Kelowna U14 Heat strike gold
The Kelowna Heat couldn't have chosen a better time to play some of their best fastball of the 2012 season.
The Heat posted a 9-1 record en route to capturing the gold medal at the Softball B.C. U14 B girls championship last weekend in Maple Ridge.
Still, Kelowna didn't do it the easy way, having to play four games on Sunday, and coming from behind in both the semifinal and final games.
In the gold medal game, the peewee Heat avenged their only loss of the tournament with a 4-1 victory over the Surrey Storm.
After Surrey took a 1-0 lead in the first, the Heat answered with two in the fourth as Tova Turnbull doubled home Emma Gilbert and Emma Lewis.
The Heat struck for two insurance runs in the top of the seventh, as Gilbert drove home Shayla Tyerman, and Lewis singled to score Candice Vuong.
Pitcher Michaela Epp earned the win with a solid outing for the Heat.
Kelowna posted a 4-0 record in the round robin, beating South Delta, North Delta, Abbotsford and Vancouver.
The Heat then went 5-1 in the playoffs, their lone defeat coming at the hands of the Storm, 2-1.
In the semifinal, Kelowna edged Cloverdale 3-2.
The gold medal-champion Heat are: Ann-Marie Crandlemire, Nicole Fedorak, Gina Selfe, Shayla Tyerman, Emma Lewis, Cassidy Floritto, Tova Turnbull ,
Breanna Handley, Candice Vuong, Megan McGillivray, Sara Miki , Emma Gilbert, Michaela Epp and Emma Wilton.
The coaches are: Doug Fisher and Boyd Tyerman, and the manager is Kevin Fedorak.
The Kelowna Heat turned in a fourth-place showing out of a tough field of 16 teams at the Softball B.C. U16 B girls championship last weekend in Duncan.
The Heat went 3-1 in the round robin, then opened the playoffs Saturday with a 6-0 win over Strawberryvale.
On Sunday, Kelowna lost 5-4 to Fleetwood, defeated Surrey Storm 6-1, then fell again to Strawberryvale 9-3 to settle for fourth spot.
"We were hoping for a little better finish but the girls played really well in a very tough tournament," said Heat coach Darran Light. "There was at least seven teams that could have won this tournament. As strong a showing as we have seen before."
Offensively, Shea Skarbo had a huge weekend with 19 RBIs, nine runs scored and a .481 average.
Brett Needham batted .692 and scored 14 runs of her team's 60 runs.
Julia Lambert and Sydney Williamson each won two games pitching, while Tessa Barbour won the other.
Under normal circumstances, the top two teams would qualify for Western Canadians U16 B girls championship. But because two of the top four teams didn't fill out a Softball B.C. letter of intent, the Heat have earned a spot at Westerns next month in Strathmore, Alta.