Members of the Fraser Valley Fusion 97 fastpitch team helped an injured baserunner from the Surrey Storm cross home plate at the B.C. championships in July. Their sportsmanship has earned them the prestigious Musial Award from the St. Louis Sports Commission.

Members of the Fraser Valley Fusion 97 fastpitch team helped an injured baserunner from the Surrey Storm cross home plate at the B.C. championships in July. Their sportsmanship has earned them the prestigious Musial Award from the St. Louis Sports Commission.

Act of sportsmanship nets Musial Award for Fusion fastpitch squad

The Fraser Valley Fusion 97 squad helped an injured opponent cross home plate, drawing the attention of the St. Louis Sports Commission.

by Gary Ahuja

Black Press

It was the right thing to do.

That was all that was going through the minds of Shannon Chick, Kristan Rodrigues and Shae Domitruk.

It was back in July, during a playoff game at the provincial championships between the Fraser Valley Fusion 97 fastpitch team and the Surrey Storm 97 at Victoria’s Helmcken Park.

The Storm’s Raelyn Radovich had just belted a three-run home run over the centre-field fence, tying the game.

But while she was rounding first base, Radovich suffered a knee injury. She limped her way around second base and then third, but the pain became too much to bear and she collapsed.

Since she had rounded third base and was between third and home, she could not stop and call for a pinch runner. And if a teammate or coach was to help her, she would be called out.

That was when the Fusion trio sprung into action. Chick, Rodrigues and Domitruk hoisted the fallen Radovich up and carried her to home plate.

“If one of our girls happened (to get hurt) and fall, we would have wanted someone to step up and say we are going to take her home as well,” Chick explained.

She described the moment as very emotional, with the fallen player – and many of the fans in attendance – moved to tears.

“None of us really said anything, it just kind of happened,” said Domitruk.

“I felt bad for her, she totally deserved the home run so we picked her up and carried her home,” Rodrigues said.

The Fusion went on to win that game and eventually finished second at provincials.

But something bigger than winning the silver medal also happened to the Fusion, a regional squad of 16-year-old girls which features Abbotsford centre fielder/second baseman Callum Pilgrim.

The St. Louis Sports Commission deemed the team worthy of the Musial Award, which recognizes great moments in sportsmanship. The prize is named for the late St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Famer Stan Musial.

While the Missouri-based organization does accept nominations, most often they will select the award recipients through their own research, and they came across a story about the Fusion’s sportsmanship on the Langley Times website.

“We are always on the lookout for extraordinary stories of sportsmanship,” explained Marc Schreiber, the vice-president of the organization.

The Fusion will receive the Musial Award – formerly known as the National Sportsmanship Award and presented since 1999 – on Nov. 9 in St. Louis. The Fusion will be the first recipient from outside the United States, Schreiber said.

The award will be presented by two former members of the Central Washington softball team who in 2008 did the same with a fallen opponent, in a video that went viral.

“We did not expect this,” said Chick.

The Fusion are hoping to raise enough money to send all 12 players and three coaches to the ceremony. Right now, airfare and accommodation is provided for just two people.

“It is not really a two-person award, it is a team award,” said coach Gord O’Grady.

The estimated cost for a ticket to St. Louis is about $800 per person, so multiply that by 13 and it is $10,000 just for the airfare.

The various Fusion teams are holding tryouts in the upcoming week and the focus will then shift to fundraising.

To donate, visit www.langleysoftball.com/Langley-Fastball-Online-Store.aspx. For donations greater than $300, the Fusion will display company logos on their team banner.

Just Posted

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat greets fans outside of the Abbotsford Centre prior to the Canucks exhibition game against the Ottawa Senators in 2019. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
More jobs posted for Abbotsford AHL team

Five new opportunities accepting applicants, Comets forward Lukas Jasek signs in Finland

Singer Ben Cottrill performs during the 2019 Arty Awards at The Reach Gallery Museum, the last time the event was held in person. Cottrill received the award in the performing arts category. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Nominations now open for 2021 Arty Awards

Annual event hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council, with ceremony Sept. 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read