Duncan contributions help Victoria Devils to national softball bronze

A softball player and two coaches from Duncan helped the Victoria Devils reach third place in the gold division

A softball player and two coaches from Duncan helped the Victoria Devils reach third place in the gold division at the U14A national championships in Winnipeg.

Katie Murphy was called up to the Devils from the U14B Duncan RiverCats for the provincial and national championships, while Brian Bull and Stan McKinlay served as the Devils’ coaches all season.

“It’s a pretty big accomplishment,” Bull said. “Especially when you’re playing teams from across Canada. We got into the medal round, which was sort of a goal of ours. Actually getting a medal is icing on the cake.”

One of the Devils’ losses came at the hands of the other B.C. representative, the White Rock Renegades. They were also beaten by one of the five Ontario teams in the round robin, but got a second crack at them in the playoffs and won. The Devils played eight games at nationals, winning six and losing two. They went 4-2 in the round robin, then won both of their playoff games.

White Rock ended up getting the gold medal, while Smitty’s Terminators from Manitoba got silver.

Murphy had played with the 2002 Devils team in 2015, but spent this season playing at the B-level with the RiverCats until joining the A-level Devils for the provincial tournament, which was played at Duncan’s Evans Park.

“She played with us last year,” Bull noted. “She came back this year as a pickup and didn’t disappoint.”

Murphy played most of the tournament in left field, and also pitched a few innings, while batting second on the order. She hit .286 and had a .476 on-base percentage, one of four players on the team with a .400-plus OBP.

“She did a very good job,” Bull said. “Duncan Junior Baseball should be proud of her.”