The Kelowna Heat were down more than once, but clearly never out of the Spokane U18 girls fastball tournament.
The Heat overcame a slow start in the round robin, then engineered a pair of come-from-behind wins in the playoffs to capture the gold medal at the eight-team tournament.
In Sunday’s finale, Kelowna fell behind early 3-0 to the Spokane Diamonds, then rallied for a 9-7 win. Taya Skarbo scored three runs, while Felisha Vogelaar and Haley Wedgewood each had two RBIs. Rachel Penner picked up the win.
After going 1-2 in the round robin, the Heat couldn’t afford another loss in the single-knockout playoff format.
In the quarters, Kelowna slipped behind 5-0 against the Spokane Scream, but again showed its resiliency with a 10-9 win. Morgan Cederholm had four RBIs and Penner homered.
Then in the semifinals, the Heat took down the Kootenai (Idaho) Ice 11-2. Danielle Orr had four RBIs, while Kenzie Barbour and Penner had two RBIs each.
“Proud of the girls, this weekend was a good step for us,” said Heat coach Bernie Penner. “We had set a team goal to play three games in the playoffs on Sunday and we reached that goal, so to win the final was simply a bonus.”
The Heat are: Taya Skarbo, Danielle Orr, Haley Wedgewood, Rachel Penner, Madison Wilms, Taylor Weixl, Morgan Cederholm, Kelsey DesRoches, Kenzie Barbour , Josee Arpin
Missing: was Stephanie Koop
The coaches are Bernie Penner, Steve Nadin, Savanna Rutkowski, Kourtney Primeau, and pitching coach, Lisa Cartier Marsh.
Bantam Heat in Spokane…
The Kelowna bantam Heat settled for third best in the girls U16 division at the Spokane tournament.
In the semifinals on Sunday, the Heat came up short against the Spokane Mudhens in a 5-3 loss.
In the round robin, Kelowna posted a 2-1 record beating the Spokane Scream 14-9, the Spokane Dawgs 8-4, then losing 9-8 to the Spokane Diamonds.
In the quarterfinals, Kelowna took down the Spokane Crash 5-3.
“Competition was very even down there with no weak teams that we saw,” said Heat coach Darran Light. “All of these teams were club teams.”
Statistically for the Heat, Hayden Craig batted .500 and had seven RBIs.
Taylor Kathler bnit .556, Brett Needham hit .500, while Tessa Barbour and Shea Skarbo each had four RBIs.