14 Ridge teams on to B.C. finals after softball playdowns

The Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association will be sending 14 teams to provincial championship tournaments,

Danica Dutt of the 97 Rage takes a cut in a game against the 97 PoCo Ravens during the district playdowns tournament at the Albion Sportsfields in Maple Ridge on Sunday.

Danica Dutt of the 97 Rage takes a cut in a game against the 97 PoCo Ravens during the district playdowns tournament at the Albion Sportsfields in Maple Ridge on Sunday.

The Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association will be sending 14 teams to provincial championship tournaments, after playing their way through the district playdowns here over the weekend.

“A couple of magic things came together over the weekend – the weather, and the play of the kids,” said local association president Brian Fewtrell.

Eight Ridge teams, ranging in age from U-12 to U-19, and at both the C and B levels qualified for provincials. They will be joining six A teams who were already on their way to provincials, and most of those tournaments will be played out in July.

The Rage 2000 team, a group of 12 and 13-year-old girls, were the Cinderella Story of the tournament, as the team that came in with no expectations, but wound up winning their way to the provincials at the B level.

“There were ecstatic kids, jumping up and down and crying,” said Fewtrell.

Fewtrell expects his association’s teams to do well at provincials, as Ridge ball players generally take their share of the hardware handed out each summer.

In 2012 the association had four provincial medals, two gold, a silver and a bronze, and the Pride pee wee A team took bronze at the Western Canadian Championships.

The year before was even better, with a pee wee A team winning gold at Westerns, two gold, three silver and a bronze medal at the provincial level. And success comes to teams at every age level.

Fewtrell said the association is enjoying success because it accommodates players’ goals, whether they are just looking to play recreational ball, or have decided to chase a fastball scholarship at a U.S. college.

“The ones who want to put the time in, who are really into it, we offer the programs they want,” he said.

The girls in Ridge Meadows softball generally start young, have play at a competitive level all spring and summer, and then workout indoors during the winter.

This is the time of year when coaches and organizers see if their on the right track.

“I’m hoping we will have quite a few champions.”

The teams that have won their way to the provincial championships:

  • U18B Rage ‘95, Cordova Bay, July 19-21
  • U19C Dynomite, N. Delta, July 5-7
  • U16B Rage ‘97, Alberni Valley, July 19-21
  • U16C Thunder,     Chilliwack, July 5-7
  • U14B Rage ‘99, Abbotsford, July 12-14
  • U14B Rage ‘00, Abbotsford, July 12-14
  • U14C Tigers, Newton, July 5-7
  • U12B Rage ‘01, Sicamous, July 12-14

The six A teams the association is sending:

  • U18A Pride ‘96,    Surrey, July 26-28
  • U16A Pride ‘97/’98, Victoria, July 26-28
  • U14A Pride ‘99, Maple Ridge, July 19-21
  • U14A Pride ‘00,    Maple Ridge, July 19-21
  • U12A Pride ‘01, Maple Ridge, July 12-14
  • U12A Pride ‘01, Maple Ridge, July 12-14