The Abbotsford 96A Outlaws turned in a tremendous performance at the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship in South Surrey last week, bringing home the silver medal from the elite tournament.
Playing against primarily second-year bantam teams, the first-year Outlaws battled their way to the final in the Showcase (under-16) Division, where they fell 10-1 to a seasoned Hawaii Lohaki squad.
“The thing we’re proud of is, we were really the only ’96 team in the hunt,” head coach Jody Graboski enthused. “It lets our girls know they can play with anybody. If they bring their emotional high to every game, they’re tough to beat. We truly did this with all 12 kids on the roster.”
The Canadian Open, one of North America’s most prestigious women’s fastpitch events, brought together 1,300 athletes and 80 teams from around the world in three divisions. The Showcase Division alone featured teams from Arizona, California and Washington, in addition to the victorious Hawaiians.
En route to the gold medal game, the 96A Outlaws knocked off their Abbotsford Minor Fastball compatriots, Outlaws 95, in the quarter-final. Putting two teams into the final eight represented a terrific showing for the local association.
In the final, Graboski’s squad simply ran into a juggernaut.
“They were definitely the better team,” he said of the Hawaiians. “They just kept coming at us. They did everything at just a little bit higher level than we did.”