Catch­ing on to cricket

Ballplayer makes suc­cess­ful switch to new kind of pitch

Ottawa Citizen - - Sports - MARTIN CLEARY

For more than a quar­ter cen­tury, Sh­eryl Tit­tlemier spent a good part of her sum­mer bat­ting, field­ing and throw­ing, whether as a T-Ball, soft­ball or slo-pitch player.

But three years ago, the mem­bers of her Ottawa slo-pitch team started to go their sep­a­rate ways and the team folded. As a re­sult, the Health Canada re­search sci­en­tist fig­ured it also was time for change.

In the process of find­ing a new sum­mer pas­time, she thought of her good friend, Gregg Tomy, and his con­nec­tion to cricket.

“I wanted a team sport,” she said in a re­cent in­ter­view. “In the back of my mind, I heard Gregg. (Cricket) is sim­i­lar with catch­ing, bat­ting and scor­ing runs. But it’s to­tally dif­fer­ent. If you say it’s sim­i­lar to base­ball, cricket play­ers don’t like to hear that.”

Tit­tlemier, 33, can say that be­cause she’s a full-fledged cricket player now.

She is the only fe­male player in the all-male Ottawa Val­ley Cricket Coun­cil’s two leagues and has worn New Ed­in­burgh Cricket Club colours for the past two years as a mem­ber of the B team.

In that time, her skills have taken her to na­tional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els.

Tit­tlemier re­cently was se­lected to play for the Cana­dian women’s cricket team on a 13-day tour of Trinidad and Tobago, which ends Tues­day.

“I had a de­cent feel­ing that I had a good chance of mak­ing the team,” she said. “Now, I’m get­ting an op­por­tu­nity to play in a coun­try that has cricket as its main sport. It’s neat.”

While her skills put her on the Cana­dian team with other play­ers from Toronto and Vic­to­ria, she prob­a­bly wouldn’t be there with­out the ac­cep­tance of the New Ed­in­burgh Cricket Club and the en­cour­age­ment of the OVCC.

The OVCC sug­gested Tit­tlemier try out for the na­tional women’s team in Toronto. She played in an ex­hi­bi­tion women’s game in Toronto last year and oc­ca­sion­ally trained with the team dur­ing the win­ter.

But Tit­tlemier is thank­ful to the New Ed­in­burgh team for let­ting her ex­pe­ri­ence the sport, ap­pren­tice with them and fit right in.

“I showed up, but I was a bit ap­pre­hen­sive. They gave me a shot. I asked if I could come back and they said go for it,” said Tit­tlemier, whose de­but came on a pic­ture per­fect sum­mer evening.

“I didn’t think too much about it. I had noth­ing to lose. If I made a fool of my­self, so what?”

But Tit­tlemier’s first prac­tice fo­cused on field­ing and for that she was thank­ful.

“I think it was good I started with that. I was able to catch with my bare hands be­cause there are no gloves. It was a good step­ping stone.”

As for the bat­ting, she was used to hav­ing the ball come at her in the air as op­posed to tak­ing a bounce and then go­ing left or right.

“You must be more fo­cused and sharp. It took get­ting used to,” she added about the bowler’s run­ning de­liv­ery.

Just be­fore Tit­tlemier joined the na­tional team, she was touched by her New Ed­in­burgh team’s send­off.

The play­ers, many of whom are from In­dia and Pak­istan, gave her a club T-shirt with the in­scrip­tion: Chak De Sh­eryl.

Chak De! In­dia is a mo­ti­va­tion movie about fe­male In­dian ath­letes play­ing field hockey for their coun­try.

