Outlaws punch ticket to softball nationals

Earning a berth to the Canadian U16 Softball Championships represents a landmark achievement for the Abbotsford 95A Outlaws bantam girls squad.

Earning a berth to the Canadian U16 Softball Championships represents a landmark achievement for the Abbotsford 95A Outlaws bantam girls squad.

The Outlaws are believed to be the first girls fastpitch team from Abbotsford to secure a trip to nationals. This year’s tournament runs Aug. 17-21 in Winnipeg, and the Outlaws punched their ticket by virtue of a bronze medal at the provincial championship last week in Richmond.

“This is a big deal for Abbotsford Minor Fastpitch Association and our local community,” said assistant coach Glen Hayward. “They’ve played awesome all year, going 13-0 in league play, and deserve to be there along with 13 other top teams from across Canada. We are very proud of them.”

The Abbotsford softball team’s roots in the community go back generations. Outlaws shortstop Julia Willson, for instance, is a third-generation player. Julia’s grandmother, Annie Corke, is in the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Bradner ladies softball/slo-pitch program, and her mother Jody played for the Mt. Lehman Angels in the late 1970s.

Beyond this year’s provincial bronze medal, the Outlaws 95A have won two B.C. titles, one bronze medal at the Western Canadian Championships, and one silver medal at the U.S. Western World Series over the past three years.

IN BRIEF:

• Outlaws centre fielder Chelsea Jenner has been selected as a late addition to the B.C. women’s softball team for the Western Canada Summer Games, as an injury replacement. The Western Games run Aug. 5-14 in Kamloops.

• The Outlaws are seeking sponsors to help offset the expenses for the trip to nationals. For more information, call Linda Horacsek at 604-820-9601 or email horacsek@shaw.ca.