The Trail Steelers returned from the U12B Girls Softball Provincials in Sicamous on the weekend with plenty to be proud of.
After capturing gold at the U12C regionals in Warfield last month, the team stepped it up a notch in competing in the U12B tournament against 16 teams from across the province.
However in the opening round, the Steelers were in tough, going 1-3 that included a 7-2 loss to Surrey Storm a team that lost in the final, as well as losses to South Delta and Okanagan before winning its first game against Abbotsford, 12-6.
The Steelers sat in 12th place overall, and would play in the silver division playoffs, while the top eight teams played in the gold division.
A few tweaks and the West Kootenay girls were ready for the playoff round, says coach Pam Caron.
“The girls worked hard, battled, adjusted to the faster pitching and improved each game.”
Sunday morning the Steelers downed Nanaimo 13-4, and then took out Abbotsford 11-5 to send them to the silver final.
Facing Langford in the final, Caron went to left hander Tessy Brandt to start. Brandt would not disappoint throwing all seven innings in a close 5-3 victory for the Steelers, and taking gold in the silver division.
It was a great experience for the girls to play at a higher level and respond the way the did, getting stronger as the tournament wore on.
“The Highlight for myself was the numerous people that approached me (at different times) to say what a wonderful team we were to watch,” said Caron in an email. “This came from two official scorekeepers, a couple umpires and even the head umpire . . . For me that was the best part of the tournament. As a coach you always think your own team rocks but to hear it that much and by different people who don’t even know your team was incredible.”
The epic season saw the Steelers lose just four games all year, winning the Summerland tournament, the West Kootenay League and final tournament, the U12C Regionals, and the Silver division at the U12B provincials.