Moving up to U14B fastball this year after winning the U12B district championship and placing seventh at provincials in 2015, the Duncan RiverCats continued right where they left off.
The RiverCats had already put together an impressive 11-2 record on the Island before heading to a tournament in White Rock earlier this month to test themselves against Mainland competition.
The RiverCats passed that test and finished second in a strong field.
The Duncan team opened against the South Surrey Thunder ‘02, and found themselves trailing 4-0 early on. They rallied with four runs of their own in the third inning, however. Katie White led off with a walk, followed by singles from Emma Wright and Katie Murphy, setting up a one-out homer by Marissa St. Amand to tie the score. Neither team mustered any more offence, and the game was called due to time limits, and went on record as a 4-4 tie. Katie Murphy and Mya Rosenlind split pitching duties, while Emma Wright went 2-for-3 at the plate.
The RiverCats went right back into action against the Tri City Titans, losing 7-1.
“Tri City is one of the top teams in the Lower Mainland league,” Duncan coach Kevin Olender said. “Their pitching was good but we just couldn’t get the offence going.”
In their third game of the day, the RiverCats earned another tie, this time with the Langley Extreme ‘03. With Duncan trailing 3-2, a single by Paiton Douglas and a sacrifice by Katie White plated St. Amand for the tying run. The Extreme responded with five runs in the top of the last inning, but the RiverCats weren’t finished. Katie Murphy singled and came home on Brooklyn Lang’s two-run homer, then Rylee Smith and Mary Murphy singled to set up Anna Beauchamp’s game-tying single. Rosenlind and Smith shared pitching duties.
The RiverCats found themselves in a must-win situation against South Surrey Thunder ‘02 on Sunday morning, needing a victory to advance to the playoff round. First-inning homers by Lang and Katie Murphy kick-started the Duncan attack in an 8-7 victory, while a diving catch by shortstop Mary Murphy and a two-out game-winning hit by Beauchamp proved to be the biggest highlights.
Rosenlind and Lang were both 2-for-2 with home runs, and Katie Murphy was 2-for-3 with a homer. Rosenlind and Smith again split the work on the mound.
A third-place finish in the round robin set up a semifinal rematch with the Extreme ‘03, which the RiverCats won 8-5, thanks to solid defence from Wright at first base and Beauchamp in the outfield.
Smith pitched five compete innings and Rosenlind collected the save while the RiverCats combined for 16 hits, let by Wright, Rosenlind and Katie Murphy, who all went 3-for-4.
The RiverCats again faced the unbeaten Tri City team in the final. Although they fell behind 5-0 early on, the Duncan team rallied, only to fall short 7-5. Rosenlind, Smith and Katie Murphy split pitching duties. Katie Murphy also went 3-for-4 at the plate with a homer and a double, while Smith was 2-for-4 with a triple.