U16 RiverCats slide into softball provincials

After compiling their best record yet, the U16 Duncan RiverCats are headed to the provincial softball championships.

After compiling their best record yet, the U16 Duncan RiverCats are headed to the provincial softball championships in Cranbrook on the Canada Day weekend.

The RiverCats finished the season with 12 wins and three losses, second only to Central Saanich. The team then won the bronze medal as hosts of the district championships at Evans Park last weekend, edged out once again by a Central Saanich team.

The RiverCats won their district championship tournament opener on Friday night 8-7 over Central Saanich (McKenzie). They went on to beat Lakehill 12-9 on Saturday, then fell 16-5 to Central Saanich (Lebbetter), the eventual gold medallists, on Sunday morning.

Facing Central Saanich (McKenzie) once again for the silver medal on Sunday afternoon, the RiverCats fell 12-11 and took the bronze, missing a guaranteed spot in the provincial championships by a single run.

The RiverCats thought they had missed out on a berth at provincials, but ended up making it through after all. One spot remained open after all the other places had been allocated, and the RiverCats held the best record and district placing, so they were awarded the berth.

“The girls are so excited,” co-coach Larry Hobday said. “Some of them have never played at the provincial level in any sport, so this is a big deal.”

Along with Hobday, the RiverCats are coached by Larry Squire and former Canadian national team player and Atlanta Braves minor leaguer Jeff Hurford.

Pitcher Lauryn Morgan had been picked up to travel to provincials with the Island gold medallists, but will now be making the trip with her Duncan teammates.

The players will be bagging groceries at the Duncan Superstore this weekend from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help offset the costs of their trip to Cranbrook.