The newly-formed team won their first provincial championship. (Kim Shrierbeck/Special to The News)

Seven Ridge Meadow area girls help win gold for Cloverdale Fury at U14A provincials

Newly-minted team works through challenges, from pandemic to a broken pelvis

In the recently concluded U14A provincials, seven local girls contributed to victory for the Cloverdale Fury team.

The team won the U14A provincial championship held in Cloverdale between Aug. 13 to 15. In a social media post, the Cloverdale Minor Softball Association said, “A big congratulations to our 2007A team on winning GOLD at this weekend’s U14A provincials that was hosted by CMSA this weekend. Congrats girls on battling through warm and smokey conditions and playing 4 games (3 back to back) on Sunday with 3 of them going into extra innings.”

The team won 4-2 against Surrey Storm 07 and they went eight innings.

The newly formed softball team has seven girls coming from a Maple Ridge team called Pride 07A that folded at the end of 2019 after winning the provincial championships that year, said Lyndsy Pahl, a mother of one of the girls. The seven girls, Graesha Pahl, Parker McCambley, Taylor McCambley, Teagan Harnett, Reiss Mooney, Victoria Osolin and Cece Brown got together with girls who were part of the Fraser Valley Fusion and Surrey Storm previously, to form the Cloverdale Fury 2007A team.

Megan Greene, Myah Alexander, Ava Bromley, Sydney Schierbeck, Alivia Storsley and Priya Callewaert were the rest of the girls on the Cloverdale Fury 07A roster.

“They started practicing in October 2020, and amidst the COVID regulations they did the best they could to keep practicing during the winter season in anticipation of the ball season going ahead as previous years. They weren’t able to do that though as restrictions stopped them from playing other teams,” said Lyndsy.

The season, which was supposed to start in April, didn’t get going until June when restrictions were finally lifted. The team then played throughout their summer break doing two league games per week, and often doing extra tournaments and double headers on the weekends, she said.

“Then two weeks before provincials one of their pitchers was in a serious accident and broke her pelvis. She was unable to play and that put quite a damper on their provincial hopes. This is really a story of resilience and grit as these girls went into extra innings and international rules during their games. That makes for some long days,” said the proud mother.

The team’s coach Bill Olexa, also expressed his excitement over the win.

“As with our life the past year and a half, off season training created challenges. Fortunately we were able to start playing games this spring and the team was out of the gates with enthusiasm to try out their skills they had worked on during the winter. The team had a very good year and what comes with this is not only are the players learning, but we as coaches are learning from the players,” said Olexa.

“This past weekend our team showed character, desire, effort, teamwork and most of all camaraderie that every coach would be proud of. With the final out of the championship game, it was that instant moment that you want to remember for a lifetime, which I will.”

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The newly-formed team won their first provincial championship. (Kim Shrierbeck/Special to The News)