Oak Bay girls compete in softball nationals on home turf

Beacon Hill Little League hosts National Softball Championships July 25 to 29 at Fairfield’s Hollywood Park.

Oak Bay High School students (left) Emma Rautio-Roe

Oak Bay High School students (left) Emma Rautio-Roe

Hollywood Park will be hopping this month when Beacon Hill Little League welcomes the nation for the  2015 National Softball Championship Tournament.

The five-day tournament will double as the Canadian Little League Softball Championship for players aged 11 and 12 and the Canadian Junior League Softball Championship for players aged 13 and 14. It’s the first time the two championships have been combined into one tournament, says Joanne Bolzonello, tournament director.

All games will be played at Hollywood Park July 25 to 29, and in addition to the two Beacon Hill teams competing at their Fairfield Avenue park, the Layritz Majors team has also qualified as the B.C. representative in the younger division. In addition to national bragging rights, teams compete for the honour of representing Canada at the Softball World Series Championships.

Kelsie Hawkins, assistant coach and pitching coach for Beacon Hill’s junior team, has been sharing with the girls some of her experiences winning nationals both in 2003 and in 2004, in front of a home-town crowd.

Winning at home in extra innings before hundreds of spectators, and  the ensuing experience at the Little League World Series was unforgettable for Hawkins, who went on to play college ball and compete for Team BC at the Canada Games.

“It felt like the biggest thing in the world at the time,” she says. “I still think that is the coolest thing I ever did.”

While Hawkins imparts some of that experience to the girls, the team and coaching staff are also focused on the task at hand.

“We try hard not to think too far ahead; they’re pretty focused, I think,” Hawkins says.

Following Beacon’s Hill’s 62-day regular season, league president Alan Calder looks forward to an exciting summer of tournment ball.

“Our all-star teams are assembled and our coaches and players are excited to represent Beacon Hill on a larger stage,” Calder says. “We are grateful to have been selected to host the National Softball Championship Tournament and look forward to welcoming teams from other provinces and to showcasing the nation’s best young softball players at the best ball park in the City of Victoria.”

In addition to 2004 championships, Beacon Hill also hosted the event in 2009 and 2010. Three teams are so far confirmed in each division, with around 100 players expected.

Organizers are hoping to raise $7,000 to help off-set the costs of hosting the national tournament and welcome community support through sponsorships, food donations for the buffet dinner and support of the club’s coming fundraisers, Bolzonello says.

The group has launched a Go Fund Me campaign at www.gofundme.com/beaconhillsoftball and is planning several community fundraising events.

The Junior Softball World Series is in Kirkland, WA from Aug. 2 to 8. The Little League Softball World Series is in Portland, OR from Aug. 13 to 19.

“For many of these girls, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to compete in a national event in front of their community,” Bolzonello says.

Sports fans will also want to mark their calendars for the event. “We expect the players to display a high level of skill and play with a lot of enthusiasm,” Bolzonello says.

“This will be a very exciting tournament, especially when the Layritz Little League Major girls face off with the Beacon Hill Little League Major girls.

“We would love to have the community come out and show their support for youth sports and girls’ softball in particular. Please come out and cheer for all the teams who come from cross Canada to compete for the chance to play in a Little League World Series.”

 

editor@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

Forty-two residential properties in Oak Bay were assessed the speculation and vacancy tax in 2019 for a total of $693,000. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
74 Oak Bay property owners paid $693,000 in spec tax

42 properties were assessed with the SVT in 2019

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich repeals, reschedules two public hearings for consideration of new information

Move to hold public hearings for second time ‘very rare,’ mayor says

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Most Read