ATHABASCA – It may not have worked out on the scoreboard for the Athabasca Pitch Perfect, but the team of U14 softball players still returned from provincials last week with their heads held high.
The team finished the two-day, 10-team U14D provincial tournament over the Aug. 6-8 weekend at Henry Singer Park in Edmonton, playing in four games and finishing with an 0-4 record, but not for lack of trying, said coach Caelan McNamara.
Restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic really hindered the team over the last two seasons, who didn’t have much of an opportunity to gel as a team, and only played three games against the team from Barrhead during that time.
The Pitch Perfect took on the Bawlf Trail Blazers in their opening game Friday afternoon; the Parkland Twins Friday afternoon; the South Edmonton Blades Saturday morning; and finished up the tournament Saturday afternoon against the Medicine Hat Thunder.
“The one team we played, we were up on them, but lost in the last inning. And then the last team we played, we were tied and went into an extra inning and only lost by a few runs in that one, so two of our games were really good,” said McNamara.
“The improvement they made from Day 1 versus Game 4, for sure, if we would have had a little more gameplay or even a tournament before provincials, the outcome would have been a lot different.”
The girls took it all in stride though and continued having fun and making friends throughout the weekend, which is really what it’s all about.
“The memories we made and the experience for them, I think was enough,” she said, adding that during the two rain delays that took place on Saturday, the sportsmanship between the two teams was really great to see.
To wait out the rain, the team drew a tic-tac-toe board on a ball and passed it between dugouts, which helped bring everyone together, and provided a distraction from the weather.
“They made a lot of memories and got a lot of girls’ numbers and social media, so it was really fun weekend, the girls had lots of fun,” McNamara said.
As for next year, McNamara said the entire team will be aging out and moving up a level and she hopes she can be there to coach them in a post-pandemic world.