It was a “magical” moment when Surrey Storms’ U14A girls won gold in the national fastpitch championship.
“I know it sounds kind of cliché, but just how the kids came together and bonded as the team,” said coach Mark Palmer.
The Surrey fastpitch squad topped 19 teams in the first round robin, and ended up winning it all at the National Championships in Brampton, Ontario, from Aug. 16 to 20.
In their third back-to-back game of the final day, the girls came out with “stellar defence and just enough bats to get the winning run across the plate” in the fourth inning on their way to the 1-0 win in the final.
Initially, things didn’t look so good in the playoffs.
The girls turned the competition around after losing their playoff game, Palmer explained.
“I should’ve took a picture of their face after we lost (the) first playoff game, they thought they were done,” he said. “We had quite a game break, in between games, so we came back to the hotel… There were actually water guns involved, the girls were running around hotel like a bunch of animals. Girls have to feel good to play good, guys have to play good to feel good.”
After that break, the girls returned to the competition and dominated, he said.
Surrey Storm vice-president Ryan Woodward said: “The team showed character, heart and tenacity in an all-around team effort that saw every player make key contributions during their 11-game tournament.”
The core of the team has been together for years. A handful of the girls have been playing together since they were five years old.
This past season saw them play nearly 100 games, in both local tournaments and major competitions in Las Vegas, Federal Way and Canada Cup prior to the national championship.
Two Storm players were selected for individual awards by Softball Canada: Jordyn Miskiw (top batter in round robin) and Grace Elliott, (championship round MVP).
This is Storm’s third national championship in the last three years: Storm 2001A took U14A in 2015 and U16A in 2016.
Tryouts for Surrey Storm’s 03 teams are set for Sept. 6 and 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sullivan Park.
More details can be found at surreystorm.com.