These girls have game

Lo­cal fe­male ball play­ers named to provin­cial team

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­

There is an old say­ing in base­ball that you can never have enough pitch­ing.

Not all play­ers can toe the rub­ber ef­fec­tively, so it makes a man­ager’s job eas­ier when they have lots of pitch­ers who can log in­nings.

That’s why three se­lec­tions for the provin­cial fe­male ban­tam team head­ing to the 2014 un­der-16 Girls’ In­vi­ta­tional Cham­pi­onship from Base­ball CBN fig­ure to be im­por­tant pieces go­ing for­ward.

Vic­to­ria Rear­don (Up­per Is­land Cove), Noelle Drover (Up­per Is­land Cove) and Stephanie Crane (Up­per Is­land Cove) are the lat­est se­lec­tions from the CBN pro­gram to head to na­tion­als and will join 12 other fe­male play­ers from this province, along with one from Prince Edward Is­land, for tour­na­ment Aug. 2125 in Saque­nay, Que­bec.

Each of them can play a po­si­tion in the field, but more im­por­tantly, each of them pitch, and pitch well.

Their se­lec­tions place them among eight fe­male play­ers from the CBN pro­gram tabbed to rep­re­sent their province on the na­tional stage in the last cou­ple of years. “It’s pretty cool,” said Noelle, 14. The three play­ers grew up play­ing to­gether in Up­per Is­land Cove, one of the base ar­eas for Base­ball CBN. The other ar­eas are Spa­niard’s Bay and Har­bour Grace.

Al­beit, Noelle and Vic­to­ria also play with the male ban­tam squad, while Stephanie fo­cuses on the fe­male side of the ball.

Noelle is the daugh­ter of Shawn and Lor­raine Drover. Vic­to­ria is the daugh­ter of Re­nee and Randy Rear­don, while Stephanie is the daugh­ter of Gary and Ros­alie Crane.

Their se­lec­tions

For a cou­ple of days it seemed like there was only go­ing to be a sin­gle en­try from this re­gion on the team.

Stephanie was named to the team out of the gate, while Vic­to­ria and Noelle were se­lected af­ter coach Bob Mor­gan made a spe­cial trip to eval­u­ate them fur­ther.

“It felt wicked,” said Stephanie of her se­lec­tion. “I’ve been wait­ing awhile to get on this team.”

Stephanie’s sis­ter Holly pre­vi­ously played on the ban­tam provin­cial team.

For any young ball player, to be named to a provin­cial team is a big deal. There are cer­tain qual­i­ties that make a provin­cial ball player dif­fer­ent from a non-provin­cial selectee.

They play the game at an ad­vanced level and most im­por­tantly think the game at a higher level.

“It’s a big op­por­tu­nity,” said Vic­to­ria, 14.

Role mod­els

With these se­lec­tions, the three have now be­come role mod­els to the fe­male play­ers com­ing be­hind them.

Es­sen­tially, they’ve come full cir­cle. They’ve gone from look­ing up to the ath­letes be­fore them to be­com­ing an in­flu­ence on young ball play­ers them­selves.

Now, it’s their turn to in­spire fe­male play­ers to stay in the game.

“It might en­cour­age younger girls to play,” said Vic­to­ria.

A big part of these na­tional tour­na­ments goes on away from the di­a­mond. It is hang­ing out with team­mates at the ho­tel, see­ing the lo­cal sights and meet­ing new peo­ple.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to ev­ery­thing,” said Noelle.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

These three Base­ball CBN fe­male play­ers have been named to the provin­cial fe­male ban­tam team head­ing to the 2014 un­der-16 Girls’ In­vi­ta­tio­nial Cham­pi­onships be­ing held in Saque­nay, Que., Aug. 21-25. They are, from left, Stephanie Crane, Vic­to­ria Rear­don and Noelle Drover.

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