Five years of hard work and determination have paid off in a big way for the Delta Heat 2001 fastpitch team.
The girls are 2017 provincial "A" champions following an impressive three-day run at Softball City in South Surrey.
The Heat produced five straight victories, including a 6-3 triumph over longtime rival Surrey '01 Storm in the gold medal game.
"We went into this tournament wanting to beat every team who crossed our path, and that's what we did," said shortstop Jessie Weststrate. "We all had a championship mindset and because of that, we became champions."
Delta began to build momentum with round-robin wins over the White Rock Renegades and Surrey Storm.
The playoffs began with a hardfought quarter-final battle with the Fraser Valley '01 Fusion, winning 6-2.
Next was a heavyweight clash with the the Victoria '01 Devils - the top seed entering the playoff round. A home run from pitcher Kianna Jones powered Delta to another 6-2 victory and a direct trip to the championship game.
"There was definitely a lot of superstition the whole weekend," said catcher, Liv Malesku. "Some girls didn't wash their jersey the whole weekend and ate the same thing every day, but it ended up working out."
In the final, the teams exchanged runs in the opening inning and the game stayed deadlocked at 1-1 into the fourth. That's when third baseman Gabby Dorval came through with a clutch hit with the bases loaded, scoring three runs.
The Storm came back to make it 4-3 before the Heat scored a pair of valuable insurance runs to wrap up the win.
The team is comprised of a talented group that gave 110 percent every game. The effort of all 13 players, along with the countless hours their coaches offer, was the recipe for success.
The Heat will be right at home for the upcoming U16 National Championships, slated for Aug. 9-13 at North Delta Community Park and Brandrith Park in Tsawwassen.
The Delta roster also includes: Emily Horne, Aymee Godmaire, Amy De Ste Croix, Hanna Hansen, Rawnie Weststrate, Veronica Sawatzky, Maya Gauley, Megan Hendrickson and Stephanie Schina.
The girls are coached by Bill Olexa, Bob Houtman, Doug Harris, Francais Olexa, and Tory Cardinal.