The U15 Rebels put in a strong performance at the U15B BC Fastball Championship last month placing fourth out of 16 teams at the tournament in Port Alberni. Photo: contributed

The U15 Rebels put in a strong performance at the U15B BC Fastball Championship last month placing fourth out of 16 teams at the tournament in Port Alberni. Photo: contributed

West Kootenay U15 Rebels put in great showing at provincials

The U15 Rebels were one win away from a podium finish at the BC U15 Softball Championships

The U15B West Kootenay Rebels may have just missed out on a medal at the U15B Softball Provincials in Port Alberni July 8-10 but they definitely left their mark on the 16-team tournament.

The Rebels came out with a fourth place finish, and were the only non-Vancouver team to make the top eight team playoff round.

The Rebels got off to a strong start in their first game Friday with a 5-2 victory over the Surrey Storm. With the time limit expired and the game deadlocked at 2 a piece, international tie breaker rule came into effect. In the top of the last inning, and with 2 out, Sasha Lok belted out a RBI triple to score the winning run, followed by consecutive hits from Alyssa Dickson, Makenzi St. Thomas and Naiomi Stavast to take the 5-2 lead. Dickson, and Jadyn Ferreira would have 2 hits each in the game, while Lok, St. Thomas, Stavast, Abby Hansma and Teagan Ortman, who was outstanding at 3rd base all weekend, each added 1 hit. Lok pitched the full 7 innings giving up only 3 hits and striking out 6.

In their second match the faced Delta Inferno and jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead. Delta would battle back to tie it, but Jayden Ferreira cashed in the winning run in the bottom of the 5 for a close 4-3 win. The Rebels hung on to win 4-3. Lok, St. Thomas and Ferreira led the way with 2 hits a piece. Lok again going the distance on the mound giving up only 2 hits while striking out a whopping 13 Delta batters. The Rebels infield saw two plays apiece for second baseman Ivy Benbow, and SS Dickson.

The third round robin game on Saturday morning would be the Rebels best offensive game yet, pounding out 10 hits against the Kamloops Selects for a 6-1 win. Heidi Conci and Mya Griffiths each had one hit, while Sasha Lok, Alyssa Dickson, and Ferreira stayed hot with two hits each. Lok got the W going five innings and striking out six before giving way to Naiomi Stavast who came in and shut the door giving up one run while striking out two.

With a playoff berth all but assured, the Rebels met the only other undefeated team in the tournament, and the top ranked team the Abbotsford Outlaws 07. With the winner getting the #1 seed in the double elimination playoffs beginning later Saturday night. Heidi Conci got the call for the Rebels, pitching a great game, giving up four runs, one earned, and giving up only four hits. Dickson, St. Thomas, and Teagan Ortman would each get one hit for the only three hits in the 4-0 game.

The loss would put the West Kootenay squad at a record of 3-1, along with 6 other teams. Their run differential of +5 would seed them eighth facing the first place team once again, the Abbotsford Outlaws. The Kootenay girls played their best game of the year and escaped with a dramatic 3-2 win over the powerhouse Outlaws team.

With Lok rested and ready to go on the mound, she did it all as she also had two of the Rebels three hits and runs that game, the biggest being the go ahead out-of-the-park solo home run in the top of the 5th to put WK up 3-2. Conci started the offence in the 3rd inning with a base hit, Lok then bunted for a base hit, Dickson scored Conci on a sac bunt and Lok crossed home on a pass ball to go up 2-1 in the top of the 3rd in. All that was left was for Lok and some strong Rebel defence to shut the door in the bottom of the inning as she finished the game allowing 2 runs, both unearned, on 5 hits while striking out 7. Giving Abbotsford their first and what would be only loss, the small town squad were the talk of the tournament.

The win set the stage for a matchup against the hard hitting Richmond Islanders Sunday morning, with the winners earning a berth to the semi finals. Richmond jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead and cruised to win 9-3. Lok pitched 3 innings giving up 7 runs on 7 hits before giving way to Stavast. Ferreira and Griffiths paced the Rebels attack with 2 hits each, while Katie Hanham and Makayla Gademans scored 2 of the Rebels 3 runs.

With 1 loss of the double knockout playoff round, the girls from West Kootenay pulled together and with some great catches from Conci in right field came away with the must win 6-4 over the Delta Inferno. Lok again on the mound pitched seven full innings giving up five hits and striking out 11.

This win would put the Rebels up for a thrd time against the daunting Abbotsford Outlaws, who had worked their way back through the losers bracket. Winner would be guaranteed a minimum of third place, loser would go home with fourth. Unlike Saturday night, the Rebels did not have the depth to battle against the revenge seeking Outlaws, for a third time, in the third of three consecutive games Sunday morning.

The Outlaws bats jumped out early and often hitting themselves to a 9-0 win over the Rebels. Dickson did break the Outlaws pitcher’s perfect game with the only hit, only base runner of the game.

Coaches Rocky and Jen Dickson couldn’t be more proud of the squad’s performance.

“The girls all worked really hard over the past couple months, and it all came together,” said coach Jen Dickson. “When you break it down, the top three teams in these B Provincials – Abbotsford, Richmond Islanders, and the third place North Shore are the top teams in their association- they do not have an “A” team, so these are their best players, and they also picked up additional players for Provincials. They play in leagues and tournaments all season.

“For us to come down here and do what we did, is a testament to the skill that our little area produces, and the hard work the girls put in.”

The Rebels attended four tournaments this year, two in Kelowna, one in Port Coquitlam and Kalispell, Montana.