Off to Nationals!!!, News (Lucan-Ilderton Baseball)

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Off to Nationals!!!
Submitted By David Landers on Monday, July 16, 2018
Novice Girls Qualify for National Championships in Montreal!!

Congratulations to the U14 Novice Girls for qualifying to represent Ontario at the National Championships in Montreal. 

The Lucan-Ilderton U14 Novice Girls ventured to Windsor, Ontario this past weekend to compete for a spot at the National Championships which take place in Montreal, Quebec from August 15 to August 19. The team went into the tournament as an unranked team playing against the Provinces top teams with a goal of trying to compete and see where little Lucan-Ilderton stood amongst the best. 

The team was placed in a pool of 6 teams which included #1 ranked Brampton, #4 ranked Vaughan, #5 ranked Oakville, #7 ranked Halton, and unranked Napanee and Lucan-Ilderton. The top two teams from pool play would advance to Sunday with a chance to qualify for the National Championships. 

The girls started off the tournament with a thrilling victory over Oakville on Thursday evening. Oakville led the game 4 to 0 going into the bottom of the 7th inning when the Lucan-Ilderton bats finally came alive. The girls had a walk off win scoring 5 runs in the final inning which was completed with a home run. The win sparked the team into believing they could compete with the best Ontario has to offer at U14 girls fastball. 

Friday morning the girls fought hard but came up short in a 3 to 0 loss to Vaughan and then got thumped by the #1 ranked Brampton team by a score 15 to 0. At this point they still had to play one more game on that Friday and were pretty beat up, tired and defeated. The girls had a lot of pride and wanted to prove to everyone that they belonged with these teams and got the bats going to defeat Halton by a score of 8 to 5. 

With a record of 2 and 2 after two days of play the team was proud of their accomplishments and began to believe that they could compete. They had to sit around all day on Saturday and wait to play their final pool play game at 9:00pm that night. Lots of team bonding and rest helped them prepare for a must win game against Napanee. Both Napanee and Lucan-Ilderton had a chance to advance from pool play with a win and both teams wanted it. It was an amazing battle with 5 lead changes in the game. It was an emotional roller coaster for the girls who found themselves down by three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs. These girls refused to be denied the win and through sheer determination found a way to score 4 runs in that final inning, all with two outs and on many occasions 2 strikes on the batter. With the winning run on second base, we battled an 8 pitch at bat to launch a bomb over the outfielders head for a walk off double to take the win by a final score of 12 to 11. The win advanced the team to the final 8 on Sunday. 

Sunday brought about the best 8 teams at the tournament with 7 teams getting a spot at the National Championships. Each team would play 3 games on Sunday and one win would secure your spot. The team had to face #1 Brampton again and came up short with an 11 to 1 loss. Their second chance was against #2 ranked Kitchener. The girls brought their best effort to this game but could not pull of a 7th inning miracle and fell just short with a 4 to 3 loss. With one last chance to make it to Montreal, the girls had to face Windsor for the final spot at the National tournament. The girls were exhausted and extremely hot but once again they were able to find a way to pull together, stay positive and work as a team to pull off the upset and win another exciting game by a score of 11 to 7. 

As the lowest ranked team in this tournament of the best Ontario has to offer, it is a truly amazing accomplishment for this group of girls. We are extremely proud of this group of small town girls who have demonstrated how determined and talented the kids from Lucan and Ilderton are. We may be "Hockeyville" in the winter but these girls just told the rest of the Province that we play ball in the summer!

Team members include:  Renee McNaughton, Keeley Landers, Ava Lewis, Jocelyn Amos, Emma Dykeman, Laura Barfette, Jessica Bycraft, Jill Milligan, Ava Taylor, Mary Goudy and Ava Hart


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