In a “last hurrah” in minor sports for some of the players, possibly all, Surrey Storm travelled to eastern Canada to win a national championship.
The women’s fastpitch team earned the U19 Canadian title in New Brunswick July 31 on a field in Fredericton, where the Storm swamped Waterloo Ghosts 11-7 in a back-and-forth championship game that saw several lead changes.
The Storm entered the tournament as B.C.’s #1 seed and lost just one game all week to score the organization’s first national title in four years.
“This group won the U14 nationals four years ago, and there are three of the same players from that group,” coach Mark Palmer explained.
“Just watching their maturity level was unreal,” he added. “The kids wanted it so bad and battled the whole time. They just believed in themselves as a group and weren’t going to take losing as an option.”
The 2003-born Surrey squad involved an even split of university- and Grade 12-aged athletes, Palmer noted.
“So potentially seven of them will play on (next season), but some of them will not continue,” he said. “This could be their last hurrah, for sure.”
The tournament in Fredericton saw 17 teams compete for the national championship, including B.C.’s #2 seed, Delta Heat.
Heading in, the Storm had a great season, winning every tournament entered, including provincials.
For nationals, team stats and game recaps are posted to softball.ca/u19womens.
“We went five-and-one (five wins, one loss) during the round-robin, and lost our last game to Quebec, 3-1,” Palmer detailed. “Then we played Waterloo in our first playoff game, won 2-1, which secured us a medal because we had double life in the playoffs. We finished second in the round-robin.
“We played Missasauga Tigers in the semifinal and we were down 4-1 after the first inning,” he continued. “We came back and won 10-4. Abby McGlynn hit a grand-slam — we scored six runs with two outs in the sixth inning.
“We played Waterloo three times in the tournament, beat them 7-0 in the round-robin and then in the semi and also the final.”
Posted to the tourney website, the Storm roster includes Nevada Johnson, Erin Murphy, Carleen Murray, Riley Woodward, Avery Barker, Cassie Finnigan, Avery Wilson, Cheyanna Miller, Emma Wilson, Clara Fenske, Abby McGlynn, Jordyn Miskiw, Elandra Vance, Sydney Neilson-Anderson, Rachel Boles and Ry Binne.
The team plays home games at Cloverdale Athletic Park and also Sullivan Park.
“We have players from all over,” Palmer noted, “including two kids from the Interior — one in Penticton and one from Kelowna — and the rest are from the Lower Mainland.
“This is thge end of the season for us,” he added. “Tryouts start again in September.”