Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but White Rock Renegades’ teams are once again set to vie for national fastpitch championships.
The Renegades – one of the country’s most successful fastpitch associations – will have five teams in contention for Canadian titles.
White Rock teams won provincial titles in all four divisions this year – something that hasn’t happened in more than 20 years.
“It was the early-’90s, so it’s been a long time since we won at every level,” Renegades president Greg Timm said. “It’s been a great year for the Renegades.”
The White Rock Renegades ’97 are the first to hit the field – they’re in Saskatoon next week as one of three B.C. teams at U18 nationals.
The Renegades ’97 are no stranger to the national stage, having won a U16 national crown last season before moving up to the U18 level.
The tournament begins Monday, and wraps up Aug. 10.
The two other B.C. squads in contention are both from Delta, the Heat ’96 and Heat ’97.
White Rock qualified for nationals – and will head in as B.C.’s No. 1 seed – after a come-from-behind run at provincials last month. At B.C. championships, the ’Gades got off to a rough start, losing their first two games of the round robin, before reeling off enough victories over the final two days of play to advance to the finals. In the finals, they defeated Delta Heat ’96 6-0.
“Coming in as a first-year team, they probably felt a little nervous,” Renegades assistant coach Courtney Gill told Peace Arch News after the win.
“But we just came together as a team and never quit.”
At this year’s U16 national championships – to be held in Brampton, Ont. Aug. 13-17 – two more White Rock teams will be on the field, as the Renegades ’98 and ’99 both qualified.
For the Renegades ’99, the national appearance will cap a excellent first season at the U16 level. The first-year bantam team won a handful of tournament banners this season, including both the Canadian Open Fastpitch Championships’ Showcase Gold division, as well as provincial championships in late July.
In the provincial final, the Renegades edged their ’98-born White Rock counterparts, 3-0.
The third-place team at provincials, the Surrey Storm ’98, also advanced to nationals and will be vying for the Canadian banner in Brampton.
Like the 1997-born Renegades, the trip to nationals will be the ’99s second in a row, having competed at the U14 level last summer after claiming a B.C. title.
Closer to home, the White Rock Renegades’ 2000-born team, as well as the 2001 team, will take part in the U14 Girls Canadian Championships jamboree, set for Aug. 6-10 at Softball City.
The tournament will be split into two divisions – a “Cup” division and an “Open” division – with 21 teams in total taking part.
In the Cup division, the Renegades 2000 will be joined by the Surrey Storm 2001, as well as two other teams from B.C., four from Ontario and one each from Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
The Open division will feature Renegades 2001, Delta Heat 2001 and Surrey Storm 2000, alongside squads from Ontario and P.E.I.