Abbotsford's Chelsea Hotner came through in the clutch to spark her fastpitch team, the White Rock Renegades, to victory at the U16 national championships in Brampton, Ont. last week.
"It was very exciting," enthused Hotner, a 16-year-old student at Rick Hansen Secondary who got her start in the game with the Abbotsford Minor Fastball Association and joined up with the Renegades this year. "I accomplished my goal of winning a national championship. I can't even explain it."
Hotner's team crushed the competition at nationals, going 7-0 in the round robin and playoff rounds en route to the final, where they met the Quebec Rebelles 98.
Hotner suited up at catcher for White Rock in the gold medal match, which was an epic pitcher's duel. Quebec broke the ice in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating one run. But in the top of the fifth, Hotner got a hit and came around to score the tying run. The Renegades added one more run in the inning, and they hung on from there to win 2-1.
"There was great pitching, and both teams had solid defence," said Hotner, who finished the tourney with a stellar .444 batting average. "We just got a few clutch hits when we needed them."