Duncan girls battle the world in softball series

From Duncan to the World Series.

Without a senior girls softball team to play with in Duncan, outfielder Alyssa Burrows and outfielder/catcher Tawni Daniels spent the summer playing for a team from Layritz in Victoria, and from there were picked to play with the Victoria team that represented Canada at the Senior League Softball World Series in Delaware in August.

The Canadians fared well against the world’s best, winning three games and losing two, although Burrows and Daniels felt they could have done even better.

"It was the little mistakes that hurt us," Daniels said.

Burrows elaborated. "We couldn’t hit very well," she said. "Near the end of the tournament, we started hitting. If we hit like we could have, we could have made it farther."

In a pool with teams from Montana (USA West), Texas (USA Southwest), Florida (USA Southeast) and the Philippines (Asia-Pacific), the Victoria team went 2-2, their wins coming against Montana (2-0) and the Philippines (11-0).

Canada fell 5-4 to the Texas team, and 4-1 to Florida.

The other pool included teams from Indiana (USA Central), Pennsylvania (USA East), Puerto Rico (Latin America), Poland (Europe-Africa) and the host district.

Just barely missing the playoffs, the Canadians played a consolation game against the Europe-Africa representatives from Wroclaw, Poland, winning 4-0.

Not bad for a team that had never taken the field as one unit.

"We played really well, better than I thought we would going into it," Burrows said. "Going into the tournament, we had played no games together as a team."

The Victoria team was supposed to play an Ontario squad for the right to represent Canada, but that never materialized.

Although they didn’t make the playoffs, the Canadians were the only team in pool play to beat the Missoula, Montana team that reached the final, ultimately falling to the USA Central team from Indiana.

The international flavour of the tournament was what made the entire trip worthwhile for Burrows.

"I liked that there were a bunch of different teams from around the world," she said.

Daniels nearly backed out of the trip just before leaving, but decided to stick it out and was pleased with her decision.

"To be honest, I was having second thoughts because I didn’t really know anyone on the team," she said. "But I was really glad I went. It turned out great."

Among the highlights for the Duncan girls was an invitation by the Texas team to join in their pre-game prayers.

When school resumes, Burrows will be heading into Grade 12 at Cowichan Secondary, while Daniels will start Grade 11. With her final year coming up, Burrows is hoping to score herself a spot on a post-secondary team.

"I’d like to play college ball, but I don’t know if it’s in the cards," she said.

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