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Fastball Angels win provincial championship in a nail-biter

After prevailing 9-8 over the Southern Alberta Revolution in extra innings, the high-flying squad sets their sights on the national level.
The Fastball St. Albert U17A White Angels pose with their gold medals after winning the provincial championship in Edmonton. TRINA JOHNSON/ Photo

The St. Albert Fastball Angels U17A White are queens of the diamond after a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Southern Alberta Revolution U17A in the Softball Alberta Provincial Championships. The Angels clinched the title in a gold-medal game at Nez Henry Singer Softball Park in Edmonton on July 2 that held spectators spellbound until the last pitch.

The game went into extra innings deadlocked at 7-7. After two more closely contested innings, it was the Angels who stole the show, bringing in the winning run.

The Angels are no strangers to success this year. The team dominated throughout the 2023 season, putting up a 33-5-1 record despite being pieced together late last year.

 "About half of the girls are homegrown players who have played much of their careers in St. Albert," head coach Brett Harvie said. "The other half have come to the program over the last couple of years. It is basically a new team put together in the fall of 2022."

Since then, things have really taken off, and the Angels rarely come out of games without a win.

Their victories were not limited to the provincial boundaries; they also made their mark in several high-profile tournaments outside of Alberta. They won the MacLean-Ross Cup and the Queen City Classic in Regina. Furthermore, they made it to the final of a U.S. National qualifier in Seattle, a test of their grit and potential on an international stage.

However, the road to the provincial championship hasn't been without obstacles. 

One of the challenges, Harvie said, was "finding high-quality competition to push the team to learn and improve." This led the Angels players to travel extensively, competing in Texas and California during the winter, and in Seattle, Regina, and Surrey during the regular season.

Nor is the victory in the provincial championships the end of the road for the Angels.

"By winning provincials we are AB-1 and are one of the three teams representing Alberta," Harvie said. The team now looks forward to Nationals in Saskatoon, set to take place from Aug. 9-13, 2023. Even more exciting, the Angels are preparing to compete in the prestigious Canada Cup.

Their preliminary round schedule in the Canada Cup includes a showdown with Team Australia on Thursday, July 13. This encounter will test the strength of the provincial champions in the face of global competition.

The Canada Cup features teams from the United States, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Great Britain, and Israel.

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