Kelowna’s Kensington Renneberg closed out her baseball season with Team B.C. at the U21 women’s nationals. -Image: Darryl Gershman Photography

Renneberg caps summer with strong nationals

Kelowna player competes with Team B.C. at U21 invitational in Manitoba.

Every September, Kensi Renneberg feels a small degree of emptiness.

Mostly because the passing of summer coincides with the end of her baseball season.

The 17-year-old from Kelowna capped off another memorable year on the diamond last week at Baseball Canada’s U21 Women’s Invitational Championships.

Despite Team B.C. finishing out of the medals in Stonewall, Man., Renneberg enjoyed a strong tournament, both in the field and on the mound.

She pitched in two games and also played five different positions, including at second base where she was named to the tournament’s all-star team.

West Kelowna’s Jessie McKay was also a member of Team B.C., playing at first base and filling in as a pinch hitter.

After playing with Team B.C. at nationals twice at the U16 level in both 2014 and 2015, this was Renneberg’s second consecutive appearance at the second-ever U21 nationals.

“It would have been nice to do better as a team, but it was definitely a fun tournament,” said Renneberg, who finished the tournament with four hits and an RBI, while pitching seven innings and posting a 1.82 ERA. “It’s absolutely the high of my summer, I love it, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing, so every September I feel a little sad.

“It’s great that they have this (U21) tournament now,” she added. “It gives more girls opportunities to play the game at a high level.”

Earlier this summer, Renneberg also gained some national exposure at Baseball Canada’s Senior Women’s Invitational in Windsor, Ont. After losing a couple of senior players due to injury, Team B.C. put out the call for help and Renneberg was willing and able. She went 1-0 on the mound with a 1.00 ERA and added three hits and an RBI at the plate.

“It was a great experience to play with the best women in Canada,” she said.

With September arriving, Renneberg’s focus has shifted to her first year of school at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She had planned on joining the Pandas’ women’s baseball program, but funding has since been pulled for both the men’s and women’s teams.

Still, Renneberg will be able to keep her baseball skills sharp by training with Alberta’s senior women’s team this fall and into next summer.

“It’s a bonus to be able to train with Team Alberta,” said Renneberg, who is enrolled in the kinesiology program at U of A. “I’m really glad I’ll be able to keep playing.”

Renneberg will forever have a place in B.C. minor baseball history. In 2016, she became the first female pitcher ever to win a game in the B.C. 18U AAA boys league while playing for the Kelowna Sun Devils.