White Rock pitcher Sara Groenewegen throws a pitch during Sunday’s U18 national final.

White Rock pitcher Sara Groenewegen throws a pitch during Sunday’s U18 national final.

White Rock Renegades edged in national final

Surrey Storm ousted after two playoff losses – to White Rock and Quebec Rebelles

The run of national championships for the White Rock Renegades ’95 came to an end Sunday in Charlottetown, P.E.I., one run shy of a fourth Canadian fastpitch title.

The Renegades – three-time national champions at various age divisions – lost 2-1 to the Saskatoon Selects in the title game of the Canadian U18 Women’s Fastpitch Canadian Championship, ending a string of consecutive championships that began in 2011 with a U16 title.

“It was a real close game – it could have went either way,” said Renegades coach Chuck Westgard. “We’ve been doing this a long time. This team has won three national championships and we were going for our fourth… I told our girls that we battled hard but today it wasn’t meant to be.

“Someone has to lose, and today it was us.”

The game was a pitcher duel, as each team had their top pitcher in the circle – Canadian senior national team member Sara Groenewegen pitched for White Rock, while Saskatoon countered with its ace, Haley Volk.

Volk allowed just five hits and one run in seven innings, while striking out 11, and Groenewegen scattered five hits and struck out five. Both walked seven batters.

The Selects opened the scoring in the first inning, loading the bases after two walks and a single, and a third walk from Groenewegen cashed in Saskatoon leadoff hitter Brielle McCullough.

White Rock had ample opportunity to tie the game in the ensuing innings – twice getting runners on second and third – but Volk pitched her way out of the jam each time.

White Rock tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when Groenewegen singled and scored three batters later when Cheyanne Head singled.

Saskatoon countered in the sixth, however, when McCullough hit a two-out triple off Groenewegen that scored what turned out to be the winning run.

Though Groenewegen – who was coming off a 14-strikeout performance in a 5-0 win over Saskatoon the previous day – was not quite as sharp as usual in Sunday’s final, Westgard was not laying any blame at his star pitcher’s feet.

“She didn’t have her best game today, but she battled, kept the score close,” said the longtime coach, who told organizers after the game that he was retiring from coaching.

“We scored one run. You’re not going to win 1-0 every night.

“Today, they were better than us.”

The other local team at the U18 nationals, the Surrey Storm ’95s, were eliminated from the playoff rounds Saturday, after back-to-back losses.

The Storm – who finished atop their group in round-robin play – lost to the Renegades ’95 3-0 on Friday, and a day later, were bounced by the Quebec Rebelles 4-3.

Although outhit 12-4 over the seven-inning game against Quebec, the Storm battled back from a two-run deficit to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth. Emma Entzminger scored from third on a wild pitch, then Chelsea Jenner scored on an infield out by Alisha Welch. Quebec had only one hit in the seventh, but it was a game-winning solo home run.

Jenner and Entzminger  finished one-two in the batting race during the round robin, Jenner hitting .684, while Enzminger batted .600. Jenner had a tournament-best 13 hits, and Entzminger was tops in RBIs with 11 and runs scored with eight.

– with files from Pat Healey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lisa Batstone’s appeal of her conviction and sentence for the killing of her eight-year-old daughter is set for Jan. 12, 2021. (File photos)
South Surrey mother’s murder-appeal date set

Lisa Batstone is appealing her conviction and sentence in death of eight-year-old daughter

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

A criminal trial for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, is to begin in August 2021, following a failed application to strike down immigration-act provisions that he is charged under. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)
Blaine inn owner’s challenge of immigration act fails

Robert Boule’s trial on human-smuggling charges set to begin August 2021

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:14 a.m.
Westbound Highway 1 lanes in Abbotsford closed as crews investigate serious crash

Crash occurred between McCallum and Riverside roads at around 4 a.m., next update at 8 a.m.

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Most Read