The White Rock Renegades have laid claim to their first national fastpitch title of 2013.
The Renegades ’97 captured a Canadian U16 girls fastpitch title Sunday in O’Leary, P.E.I., with a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Kaizen, the reigning Alberta champions.
For the White Rock crew – who entered the national tournament as the No. 2 British Columbia seed behind the provincial champion Delta Heat ’97 – the win was a positive way to end the season, after faltering ever-so-slightly at provincials last month.
The Renegades finished third at B.C. championships, losing in extra innings to the eventual-champion Heat, and then lost their next contest.
“They had a bit of a stumble there, so it’s nice to see them win now,” said White Rock Renegades club president Greg Timm.
Members of the Renegades ’97 were on a plane home Monday, and could not be reached by Peace Arch News’ deadline.
In Sunday’s final, White Rock scored once in each of the first two innings – Shaelyn Ogilvie had a two-out, RBI single in the first inning, and Julia Wright singled home Sophia Gray in the second – to take an early lead.
The game remained 2-0 until the fifth inning when the two teams traded runs.
White Rock’s pitching combo of Ashley Penney – who started the game – and Wright held Calgary to just four hits, all of which were singles. Penney struck out four en route to the win, while Wright picked up the save, pitching two-and-two-thirds inning of relief.
White Rock earned a spot in the championship game after cruising through three playoff games Saturday.
First, the ’Gades beat the Ontario Diamonds 6-0, and then followed up with a 4-1 victory over the Ontario champion Brantford Bobcats and a 10-0, five-inning win over the Mississauga Southwest Hurricanes.
In round-robin play earlier in the week, the Renegades were 3-1, defeating the Whitby Eagles, Mississauga North Tigers and Saskatchewan’s South East Hawks.
White Rock’s only blip on their record came in the final round-robin tilt Friday, losing 2-1 to the Quebec Rebelles ’97.
While the season is now done for the Renegades ’97, a handful of other local squads are still set to play at national championships throughout the country.
At U18 championships – which began Monday in Charlottetown, P.E.I. – the White Rock Renegades ’95 and ’96 teams are vying for a title, as are the Surrey Storm ’95s.
At the U14 level, the White Rock Renegades ’99 and Surrey Storm ’99 are both set for nationals in Montreal, which hit the field Wednesday and wrap up Sunday.