On one occasion earlier this season, two Nanaimo Diamonds teams met in a tournament final to play for gold and silver.
They’d love for that to happen again this weekend at Softball B.C.’s midget B girls’ championships at Beban Park. But even if that doesn’t come to pass, Sunday’s gold-medal game is bound to be exciting.
Only the best fastpitch softball teams have made it to this stage of the season, so any of the 16 teams involved could contend.
“It’s the best teams from every district, so it’s going to be good ball,” said Alicia Stone, one of the captains of the Diamonds team coached by Julie Roberge.
Both of the Nanaimo and District Minor Fastball Association entries have put in the work to build to this tournament.
“We’re prepared,” said Jordyn Fargo, a veteran on the Diamonds team coached by Darren Fargo. “We have all the skills we need, it’s just whether or not we’re mentally prepared for the weekend.”
If her team can pick up some wins and build momentum, she said, anything is possible.
“When a few of us are doing well it kind of brings up the attitude of everyone else, so then everyone else starts playing well,” she said. “It’s kind of like a chain reaction.”
The Roberge Diamonds also rely on team play for their success.
“I trust everyone on my team,” said Brittany Myhal, one of the captains. “I’m confident with all my players; especially being a pitcher, I’m confident with my defence.”
Her team is used to winning, having claimed gold at three tournaments during the season and silver at another.
Being one of the tournament favourites has its pros and cons, said Taylor Doherty, another captain.
“It definitely raises the bar. We have to keep pushing ourselves,” she said.
“[Teams] come in and they’re trying to beat us, so they’ll be playing their very best. But it’s also good because we’re intimidating.”
And that can make opponents nervous, said Stone.
“They’ll want to come out strong and they might mess up, and then if they start messing up they’re going to get down on themselves,” she said.
So both the Diamonds and the Diamonds are ready, they’re in contention, and they would love for Nanaimo sports fans to cheer them on as they try to add one final jewel to a successful season.
“All the games this weekend are going to be good,” Doherty said. “We’re going to be playing our best in every single game and dig and try to win.”
GAME ON … Softball B.C.’s midget B girls’ provincial championships will be held at Beban Park’s Gyro Youth Sports Fields starting Friday (July 21). Round-robin play goes all day Friday and Saturday. The gold-medal game will be held at 4 p.m. immediately following the 2 p.m. bronze-medal match.