The White Rock Renegades 2002 are top row from left: Jeff Crossley (head coach)

White Rock Renegades score national U14 fastpitch title

Emotional roller-coaster of a tournament caps off dominant season.

A White Rock Renegades team captured a national fastpitch title over the weekend – a big win where emotions ran high.

On Sunday the Renegades’ 2002 girls won gold at the 2016 U14 Girls’ Canadian Fastpitch Jamboree in Winnipeg, Man.

“This is a very committed group of players who’ve been together for awhile, and this was a big goal for the team,” said head coach Jeff Crossley.

The team was dominant all season, with a provincial title and wins at all local tournaments. With a season record of 99 wins, 13 losses and one tie, the girls entered the national contest, Aug. 17-21, as one of the favourites.

The Renegades started strong with four straight wins in round-robin games. But in the championship pool, an Ontario squad surprised them with a 3-1 loss.

White Rock bounced back with two convincing wins, taking down the Victoria Devils 5-0 and the Hawthorn Hawks 9-0.

But the wins weren’t enough to guarantee a spot in the gold-medal game. For that, they needed help from other teams.

When the dust settled, the Renegades were on top of the pool standings – but it was a three-way tie. Ultimately, the Renegades’ differential allowed them to advance to the gold-medal game against host Smitty’s Terminators from Winnipeg, which had gone undefeated in the tournament.

White Rock jumped out early with a score of 2-0. Errors allowed Winnipeg to score without generating a hit, but it wasn’t enough as the Renegades won 5-1.

“It was a pretty incredible performance by both of our pitchers that threw in the game,” said Crossley, adding Madison Dewitt and Amanda Pillkahn combined on a no-hitter with Pillkahn striking out all nine batters she faced in the final three innings.

Maddy Tylee went two-for-two at bat with Gab Schulek and Chloe Douglas combined for five hits in the game. Sarah Forster also picked up a clutch hit for an RBI.

Waiting to hear whether they’d even be in the final was extremely emotional for the entire team, said Crossley.

“When we lost that game and lost control of our own destiny, it really gutted the girls in respect to what their expectations were and how hard they’ve worked all year to get to that point.”

After the girls played and won their final championship-round game and awaited news on whether they’d get a chance to play for gold, the team went to see a movie. Crossley, however, was watching tournament results come in. He sent out a text when he heard the good news, and his players – some of whom had their phones on – had what might have been a loud reaction in the theatre.

“Getting that opportunity was great news for our girls. So everybody’s spirits quickly turned around.”

For the entire tournament, both Jaida Crossley and Maddy Tylee had on-base percentages of over .650, while Lauren Benson led the team with 10 RBI’s. Pitchers Dewitt, Pillkahn and Chloe Douglas combined for an ERA of .286 with 86 strikeouts.

Crossley said there’s not much of an off-season for the girls, who will soon be back at their year-round training schedule. But Crossley – who coached daughter Jaida Crossley on this team, and also his two sons in ball – has decided after three seasons with “a very special group” to step down.

“Getting a chance to coach my daughter and this group and win a gold in a Canadian championship just seemed like a great time to step aside and let somebody else run with it for the next four years.”

The U14 team wasn’t the only Renegades squad to find recent success. Last week the Renegades ’98 and ’99 teams faced each other in the final game of the 2016 Women’s Canadian Fastpitch Championship in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The ’98 team edged the ’99 group 4-3 to claim the top spot.

Just Posted

South Surrey mother didn’t have the intent to kill her daughter: defence

Closing submissions in case of Lisa Batstone underway

Surrey woman plans to travel after winning $500,000

Frances Jarvos bought her winning ticket at Willowbrook Mall in Langley

Crime in Surrey dropped by four per cent in 2018 from 2017, city’s top cop says

Surrey RCMP OIC sharing the news with council Monday as city transitions to city police force

Child struck because driver didn’t clear ice from windshield, say Delta police

The child wasn’t seriously hurt and the driver was ticketed for driving with an obstructed view

MINTY: ‘Opening the Doors’ at Surrey gallery with local artist Joanne Dennis

Also, a called for submissions in Arts Council of Surrey’s ‘Just Gates’ exhibition

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read

l -->