5 p.m., Aug. 11)
women's fastball team heading to Canadian championships
By Fred Sherwin
Rebels pitcher Jillian Taylor winds up during the second game of a double
header against the Quebec Rebelles on Sunday. The two teams played each
other as a tune-up for the Canadian Senior Women's Championship which gets
under way in Kitchener on Thursday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Rebels senior women's softball team is heading to the Canadian championships
in Kitchener this week hopeful of a top six placing.
is based primarily on their play at the provincial championships in Port
Perry last month. After mounting a dramatic come from behind win against
the University of Western Ontario Mustangs in the opening game of the tournament
to earn a berth in the Canadian championships, they had the eventual champions
from Kitchener down 3-0 with one out to go in the sixth before allowing
five unaswered runs.
emotionally drained, they managed to limit the host team from Port Perry
to just three runs in a 3-1 third round loss.
The team is a
very tight knit group of mostly university players. The core group of Jenny
Allen, Sarah Renaud and Jullian Taylor are all Orléans natives who have
come up through the Orleans Amateur Fastball Association. Allen went to
Colonel By, Renaud went to Sir Wil and Taylor went to St. Pete's.
Allen and Taylor
also play with the Ottawa Gee-Gees women's team along with Emily Ernst,
Elissa Sivel and Laura Gallant, while Scott Searle, who is also a resident
of Orléans and a teacher at St. Peter High School, coaches both teams.
of the team comes from across the province: Amber O'Connor lives in Pembroke,
Nicky Shillington and Kelsi Ball are from Kingston where they attend Queen's
University and Jessica Scholey lives in Mississauga.
The only time
they get together as a team is during tournaments and during two weekend
camps held prior to the provincial championships.
third at the Ontario Junior Championships and sixth at the Canadian Junior
Championships last year, they decided to move up to the senior level, not
because they all turn 24 this year but because they will all reach the cut-off
age over the next three years. Rather than risk having the team slowly disintegrating,
they decided to make the jump to senior together even though only two of
them, Hayley Fleming and Gallant, are 24.
Searle, the girls all share a love of the game and a dedication to their
luckiest guy in the world. I get to coach a group of elite athletes who
are committed to each other and committed to playing softball," says
Searle who is in his third year as head coach.
In order to be
successful in Kitchener, Searle says they need to take advantage of their
speed on the base paths and hope for some timely hitting.
As far as pitching
goes they should be fine with the one-two punch of Taylor and Ernst. That
said the competition will be tough. Kitchener has four current and former
Olympians on their roster, while six other current and former national team
members are sprinkled among the other teams.
great oppotunity for the girls to play against some of the best athletes
in the Canada," says Searle, "It's also a great opportuntity to
gain some experience and continue to grow as a team."
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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