As a team, the Ridge Meadows Pride U-16A softball team slipped out of the batter’s box as hosts of the provincial championships, then hit their stride and won the silver medal.
It was a terrible start to the tournament. They lost 7-0 to the heavily favoured White Rock Renegades in their first game, and then their own hometown rival Pride 2000 team managed to upset the Pride 1999 in their second game of the tournament, with a 4-3 walkoff win.
Friday’s rain washed away a number of games, and the schedule had to be reworked. The round-robin portion of the tournament had to be cut down to three games instead of four for each team. So there was no room for error – the Pride needed to mercy the Surrey Storm in their third game on Saturday morning, or be eliminated.
They did just that, and continued on a roll that took them all the way to the championship game. They again met the White Rock Renegades, and lost the provincial final 4-0.
“We ended up with the silver medal – sometimes not always the best colour, but trust me – in this case it was well earned.” said coach Tom Bowen. “At the end of the day, I am proud of our girls and their efforts.”
Pitchers Kelsey Morgan and Carri-Anne Hoar both came up with big performances in the key games, to get their team to the gold medal games.
“They both did their job, but there was a lot of good things happening, by a lot of good kids,” said Bowen.
They will now leave for the U-16 national championships next month, being held in Calgary Aug. 5-9. The Pride will be one of four teams from B.C. in the 24-team tournament.
Bowen said the team has picked up three quality players from the Storm to help bolster the roster.
“Traditionally, the two strongest provinces have been B.C. and Ontario. I like our chances,” said the coach.