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Ontario teams top Surrey-hosted U19 softball nationals

A pair of Ontario teams finished atop the podium at 2018 U19 Women’s Canadian Fastpitch Championships, which were held last week at South Surrey’s Softball City.

The Waterloo Ghosts Gold took top spot at the national tourney, after a 6-5, come-from-behind extra-inning victory over their provincial rivals, the Windsor Wildcats Sunday afternoon.

Waterloo trailed heading into the seventh inning, but scored a pair to tie the game, before plating the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.

One B.C. team made it onto the podium of the 24-team tournament, as the Delta Heat 2001 finished with bronze medals. They advanced to semifinals before losing Sunday to Windsor, 6-3.

The defending champion White Rock Renegades ‘99 – who also entered the week-long tournament as reigning provincial champs – were tied atop the standings during the round-robin portion of the event last week, but saw their hope of back-to-back national titles dashed on Saturday afternoon after a 10-9 loss to the Delta Heat 2001, who won the game in dramatic fashion – when a walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh from Veronica Sawatzky scored two runs.

Earlier in the day, the Renegades won their first playoff-round game, 11-10 over the Surrey Storm ‘01A.

In that game, White Rock pitcher Tori Peterson earned the win, striking out eight batters and walking one over seven-and-two-thirds innings.

At the plate, Alex Ogg went 4-for-5 to lead the offensive charge.

The Renegades, who also won the U18 Futures division at last month’s Canada Cup with an impressive victory over Chinese Taipei in the final, finished nationals with an 8-2 win-loss record.

A second White Rock team, Renegades 2000, placed seventh in the round-robin tournament with a 6-3 record, but they fell in playoffs to Ontario’s Brampton Blazers Gold, 7-0.

The Storm, meanwhile, finished the round robin with a 5-4 mark, before losing to the White Rock ’99s Saturday morning thanks to a walk-off hit from Renegades Maria Seminario who singled in the bottom of the seventh to score the winning run. White Rock had a five-run lead in the fifth inning of that game, before the Storm clawed back to tie it before Seminario’s single.

U14, U16 nationals

Two White Rock Renegades teams – the ‘04 and ’05s – plus the Delta Heat are in Montreal this week, as Canadian U14 championships begin Wednesday.

The 2004-born Renegades, who are the B.C. No. 3 seed after a bronze-medal win at provincials last week, are set to open their tournament Wednesday morning with a game against Manitoba’s third-seed, Central Energy, while the Renegades ‘05, who are B.C.’s No. 7 seed, will square off against Saskatchewan No. 1 seed, the Prince Albert Aces, in their opener.

A third White Rock squad, the Renegades ‘02, are also taking a run at a national title this week. The team is in Winnipeg at U16 nationals, where they enter the tournament as B.C.’s top seed.

The U16s first hit the field Wednesday morning against Ontario’s Vaughan Vikings. Later Wednesday, they’ll play another B.C. squad – the Fraser Valley Fusion.

Both U14 and U16 tournaments continue all week, and wrap up with championship games on Sunday.

Nick Greenizan

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