The Alberni Valley Blazers softball team battled it out in a “nailbiter” game on Sunday, but ultimately were eliminated from provincial competition by the West Kootenay Rebels.
Port Alberni played host to the Softball BC Provincial Championships for U14 C Girls from Friday, July 5 to Sunday, July 7, drawing 16 teams from across the province to compete for gold.
The home team finished round robin play in 13th place with a 1-3 record, defeating the Richmond Riptide 9-7 on Friday for their lone win of the tournament. Head coach Ted Legare said the girls faced a difficult schedule, pitted against three of the top teams in the tournament in round robin play.
“They really held their own against some of the top teams,” he explained. “They held runs against them, even held them scoreless for some innings.”
The Blazers faced the Rebels in the silver division playoffs on Sunday afternoon. It was a “nailbiter” of a game, tied 1-1 after two innings. The teams traded back and forth runs until the Rebels took a 5-3 lead at the bottom of the fifth. The Blazers rallied to tie things up, 5-5, at the top of the sixth, but the Rebels added another run and took the game 6-5. They moved on to face the Peninsula Storm and, eventually, made it to the gold medal game.
It was elimination for the Blazers, but Legare said it wasn’t all bad.
“We’re a little disappointed, but they still did good,” he said on Sunday. “This team has played unbelievable for a group of all first year players. It’s a credit to how much they’ve developed this year. There were a lot of positives for these girls this weekend.”
The provincials began in Port Alberni with a team dinner on Friday that hosted more than 500 people. Although there were some difficulties with accommodations—with some teams staying in the Parksville Qualicum area—Legare said he thought the tournament overall went “really well.”
“The weather has been awesome,” he said. “We had a little rain, but no heat.”
The Quesnel Terrors won first place in the gold division on Sunday evening, while the Abbotsford Wild took second. The North Shore Fireballs placed first in the silver division, with the West Kootenay Rebels taking second. The Westside Outlaws earned bronze in the gold division, while the Peninsula Storm won bronze in the silver division.