“I can feel the im­prove­ment, es­pe­cially the bat­ting. Peo­ple have showed me and I can do it,” she said. Win­ners’ cir­cle:

Be­ing the 12th seed cer­tainly was a good num­ber for both the Kanata Cav­a­liers and the Kemptville War­riors at last week­end’s On­tario Cup un­der-14 girls’ ma­jor ban­tam bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onships in Ottawa. Both teams won their roundrobin pools with 3-0 records be­fore Kanata moved ahead to win the gold medal in Di­vi­sion 2 with a 43-41 vic­tory over the Bramp­ton Blue Devils, and Kemptville claimed the sil­ver medal in the Di­vi­sion 4 fi­nal, af­ter los­ing, 59-30, to the Kingsville Class. The pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships at­tracted 88 teams for the seven di­vi­sions. … Gatineau triath­lete

Kathy Trem­blay, who trains in Mon­treal, is half­way to­wards qual­i­fy­ing for the 2008 Sum­mer Olympic Games in Bei­jing. Trem­blay placed an im­pres­sive fifth in the women’s race at the In­ter­na­tional Triathlon Union World Cup in Ishi­gaki, Ja­pan. She fin­ished in two hours five min­utes 57 sec­onds, which was 2:46 be­hind win­ner

Emma Snowsill of Aus­tralia. At the world cham­pi­onships in June in Van­cou­ver, Trem­blay must place in the top eight for an Olympic berth. Ear­lier this month, Trem­blay was awarded $3,000 from the Na­tional Bank Bur­sary Pro­gram to as­sist Que­bec ath­letes. …

Illya Abelev

of the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Wrestling Club won the gold medal in the boys’ 64-kilo­gram class at the Cana­dian cadet freestyle wrestling cham­pi­onships in Saskatoon. In the ju­ve­nile freestyle cham­pi­onships, Gary Gra­ham

of Smiths Falls took bronze in the boys’ 130-kg com­pe­ti­tion, while fifth-place re­sults went to Sarah Stringer,

NCWC, (girls’ 56-kg); Mi­chio Clark,

NCWC (boys’ 46-kg; and Arn­prior

Tay­lor Everd­ing, (boys’ 100-kg. … of

Eric De­shaies Gatineau placed 34th over­all and fifth in his men’s 30-34 age group in nine hours 40 min­utes 33 sec­onds at the Iron­man Ari­zona com­pe­ti­tion. Barry Dmitruk

of Ottawa was 41st over­all, third in his 45-49 age class and stopped the clock in 9:49:22 for his most com­pet­i­tive Iron­man re­sult. … Michel Emond

of Gatineau placed first over­all in the men’s half­marathon at the Minto Run for Reach in one hour 22 min­utes 1.9 sec­onds, and of Ottawa was sec-

Iain Rad­ford ond in 1:22.81. of Ottawa

Lisa Balerna was the top fe­male and ninth over­all in 1:26:19, and sec-

Nancy Coke was ond in 1:32:04.1. The 10-kilo­me­tre cham­pi­ons were Ottawa run­ners Matthew Pi­eter­son

(34:00.5) and Les­lie Sanderson Stacey

(38:58.3). … Dales

of Brockville has an­nounced her re­tire­ment as a player for the Chicago Sky to end a five-year ca­reer in the WNBA. Dales will con­tinue to work for ESPN as a stu­dio an­a­lyst and side­line re­porter. …

Bren­nan Ville­maire

of the Ottawa Na­tional Div­ing Club won five gold medals in the men’s A (ages 16-18) and open classes at a na­tional qual­i­fier div­ing meet in Eto­bi­coke to ad­vance to the Cana­dian se­nior cham­pi­onships, while club­mate earned three

Paige Sawyer bronze medals in girls’ C (ages 11-12) and qual­i­fied for the na­tional age group cham­pi­onships. … Ottawa run­ners and

Re­jean Chiasson Pete Quinn

placed 10th and 12th, re­spec­tively, at the Harry’s Spring Run Off eight-kilo­me­tre event in Toronto’s High Park, post­ing times of 26:10.8 and 27:12.2, re­spec­tively.

Moses Macharia

of Kenya won the run, clock­ing 23:36.7. … of

Lyall Beat­tie Kanata is the di­recteur sportif/man­ager for the new Cana­dian elite cy­cling team spon­sored by Ot­tawabased 2Peer.com and headed by for­mer na­tional team road racer

Czes­law Lukaszewicz.

GGGGG

Sh­eryl Tit­tlemier, the only fe­male player in the Ottawa Val­ley Cricket Coun­cil leagues, was se­lected to play for the Cana­dian women’s team dur­ing a cur­rent 13-day tour of Trinidad and Tobago.

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