The California A's receive their Women's Elite gold medals on Sunday afternoon at Softball City's Canadian Open Fastpitch Championship.

VIDEO: California A’s complete their Canadian Open quest

The California A's are the 2012 Canadian Open Women's Elite champions, and they've had a blast in Surrey and White Rock.



The California A’s are the Women’s Elite champions, running the table and capping their ten-day marathon by defeating Team Great Britain, 3-2, in Sunday’s gold medal game.

11 wins, 83 runs for, three runs against, and the A’s solidified themselves as the team to beat at this year’s Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.

The A’s are the product of owner/manager Kathy Miller, who funds the entire team in Newport Beach, and their season is short, to say the least. The A’s play only one tournament a year, and that’s Softball City’s Canadian Open.

“My goal (every year) is to come up to Canada, because I came up here in ’93 and was so impressed with your group and your hospitality and the professionalism of this tournament,” she said.

Miller said she has made lifelong friends through her years in this tournament and, while winning is always the goal, it’s as much about what happens around the field as it is what happens on it.

Last Monday, the A’s led a skills clinic for youngsters from Surrey and the surrounding area. They’ve also mixed dinner parties with Team Peru and others, and Miller said they’ve been taken aback by the “stellar” atmosphere of the Canadian Open.

“We were blessed to do your clinic for your Canadian Girls on Monday,” she said. “(Our) girls got more out of it than the little girls did.”

The A’s are clearly successful, and their program has launched the careers of many stars, including current Team USA pitcher Keilani Ricketts. At this year’s Open, the A’s had three Elite tournament All-Stars.

However, Miller says her goal is to recruit not just exceptional players, but exceptional women, as well.

“There are no egos on my team,” she said from Diamond 2 at Softball City. “It’s all about helping out while we’re here and being part of a unit. We come together once a year.”

On top of Miller’s funding of the entire team, she also raises money for athletes or those in her community who have succumb to life-threatening illnesses, and athletes who have been injured, such as one girl who became a paraplegic after a snowboard accident.

One of the California A’s current headliners is right fielder Jena Rubio, who led the Elite division in round robin batting average, hitting .600 through seven games. The Cal State Fullerton sophomore is also listed at 5’1″ and she’s noticeable from the stands simply by her energy on the base paths and in the field.

“Rubio is phenomenal,” said Miller. “She’s our smallest player, but with the biggest heart. She’s all guts.

“She’s everything you’d want. If you’d seen her in the clinic, you’d have been blown away. The little girls saw hope, they know you don’t have to be a big girl to play softball.”

– story by Kolby Solinsky

@KolbySolinsky

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Police investigate at Surrey townhouse complex

Officers were in the 19000-block of 64 Avenue Thursday evening

Wind warning for White Rock, South Surrey

Gusts up to 90 km/h expected from Richmond to Langley Friday (Sept. 25) morning

Surrey-born Trybe social media app’s award system connects with Nickelback singer

‘It’s turned into so much more than we originally conceived,’ says co-founder of the new platform

Drifting sailboat runs aground on White Rock beach

Vessel dragged anchor in high wind, no environmental damage sustained

Panorama Ridge Secondary reports third COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Abbotsford veteran survives cancer scare, celebrates 95th birthday

Second World War veteran Andy Anderson receives socially distanced birthday party after health scare

Mounties cleared by watchdog in fatal shooting of man with schizophrenia in Maple Ridge

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Most Read