The White Rock Renegades ’95 went undefeated through five days of competition at 2011 Bantam Girls Canadian Fastpitch Championships last week in Winnipeg, capturing the national title with a 7-3 victory over Ontario’s Ajax Raiders in Sunday’s gold-medal game.
White Rock was led in the championship tilt by Sara Groenewegen, who not only earned the win by pitching a seven-inning complete game with five strikeouts and no walks, but also hit a two-run home run in the third inning to extend her team’s lead to 3-0; Groenewegen was also responsible for her team’s first run when she singled home Toryce Westgard in the first frame.
Andrea Sidor and Westgard also had RBI for the Renegades, and shortstop Cheyanne Head was 3-for-4 at the plate, with two runs scored.
The national crown is the fifth for White Rock coach Chuck Westgard, who four times led the Renegades’ 91 to Canadian titles. Earlier this summer, many players from that ’91 team helped guide the Renegades senior ‘A’ team to a national title in Montreal, under head coach Wayne King.
White Rock advanced to the finals after again beating Ajax – for the third time in the tournament – 4-3 on Saturday night.
That game needed eight innings to decide, with White Rock breaking the 3-3 deadlock in the bottom of the eighth when Groenewegen singled in the winning run.
Head had the other two runs-batted-in in the contest, and Brooke Anderson pitched all eight innings for the Renegades, striking out six.
Heading into the tournament, Renegades ’95 coach Chuck Westgard said how his team performed in their first two games – against the two tough Ontario seeds – would be indicative of whether or not they’d be contenders for the title.
It’s safe to say they passed the test. White Rock opened the tournament Wednesday with a convincing 10-2 win over the Brampton Blazers, then followed up later in the day with a 7-0 shutout of Ontario’s top-seeded Ajax Raiders.
White Rock got off to a great start against Brampton, scoring nine runs in the top half of the first inning, thanks to a handful of singles, three consecutive doubles – from Sydney Brown, Toryce Westgard and Cheyanne Head – two Brampton errors, a walk and a wild pitch.
The ‘Gades tacked on another run in the second.
Pitcher Tori Belton was credited with the win, going four innings and striking out six.
Against Ajax, the two teams were scoreless until the fourth inning, when the Renegades went up 1-0 on an RBI single from Madison Tomkow, and then broke the game open with six more runs in the fifth.
Third baseman Andrea Sidor and first baseman Aldyen Krieger each had doubles in the game, while Head lead the way with two RBI.
Pitcher Groenewegen went the distance for White Rock, striking out eight through five innings, while allowing just one hit and walking a pair.
On Thursday, White Rock continued its round-robin roll, beating Saskatchewan’s Southey Eagles 10-1 and the Calgary Diamond Devils 10-2. Both Belton and Groenewegen again picked up victories in the pitcher’s circle.
Friday morning, White Rock moved to 5-0 with an 8-0 shutout over Calgary Kaizen ’95.
Peewees in semifinals
In peewee national championships action in Vaughan, Ont., the White Rock Renegades ’97 battled their way into playoff action Saturday, where they defeated the Guelph squad 3-1. After falling 7-1 to Mississauga the following morning, the ’97 Renegades were defeated in a semifinal showdown against Guelph by a score of 3-2. Mississauga went on to defeat Guelph in the gold-medal game Sunday afternoon 7-2.