FASTPITCH: Cloverdale Fury’s extra training leads to first-ever gold at provincials

SURREY — Hard work and extra training paid off in gold for the Cloverdale Fury girls, who are coming off a superb performance at the Supermite fastpitch provincials in Burnaby.

This year, Cloverdale Minor Fastpitch Association ran a hybrid supermite program for girls born in 2005. The hope was the girls would benefit from the extra training and be competitive at the Squint Lake Provincials.

It worked.

The team entered four tournaments and played in the championship game in all of them. Their first two they came second but in Richmond, they got their first first-place medal, despite being considered considerable underdogs to the likes of perennial power houses Ridge Meadows, Tri Cities and defending champions North Langley.

The Fury finished the round robin with a convincing record of 3-0-1 placing fourth.

Monday, in the team’s first elimination game, they faced a strong team from South Vancouver Island, which struggled against the Fury’s pitching duo of McKenna Merrells and Sidney Finnigan. And as they had all year, the Fury’s bats proved to be too consistent to contain.

The win led to a semifinal against the tournament favourite TriCity Titans, who had only lost twice all year.

This time, McKenna dominated the game on the mound, along with catcher Siena Jones. The Fury won 6-0.

They then faced Ridge Meadows in the final. Despite taking an early 5-0 lead in the first inning, the Fury found themselves tied 10-10 in the final inning with Ridge Meadows having bases loaded with two out. A spectacular catch in left field by Laura Schmidt sent the game into extra innings, where the Fury found some clutch hits and took a 14-10 lead.

McKenna took seven pitches to retire the side for the gold medal victory.

The trophy win was the first in Cloverdale Minor Fastpitch Association’s history at the tournament.

The Fury future seems bright in Cloverdale – as a result of the team’s success this year, the Cloverdale Fury name will now be represented in girls fastpitch rep A league with this 2005 team, the first ever Cloverdale rep A team.

Tryouts to fill the roster for this group will run in the beginning of September.

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