Locals abound on provincial female roster
Scrolling down the selection list for the Newfoundland and Labrador under-16 female baseball team, it doesn’t take long to come across a familiar name.
Moving past names like Kaitlyn Harris, Dayle Prowse and Samantha Gosse, you’ll notice a player from Baseball CBN.
Then another and then another until you find there are five players from the local association.
It starts at Stephanie Crane (Upper Island Cove) and continues with Noelle Drover (Upper Island Cove), Victoria Reardon (Upper Island Cove), Jenna Lee Ralph (Spaniard’s Bay) and Samantha Pike (Harbour Grace).
That is about a third of the roster of 16.
Crane, Reardon and Drover have been here before. They donned Newfoundland red last summer when the trio travelled to Quebec for the national girls baseball invitation tournament. This year’s tourney is slated for Saquenay, Que., Aug. 13-17.
Meanwhile, Ralph and Pike are the new kids on the block.
This will be their first time representing their province on Team NL. Ralph was selected last year but was forced to back out as she had a busy summer schedule and it conflicted with another sport.
“It was a big surprise when I found out I was selected,” said Pike. “It’s cool that I’m the only one from Harbour Grace.”
“It was awesome,” added Ralph. “They sent an email to my mom, and she called me. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends. I had been nervous for a couple of weeks.”
Some 60 players hit the field for the tryout, representing some stiff competition for all five of the players as they attempted to make the team.
“I was nervous at first, but I starting getting used to it as the camp went on,” said Pike. Female baseball strong Baseball is at an all-time high in this province amongst female athletes. There are strong programs in all the major baseball centres, including Conception Bay North.
The west coast is experiencing a large surge in players, while the east coast continues to boast some of the finest female ballplayers on the island.
But, having one-third of a provincial team roster stacked with local talent might tip the scales when it comes to female baseball’s home. If you look at it the right way, one could conceivably call Baseball CBN a female stronghold.
It is commonplace to see young female athletes learning the game at each level on fields in Spaniard’s Bay, Harbour Grace and Upper Island Cove. There is talent here, and this proves it.
“It shows we have some pretty good players right here,” said Ralph. Including the five players from this year’s team, a total of 10 female players from Baseball CBN have represented the province at national competitions within the last four years.
The two newcomers from this region are no strangers to the baseball diamond. They’ve been learning the game since they
All-around players were young and are well versed in the game’s intricacies.
Each player patrols the outfield for their home team and can transition between hitting and fielding seamlessly.
Neither Ralph nor Pike have been to Quebec in their short lifetime. The team has tours lined up for the players, which should only add to the experience. “It’ll be an awesome trip,” said Ralph. “I can’t wait to meet all of the players from the different provinces.”
Samantha Pike (left) and Jenna Lee Ralph are two of five female players from Baseball CBN selected for the provincial under-16 female team.