A year after winning a national championship in the under-16 category, the White Rock Renegades ’95 have become Canada’s best softball team in the under-18 age group.
The Renegades won an all-B.C. final at the Under-18 Women’s Fastpitch Canadian Championship in Montreal Sunday afternoon, defeating the Surrey Storm 2-0.
White Rock pitcher Jocelyn Cater, a member of Canada’s national team, threw a two-hitter against the Storm, striking out six batters and walking seven.
While the Renegades won the provincial championship last month in Victoria, it was the Surrey Storm looking as though it was B.C.’s best bet for the national title for much of the week in Montreal.
The Storm, third place finishers in Victoria three weeks ago behind the Renegades and Victoria Devils, won its first seven round robin games before falling 1-0 to the Guelph Gators to earn the No. 2 seed for the double-knockout playoff.
The Renegades ’95, meanwhile, lost their first game of the week-long tournament and were just 3-2 (won-loss) midway through the round robin before winning three straight games to finish at 6-2 and in third place.
White Rock proved the superior team in the playoff. They defeated the Storm 2-1 in a first-round game Friday night, with Cater throwing a complete-game two-hitter that included 12 strikeouts and just two walks.
Even with Cater all but shutting down the Storm, White Rock needed a two-out, bases-loaded single by Cheyanne Head to score Sydney Brown for the win.
Sara Groenewegen pitched Saturday night in a 3-1 win over Guelph, one of just two teams to defeat the Renegades in round robin play. Groenewegen had 10 strikeouts, limiting the Gators to three singles, five walks and an unearned run.
She was also the top performer at the plate, with driving in two runs and scoring the third on a pair of singles.
After their loss Friday night, the Storm took the long way back to Sunday’s final, winning twice Saturday and one more Sunday just two hours before the championship game.
They began with a 3-2 over the Brantford Bobcats. Dallas Tilley scored the winning run in the sixth inning, hitting a triple then going home when the Bobcats shortstop mishandled a ball hit by Alisha Welch.
Surrey then stopped Victoria 4-0 Saturday night, with Lindsey Ogilvie going two-for-three at the plate with a triple, a run batted in (RBI) and two runs scored.
Tori Belton threw a complete-game shutout in a 1-0 win over Guelph Sunday morning. The Storm scored the only run of the game in the top of the seventh inning, on a single by Kylie Reubens which scored Chelsea Jenner from third base.
But the win streak would stop at three games.
The Renegades got the first run of the final in their first at-bat, after Brianna Loewen singled and moved to third on an error by a Storm outfielder. Two batters later, she scored on a base-hit from Sara Groenewegen.
Sara Mason singled to score Sydney Brown in the fourth inning for a 2-0 White Rock lead.
Down to their last out in the seventh inning, Surrey loaded the bases when Janessa Neufeld and Anna Battison drew walks, and Kendra Goodman singled.
But Cater got the final out on a strikeout.
FOUL TIPS: Cater won the tournament’s Best Pitcher award for her play in the round robin, posting a 0.28 earned run average
Catcher Sara Mason, also of the Renegades ’95, was the all-star team catcher.
All-stars from the Surrey Storm included Lindsey Ogilvie at first base, Alisha Welch at shortstop, and Chelsea Jenner in the outfield.
The White Rock Renegades ’94 went 5-3 in round robin play to place sixth, and were eliminated 4-3 by the Brantford Bobcats in their first playoff game.