Playing ball with the boys

CLOVERDALE – Hayley Grice of the Cloverdale Spurs is a trailblazer.

 

The 13-year-old is the only girl participating in this years Peewee AAA B.C. Provincial Championships.

 

Grice – who has played ball since she was five – usually plays first or third base and occasionally pitches.

 

Despite being the only female on the team, she still enjoys it and has played with and against her teammates for years.

 

She thought about playing softball, but decided that baseball was what she wanted to pursue.

 

"It’s way more competitive," said Hayley. "I went and watched (the softball team), but it wasn’t good enough."

 

Her mother, Dawn, said that the Grice family is a baseball family and Hayley was raised on the diamond, which has given her a passion for the sport. She has even played on the same team as her 14-year-old brother.

 

"She’s very, very competitive. She likes playing with the boys," Dawn said.

 

Tim Blake, Grice’s coach, has been coaching baseball for 30 years and this is the first time he’s had a girl on one of his teams.

 

"She works her butt off all the time. She can play with the best of them," Blake said. "It’s pretty obvious because she’s out here with the top-level kids at this age group in B.C. and she can hold her own."

 

Blake said that she is a strong part of his team and that won’t change.

 

"There’s no special treatment," he said. "There’s not a problem at all. She’s a hard working kid and she plays the game well."

 

Blake also said that because her teammates have played with and against her in the past, there is team unity and Grice fits in without any issues.

 

"She just fits in seamlessly," he added. Dawn said the team and association has been supportive of her daughter playing peewee baseball.

 

"You don’t get too much negativity about a girl playing in a boy’s sport," Dawn said.

 

Playing on a boy’s team is not the only time she’s had to prove people wrong. When

 

she was seven years old, doctors didn’t think Hayley would walk again.

 

"She had bone deterioration that we didn’t know. They misdiagnosed and though she had cerebral palsy. It was her whole spine had jumped forward so it severed some nerves. She woke up and couldn’t really walk," Dawn said.

 

Hayley was placed in a body cast and wasn’t able to run or jump for a year and her mother feared the worst.

 

"When we were sitting there with four surgeons and they said there’s a good chance she can’t walk, it’s pretty heart wrenching," Dawn said.

 

However, Hayley was determined to beat the odds and managed to leave the hospital

 

two weeks before doctors predicted she would.

 

Today, Hayley plays baseball at the highest level during the spring while playing hockey in the winter.

 

"The fact that she’s doing all that is kind of crazy. She’s a tough cookie," said Dawn.

 

Cloverdale Minor Baseball hosted the provincial championships this past weekend at Cloverdale Ball Park, which is at 17383 61A Avenue.

 

As of Friday, Hayley’s team was 0-2. Along with the Cloverdale Spurs, White Rock also qualified for the tournament.

 

To find results from the tournament, follow @peeweeaaa2014 on Twitter.

 

kyle.benning@gmail.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Walnut Grove’s Shawn Meehan (front) has started another band, Trigger Mafia. This local country rocker has put country on the shelf, and is going hard-core rock with this group, releasing their first single last Friday to radio. It started as a way to pass the time during the COVID lockdown, and evolved. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Langley musician drives rock revival with COVID twist

Trigger Mafia goes straight from the garage to radio with raw lyrics

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Teachers, staff should be included in contact tracing: Surrey Teachers’ Association president

STA says there is also ‘no harm in going even further’ with a mask mandate

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

The peninsula’s Community Christmas Day Dinner at White Rock Baptist Church – seen here in 2019 – has been cancelled for 2020, because of pandemic-inspired limitations on gatherings. (File photo)
Annual Community Christmas dinner ‘just not possible’ this year

Organizers vow that 40 years-plus Semiahmoo Peninsula tradition will return, post-COVID

Strawberry Hill Hall is being renovated and moved to another location on its existing corner lot in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey’s historic Strawberry Hill Hall being moved a few metres in $1.2M reno project

Childcare spaces coming to corner lot where hall has stood for 111 years

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks Thursday (Oct. 29) during a news conference held at Fraser Health office, in video posted to Facebook. (Photo: Government of British Columbai/Facebook)
COVID-19 ‘disproportionately’ affecting Fraser Health: Henry

Health region has about 75 per cent of B.C.’s active cases

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Most Read