The Delta '97A Heat girls fastpitch team concluded an impressive season with a fifth place finish at the recent U16A Provincial Championships.
As a first-year team at this age level, the Heat showed they were more than capable of competing with older opponents throughout the season and the provincials were no exception. Delta went 4-0 in round-robin play and earned the number one seed for the playoff round in the 14-team event.
After a nail biting loss to the Abbotsford Outlaws, the girls rebounded with a 10-0 win over the Surrey Storm with pitcher Kendra Ho tossing a perfect game. Vanessa Patrignani called a great game behind the plate and right fielder Addison Leigh made some important outs to prevent the Storm from gaining any momentum. The hitting department was led by Tia Lore who went 3-for-3
It what proved to be the team's final game, the Heat and the White Rock '96 Renegades engaged in a slugfest with the rivals combining for 20 runs and 24 hits.
With her team down early, Sierra Sherritt provided a spark with a two RBI triple but Delta was unable to make a comeback.
Earlier, the locals finished third in the 18-team Showcase Gold Division at the Canadian Open Women's Fastpitch International Championships.
The route to the bronze medal finish saw the girls compile a 9-2 record with wins against teams from Alberta, BC, Ontario, Oregon and California. Their only two losses came at the hands of the tournament champions - Victoria '96 Devils.
With two key pitchers - Montana Monk and Taylor Woodward - sidelined with injuries, the Heat headed into the playoff round with just nine available players. Still, the girls pressed on with terrific pitching from Jesse Goddard and Ho. Combined with some excellent infield defense from Lauren Watson at second base and Danielle Martyniuk at first, Delta surrendered an average of less than two runs per game.
Strong batting from Laura Baldry, Jordan Britten-Yung and Shelby Cumiskey resulted in averaging six runs per outing. Pick-up Maria Palmegiana added to the team's success, and bat girl Melody Pilchak was a great help.
Under coaches Steve Couper, Bill Sherritt, Kenneth Ho and Darryl Leigh, the Heat finished the season with a 51-21-2 record that also included a third place finish at a 45-team tournament in Las Vegas and third in Richmond.
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