Skip to content

U13 Angels capture provincial title

The dominant U13 group punctuated a stellar season with gold at the Calgary showdown
The St. Albert U13 Angels pose with their medals and banner after winning the Softball Alberta Provincial Championship in Calgary. FASTBALL ST. ALBERT/ Supplied

The St. Albert U13A Angels capped a dominating season, showing a mixture of tenacity and skill to claim a provincial title.

The Angels came out on top through a thrilling weekend of competition at the Softball Alberta Provincial Championships, held in Calgary from July 14-16.

For most of the year, the group has found itself on the winning side of scoreboards. But following an undefeated run into their league championship, which was delayed because an umpire shortage, the Angels experienced their first loss.

"The long layoff led to some less than ideal results, but it was absolutely the best thing that could have happened to our group,” coach Cam Knechtel said. “It forced us to learn to be more competitive in close games and ultimately handle adversity better.”

The Angels turned the loss into a catalyst for progress, bolstering their determination and preparing them for provincials.

"They showed up daily for optional practices the week before provincials, put in extra batting practice, and regained their edge to be ready for provincials," Knechtel said.

With the loss at the league championship still fresh in mind, the Angels played their first game of the weekend with an undercurrent of tension. Their opponents, the Lloydminister Liners, put up stiff competition. The Angels rose to the challenge, winning by a score of 11-10.

"After that win, I felt our team was back on track and ready to win," said Knechtel. 

Throughout the championships, the Angels were tested time and again, triumphing in nail-biting finishes, including a few victories by a mere one run. They completed the round-robin stage undefeated, sailed past Sherwood Park in the semifinal with an 11-4 win, and finally overcame a formidable Camrose team in the championship game.

"Our team was able to stay undefeated and win the championship game 10-7 after trailing much of the game 3-1," Knechtel said.

The performances of two Angels were especially strong: Tatum Lecavalier and Emma Knechtel led the team in batting with averages of .783 and .682 respectively, and have now won provincial championships three years in a row.

"They were very strong hitters and very strong competitors to lead our group," Knechtel said.

Kacey Reiniger's excellent pitching was also instrumental in the final.

Despite Camrose's early lead, Knechtel said, "Kacey dug deep and got out of an inning 3-1, stranding three runners on base. That was tremendous for our group's confidence in the final game and allowed us to come from behind and win."

Although the weekend saw its fair share of challenges, including a pitching injury in the round-robin, the team's spirit remained unbroken. 

"We had a relief pitcher pitch four innings, and our team rallied around her to get on the bats and provide the run support we needed," Knechtel said.

Despite the intense competition, the Angels proved they have what it takes to be the best in the province, living up to Knechtel's "hit to win" mantra. And while the season has now come to a close for the U13 Angels, their impressive performance at provincials has set a high bar for next year’s U15 season.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks