An under-12 softball team scored a bronze medal at the provincial tournament in Terrace earlier this month.
“I was so proud of those kids,” said Pat Findlay, the team’s coach. “They were really outstanding – watching them improve throughout the weekend, watching their confidence grow and just from the start of the season just watching those guys develop into great little ball players was pretty awesome.”
Findlay said his team finished the tournament better than they expected, saying he was very happy how his team finished in the seven-team tournament.
“I wasn’t sure what we were going in to. There were only two teams we played before and we knew we’re going into some strong competition up there, with some of the northern teams, mainly Terrace,” explained Findlay. “Our group hadn’t played a whole bunch of meaningful games. Just lots of practising leading into provincials.”
It was a three-day tournament, with the team making the ten-hour drive to Terrace on Thursday, July 11, then started round-robin play on Friday morning.
Their first game was against one of the two Terrace teams in the tournament, the Terrace Wildfire, which Findlay said was the weaker of the two but still a very strong team.
He also added that everyone, including the coaching staff and parents, was nervous about the game.
“We didn’t play our best game, for sure,” Findlay said. “Everybody was quite nervous. We ended up losing that game in five innings. Sean Moore pitched for us. He pitched really well. He got MVP for us.”
The team had a much better showing in their second game, where they beat a team from Kitimat. Findlay noted that there were a lot more smiles on the faces from the kids on the team.
Back catcher Ella Ounpuu was given the MVP.
Their third game was against Barriere, which they also won. Harrison, Findlay’s son, was named team MVP for that game.
“Our confidence level was getting better and the kids were having lots of fun.”
100 Mile went into day two with a record of 2-1 in round-robin play, however, they started Saturday morning playing against the other Terrace team who would be the eventual gold winner. Findlay said they beat 100 Mile quite easily.
Jacob Knott was named team MVP.
Finishing with a record of 2-2 and third place in the standings, the 100 Mile team was placed in the four-team gold medal bracket.
Their first playoff game was against Houston.
“To me, that was our biggest game of the tournament. If we won that game we guaranteed ourself a medal,” said Findlay. “We came out to that game and going into our last at-bat in the fifth inning, we were down 9-3 and our guys came in to score 10 runs.”
Afterwards, Houston managed to bank in three more runs, making the score 13-12 with a runner on third base.
“Our pitcher, Tucker Gust, struck out the last two batters to hold on to the win for us,” said Findlay. “Tucker was named MVP that game for his performance.
Unfortunately, the team lost the semi-final. Their opponent was the Terrace Wildfire, the team who beat them handily in their opening game. Findlay said even though they lost again, it was a much closer game. Central fielder, Avery McBride, was given MVP.
“It was a great experience for those guys. They got to play against new teams they never played against up there. They made a bunch of new friends and they’ll be playing against these kids for years to come,” said Findlay.