Members of the U14 Victoria Devils celebrate their provincial championship. (Photo submitted)

Softball Devils earn wicked results at provincials

Victoria teams earn two golds, a silver and a bronze against B.C. competition

The Victoria Devils Fastball Club is celebrating the best season in its history after a wildly successful run at provincial tournaments held on the Lower Mainland.

The View Royal-based organization saw each of its U12, U14, U16 and U18 teams take home medals, with the U14s and U18s earning gold.

“This is a great outcome for our teams and the organiation as a whole,” said club president Rob Miliken in a statement. “We feel our program is headed in the right direction and the results from [provincials] are certainly a good indication of this.”

The U18 team, coached by former men’s national team members Kevin Bobroske and Rocky Vitale, topped the powerhouse, tournament-hosting 99 White Rock Renegades in a thrilling one-run final.

The 4-3 win gave the Devils their first provincial title in that age category.

The U14 squad proved to be a powerhouse of their own, rolling through their competition to the tune of an 8-0 record.

The squad opted not to compete at nationals in Brampton, Ont. due to extensive travel costs.

Head coach Pat Guiney noted that the team’s strong all-around play and strong work ethic led to their success this season, which saw the club finish with a 73-9-2 record, with many games coming against older U16 and even U18 teams.

Six batters hit over .400 for the provincial tournament, including Mariah Grant who batted an eye-popping .480.

“We have six or seven girls with home run power on the team,” Guiney said.

Bethany Brass, with a fastball topping out at nearly 60 mph, kept opposing hitters reeling while posting a sparkling 0.48 earned run average.

Last year, the U14 Devils lost a series of close contests at provincials, and Guiney said that only served to make them hungrier heading into the 2017 campaign.

“It creates character for the girls,” he said of the previous provincial experience. “It makes them want to win because they [knew] they were [so close].”

The U12 team finished with an impressive 6-2 record on their way to a silver medal, while the U16 girls earned bronze.

It marks the first time the club has seen all four teams finish with medals.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette