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Angels win Canadian championships, head to Little League World Series

After being crowned the national little league softball champions, the U13A St. Albert Angels will represent Canada at the Little League Softball World Series being held in North Carolina from August 9-15.
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The U13A White St. Albert Angels cruised their way through the 2022 Canadian Little League Softball Championships last weekend to earn their spot at the Little League World Series in North Carolina Aug. 9-15, 2022. SUPPLIED/Photo

The U13A White St. Albert Angels softball team cruised through their competition in Victoria, B.C. over the Heritage Day long weekend. 

Their success at the Canadian Little League Softball Championships has now earned them the opportunity to represent Canada in the upcoming Little League Softball World Series Aug. 9-15, held in North Carolina.

The team's Canadian championship victory is another in a rather historic winning streak; the Angels, whose roster has largely remained the same as last year's, have also won the provincial championship two years in a row. 

Playing Team Alberta in Victoria, the Angels opened tournament play with back-to-back 3-1 wins over British Columbia and Saskatchewan on July 29. In their lone game on July 30, the Angels crushed the Quebec squad 14-0 to secure the first place seed heading into the elimination round.

The Angels put on another offensive show when they played Quebec again in the semi-finals, winning 17-5. Come finals, the Angels beat British Columbia 8-4, to be crowned Canadian champions.

Before the team flew to Victoria, assistant coach Dean Borys said he couldn't be more proud of the young athletes' continual success. 

“We’re very proud of these girls," Borys said. "They work incredibly hard during the season and in the off-season.

"They’ve played together, the core group of them, for a number of years and are quite fortunate to have so much success.”

One of the team's routinely called-upon pitchers, Ella Stranaghan, said when the season first started she had no idea how the year was going to go.

“I knew our winning streak from last year was going to be really hard to defend," Stranaghan said. "I knew we had an awesome team from last year, but I never thought we’d end up going to Victoria." 

Stranaghan, who has been pitching for four years, said she loves the responsibility that comes with the position.

"It gives me a chance to change the game," she said. "Each direct play is on me with every pitch I throw.”

Devynn Power is another player, often found Crouching behind the plate catching pitches. 

"I started at a younger age catching because I wanted to try something new,” Power said, joking that her knees are already starting to hurt a little.

One of the team's strongest aspects is their defensive play, Power said, as "defense wins and loses you games."

“Our team has always done really well on the field, and I think our hitting is starting to pick up as well, so it’s starting to even out."

'Put your whole heart in it'

Stranaghan and Power were quick to offer advice for the next generation of St. Albert softball players who are watching the U13 Angels have such success.

“Put your whole heart in it," Stranaghan said. "Every play you make, it’s for your whole team — it can’t be individual.”

On the other hand, Power's advice is to always stay confident.

"Even if you do start getting in a slump, just be confident in what you know you can do and have faith in your team," Power said.

"Work for the team’s success and not just your own personal stats.”

At the Little League Softball World Series in North Carolina, the Angels will be competing against teams from Philippines, Italy, Puerto Rico, and seven American teams. For their first game, the Angels will take on Philippines on Aug. 9, and the game will be streamed online on the Little League Softball World Series website.

Jack Farrell

About the Author: Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell joined the St. Albert Gazette in May, 2022.
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