After winning their league and Island championships at the C level in 2014, the U12 Duncan Rivercats girls fastball team jumped up to the B level this year, and the move paid off.
On Tuesday night, the Rivercats clinched the South Island U12 B league title with an 8-6 win over Strawberry Vale at Evans Park, the team’s third straight come-from-behind victory.
The Duncan squad went 13-1 in league play this year, and also claimed gold at the Langford tournament, placed third in the B division at another tournament at Softball City in May, and reached the quarterfinals of yet another event in North Delta.
"The Rivercats have surpassed any of the coaching staff ‘s expectations," head coach Kevin Olender said.
The team got things going with clinics over the winter, and benefited from a large group of returning players, including Rylee Smith, Mary Murphy, Brooklyn Lang, Paiton Douglas, Hailey Weremi, Sierra Screaton, Anna Beauchamp and Mya Rosenlind. They were bolstered this year by newcomers Ella Duncan-Reda, Bethany Brass, Emma Wright and Lexi Macleod.
Next up for the team Rivercats is the district playdowns at Strawberry Vale in Victoria, where the top two teams will qualify for the provincial tournament in Richmond.
The Rivercats will have a tough draw in their first game as they face Lakehill, which is the only team they have lost to this year.
The Rivercats expressed their gratitude to their many sponsors, including James Street Billiards, the Kinettes, Ian Fraser Contracting, Urban Tees, Westholme Sand and Gravel, the South End Volunteer Fire Department, O’Hair’s Styling Group, Pemberton Holmes, FBM Plumbing, Romax, Onsite Oilfield Safety and Columbia Ice.
"We would have a tough time to give these young ladies the opportunities and memories they have enjoyed without the sponsors," Olender said.