The West Kootenay Kodiaks put in a great performance at the Canadian Open Fastpitch Futures Select International championship at Softball City in Surrey on the weekend.
The Kodiaks girl’s U16 team had two wins and three losses at the tournament against some tough competition with 20 teams from the U.S.A. and western Canada competing.
The team got stronger with every game. After dropping its opening match 13-3 to Langley Friday night, the Kodiaks were shut out by the Ridge Meadows Rage 7-0 Saturday morning but bounced back in style against a team from Seattle.
“When we played the Federal Way Knights from Seattle, Washington, they had us down 9-0 and we were one run away from being mercied and we came back and beat them 14-13,” said Kodiak coach Bob Johnson who said he was ecstatic about the way the Kodiaks played.
The West Kootenay team then faced the Vancouver Wildcats Select who were just coming off a close 6-5 game with Langley. Again the Kodiaks would mount a late-inning rally to defeat the Wildcats 12-10.
In their final match against Kelowna Heat, it was a sea-saw battle with Kodiaks jumping out to an early lead, but Kelowna came back to take the lead going into the seventh and final inning.
West Kootenay would get the tying run on second but that would be as close as they would come to tying the match, as the Heat triumphed 10-9.
“Both Federal Way and Kelowna Heat are A Teams,” said Johnson. “But as soon as we came in against the Knights, the girls all of a sudden decided to dig in. Our bats started singing and we worked well.”
Many of the Kodiaks will be playing in the B.C. Summer Games for the Zone 1 Kootenay team this weekend, then the team will reunite and are off to the provincial championship in Prince George the following weekend.
“I think in view of what happened at the Futures tournament we have a good chance at provincials,” Johnson added.
The young team also gained some exposure to university and college scouts that attended the tournament, and Johnson says that the U16 Kodiaks couldn’t have competed without the help of all the parents and sponsors.