| Posted: Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 06:00 am
A second place finish at the U18 A Fastpitch Softball Provincials punched the St. Albert Angels’ ticket to nationals.
The Angels and the first-place Calgary Kaizen will represent Alberta at nationals, Aug. 12 to 19 in Montreal.
The 12-player Angels’ roster features two St. Albert players – pitcher Mackenzie Bender and third-baseman Amanda Dunnigan – as well as Tori Gadoury of Calahoo and players from Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Elk Point, Calgary and Hanna.
At provincials July 13-14 in Stony Plain the Angels finished second in round robin play, but due to heavy rains the playoffs were washed out and were rescheduled for last weekend.
The Angels were short three players for the playoffs because of travel arrangements to Reno, Nevada, where the Angels are playing in a tournament this week. With Gadoury already sidelined with an injury, the Angels had just eight players. They were able to pick up two players for the first game but ended up with nine players for the semifinal and final.
In the first versus second playoff, the Angels lost 7-0 to Kaizen, which gave Calgary a bye into the final.
In the semifinal the Angels played the Edmonton Warriors and combined solid pitching with strong bats to blank the Warriors 5-0. The Angels took command of the game in the fourth inning and never looked back.
In the final the Angels lost 8-3 to Kaizen. They went into the final with nine players and their backup pitcher was playing injured. Bender had pitched the previous playoff games, but was injured in the third inning of the final. With only eight players on the field the Angels had to forfeit.
By finishing second in the round robin the Angels were guaranteed a spot at nationals.
The road to nationals started with training sessions in October and continued throughout the winter. The Angels also travelled to tournaments in Las Vegas, Kelowna, twice to Vancouver and are now in Reno.
U19 ringette worlds
St. Albert ringette players Lauryn Girard and Janelle Wilk have been named to the United States team for the U19 world championship, starting Dec. 28 in London, Ont.
Chelsea Stone of St. Albert is also one of the assistant coaches.
Canada will be represented by Canada East and Canada West. Anj Grewal of St. Albert is on the Canada West roster.
Four teams participated at the inaugural 2009 event – Finland White (gold medallists), Finland Blue, Canada East (silver medallists) and Canada West.
This year the United States, Russia and France were added to the tournament to help their country’s developing ringette programs. Russia is comprised of mostly Ontario players, Team France has primarily Quebec players and the majority of the United States players are from Western Canada.
The first of three training camps for Canada West is Aug. 3 to 10 in Calgary.
The United States’ training camp runs Oct. 5 to 8 in Edmonton.