A great per­for­mance for five fe­male CBN base­ball play­ers

Part of Team NL that fin­ished fourth at na­tion­als

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

In late Au­gust, five fe­male base­ball play­ers from Con­cep­tion Bay North ac­com­plished some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary

They com­peted for a medal at the 2013 16-and-un­der Girls In­vi­ta­tional Base­ball Cham­pi­onship in Bed­ford, Nova Sco­tia on Aug. 22-26.

Rep­re­sent­ing New­found­land and Labrador, Me­gan Adams (Up­per Is­land Cove), Holly Crane (Up­per Is­land Cove), Cai­ley Drover (Up­per Is­land Cove), Vanessa Jones (Bishop’s Cove) and April Squires (Til­ton) met their coun­ter­parts from Bri­tish Columbia in the bronze medal game.

Un­for­tu­nately, a win was not in the cards as Team BC soundly de­feated Team NL 11-1.

How­ever, it was the high­est a New­found­land team had ever fin­ished at the tour­na­ment.

“It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Drover.

It was a stark dif­fer­ence for the five lo­cal ball play­ers.

Each was a mem­ber of the team last sea­son that fin­ished seven out of eight teams at the tour­na­ment.

This year, the same team jumped up four spots to fin­ish fourth. This fin­ish places New­found­land play­ers among the best in the coun­try.

“It was the trip of a life­time,” said Jones.

“You hate to lose any medal game, but you look back on it, and it is a huge ac­com­plish­ment,” added coach Bob Mor­gan.

The big dif­fer­ence be­tween last year and this year can be at­trib­uted to the im­proved skills of the fe­male play­ers.

Th­ese im­prove­ments lead to a bet­ter per­for­mance in all as­pects of the game.

“We lost some games last year 243, but this year the games were way, way closer,” said Crane.

“It makes us feel top notch,” added Squires.

Tour­na­ment re­sults

The proof, as they say, is in the pud­ding.

Team NL would drop its first two games to peren­nial pow­er­houses On­tario (12-6) and Bri­tish Columbia (7-3), how­ever the team got into the win col­umn against Manitoba (10-8).

Next up was another pow­er­house, Que­bec. The rep­re­sen­ta­tives from La Belle Prov­ince bested New­found­land 27-3.

Un­de­terred from the de­feat, New­found­land blasted Nova Sco­tia by a score of 7-1, then dropped a nar­row 4-2 de­ci­sion to Al­berta.

The team’s 2-4 record earned them a re­match with Bri­tish Columbia in the bronze medal game.

Coaches words

Coaches Mor­gan, Ja­son Walsh and Alex Walsh had glow­ing re­views for the five Base­ball CBN play­ers.

They were praised for their work ethic, at­ti­tudes and the over­all de­meanor they brought to the ballpark ev­ery day.

“They were great team play­ers,” said Ja­son. “They were al­ways mo­ti­vated and al­ways hav­ing fun.”

When ath­letes reach a cer­tain level, there is a chance they be­come role mod­els for the ath­letes at the lower lev­els.

This can be said for the five CBN play­ers.

With their ex­pe­ri­ence at na­tion­als, Adams, Crane, Drover, Jones and Squires have be­come role mod­els to the younger fe­male play­ers in the as­so­ci­a­tion.

Not only that, they’re in­flu­ence as in­flu­en­tial mem­bers of the com­mu­nity ex­tends far be­yond the bound­aries of their lo­cal area.

Even at the na­tional tour­na­ment, they were shown praise wor­thy of pro­fes­sional ball play­ers.

“We signed base­balls up there,” said Adams.

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