Eagles eye better result at under-14 girls' fastpitch nationals

Jason Malloy
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The Halthorn Global Eagles have a year of experience under their belt as they prepare for their first game today at the under-14 girls’ Canadian fastpitch championship in White Rock, B.C.

The team went to its first nationals last year in Montreal. The team was competitive, but nerves played a factor in the team going 1-5. It was a learning experience for the young team, but one the players said has made them more prepared this time around.

“We’ve improved a lot,” said Kalli Hunter, a 14-year-old outfielder from Charlottetown. “Our players are mostly second year and our first years are really good. . . I think we’re ready. This year we’re more prepared because we know what it takes.”

The 12-player team is comprised of 10 second-year players and two first years. They are in a division with four teams from Ontario and two from British Columbia. The Eagles, believed to be the first Island girls’ softball team to travel to B.C. for a Softball Canada national tournament, is the only squad from east of Ontario competing in White Rock.

“The girls like that though because they’re not only representing P.E.I. but they feel like they’re representing all of the Maritimes,” said coach Chris Halliwell.

The decision to go to the nationals was made at the end of last year’s championship.

“The girls all cried,” Halliwell recalled. “We thought it was because we lost a playoff game, but talking to them for one minute you knew it was because the season had ended.”

The team has been fundraising since October, doing everything from bottle drives to collecting recyclables at the country concert in order to raise the funds for the trip.

“It’s crazy the fundraising we had to do,” said Lila Mitchell, a 13-year-old second baseman from Cornwall. “You work hard to play (the sport) you love . . .

“We’re all excited and we’re all working our butt off and we’re excited to see what’s going to happen.”

The team has played under-16 and -18 teams this season to prepare for the competition they will face in British Columbia. Halliwell said the team is tighter defensively, a better hitting squad and more mentally prepared than a year ago after having sessions with Team Canada outfielder Jeff Ellsworth.

Halliwell estimated it cost about $2,000 per player for the trip.

The girls will have plenty of people cheering for them when they step on the field today, as Halliwell estimated the Island contingent is about 36 people.

He has saw the girls come closer together during the past year. They pick each other up if something goes wrong and enjoy playing together.

“They’re like a big family,” he said. “They’re ready to go.”

 

 

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A look at the schedule for the Halthorn Glove Eagles at the under-14 girls’ Canadian fastpitch championships in White Rock, B.C. (all times Atlantic):

Today

5:30 p.m. – P.E.I. vs. host team.

Thursday

3 p.m. – P.E.I. vs. Ontario C

10:30 p.m. – P.E.I. vs. Ontario D

Friday

3:30 p.m. – P.E.I. vs. Ontario A

7 p.m. – P.E.I. vs. Ontario B

10:30 p.m. – P.E.I. vs. British Columbia C

 

 

 

Player Profiles:

 

Name: Kassie Oliver

Positions: First Base, Right Field

Hometown: Huntley PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

 

Name: Jessica Turbide

Positions: Catcher, Short Stop

Hometown: Winsloe PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Left

 

Name: Margaret Reynolds

Positions: Pitcher, 3rd Base

Hometown: West Royalty PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

 

Name: Robyn Power

Positions: Short Stop, Pitcher

Hometown: Sherwood PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

 

Name: Sydney Halliwell

Positions: Pitcher, 1st Base

Hometown: West Royalty PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

 

Name: Kaelyn White

Positions: Centre Field, Catcher

Hometown: West Royalty PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

 

Name: Lila Mitchell

Positions: 2nd Base, Short Stop

Hometown: New Dominion PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

 

Name: Kalli Hunter

Positions: Left Field, Short Stop

Hometown: Marshfield PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Left

 

Name: Hannah Sentner

Positions: Catcher, 3rd Base

Hometown: New Dominion PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

 

Name: Hannah Annear

Positions: 3rd Base, Pitcher

Hometown: Cardigan PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

 

Name: Devon Lawlor

Positions: Pitcher, Right Field

Hometown: Millcove PE

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

 

Name: Quinn Kirkland

Positions: Catcher, Right Field

Hometown: Mermaid PE

Bats: Left

Throws: Right

Organizations: Halthorn Global Eagles, Team Canada

Geographic location: White Rock, Ontario, British Columbia Iceland Montreal Charlottetown Cornwall

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