin (coach). Front row from left: Tessy Brandt, Mackenzie Ginther, Carollynn Ballarin, and Megan Caron. Submitted photo

U16 Steelers win provincial title

The West Kootenay U16 Steelers storm through playoffs to capture BC Girls Fastball Championship.

The West Kootenay U16 Steelers capped off a so-so round-robin with a sensational playoff run to win its first BC U16C Girls Fastball Championship in Burnaby earlier this month.

Steelers’ coach Pam Caron had high expectations for the team going into the tournament, but just days leading up to the event, the West Kootenay squad was bit by the injury bug.

“The Monday going into provincials was a little scary,” said Caron.”We had three or four injuries with only 10 girls on the team. Both of our catchers and one pitcher so was unsure how we would fair. But these girls battled through their injuries and worked together like a ‘true’ team.”

The Steelers almost missed the playoffs, losing their last round-robin game 8-7 against the Chilliwack Her-ricanes in extra innings to go 2-2. However, the West Kootenay team squeaked into the top-eight, coming in seventh out of 16 teams toadvance to the playoff round.

“I knew they could do it,” said Caron. “We just didn’t hit in the round robin, and if you don’t hit you don’t score runs. We really thought we may not make the top-eight. Four teams were 4-0 after the round robin.”

But once the playoffs began the Steelers were unstoppable. WK defeated second-seed Kelowna Khaos 4-1 in their opening playoff match, and after losing to Chilliwack in extras in the round-robin, it was payback time as the Steelers trounced the Her-ricanes 11-1.

Following the win, the Steelers then took on the undefeated top-seed North Shore Renegades, a team that hadn’t lost a game all season. The Renegades had beaten West Kootenay 9-5 in the round-robin, but the semifinal matchup was a different story. The Steelers steamrolled the North Shore squad 10-1 to advance to the final.

“We had to play both teams we had lost to,” explained Caron. “We saw Chilliwack in the quarters and North Shore in the semis and finals, and won them all, so the girls were very excited, such a bonded group of girls.”

North Shore then faced Chilliwack to see who would play West Kootenay in the final. But at that point, the confidence and character of the Steelers team was at a high point. North Shore beat Chilliwack to advance, but the Steelers won their fourth playoff game in a row, dispatching the Renegades 7-4 in the final, without taking a final at bat, to win the championship.

The Steelers hit three of the five home runs hit in the whole tournament, with Trail’s Tessy Brandt leading the way by belting two round-trippers, and LeeAnn Zaitsoff hitting one.

On the mound, Chelsea Ginther pitched a stellar semifinal and also started the final with Brandt and Megan Caron finishing it off.

Just Posted

Trail liquor store held up Friday night

The perpetrator was brandishing a weapon that appeared to be a gun, according to the Trail RCMP

Trail Smoke Eaters lose in shootout to Coquitlam Express

The Trail Smoke Eaters battled the Express in a tight checking 2-1 shootout loss on Friday

Lest We Forget

Crowd fills downtown Trail for Remembrance Day ceremony

Remembering Trail veterans

The Trail Legion now has 14 veterans from the Second World War

3 games, 3 wins for the Vees

Penticton wins 4-3 over Smoke Eaters

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Most Read