After going 4-2 in pool play, the Abbotsford Outlaws girls fastpitch squad came away with a respectable fifth-place finish out of 14 teams at the U16 Canadian National Championships in Winnipeg on Aug. 17-21.
The Outlaws won their first playoff game against Calgary Kaizen with a 10-9 thriller, before bowing to Manitoba’s host team, the Smitty’s Terminators 6-1 just prior to the medal round.
Head coach Ed Klammer said Abbotsford teams have rarely made appearances at the fastpitch nationals, and his team can take a lot of pride in their accomplishments.
“These will be lasting memories,” said Klammer.
There were a number of Outlaws’ girls, however, that were recognized for their outstanding play by Softball Canada officials. Second baseman Kelsey Hamade and pick-up catcher Anna Battison of Tsawwassen were both named to the U-16 all-star team. Hamade had a batting average of .476 and Battison .375. The catcher also smacked the Outlaws’ only home run of the tournament. In addition, they both stood out for their great glove work in the field.
Centrefielder Chelsea Jenner received an individual award as the tournament’s top batter with an impressive .632 average. She also had the most hits.
Pitcher Morganne Blattmann contributed to the Outlaws’ efforts with three victories in six pool play games, and a sterling 1.62 ERA.
“She was our number one gun. She was awesome the whole week,” said Klammer.
The White Rock Renegades won the national title, beating the Ajax (Ontario) Raiders 7-3 in the championship game.
The Outlaws won the provincial bronze medal this season.
Klammer predicts the Outlaws will have a solid season as first-year midget players next season, and in two years could again challenge for a national title.
“If the core of the team stays together, they’ll have another shot in two years.”