Kensi Renneberg has secured a permanent place in B.C. midget baseball history.
The Kelowna Sun Devils pitcher became the first female ever to earn a victory at the 18U AAA level, beating the hometown South Fraser Giants on Saturday in Newton.
Renneberg went 5 1/3 innings and struck out two to help her Sun Devils to the groundbreaking 7-4 win.
“Honestly, it surprised me when I found out that I was the first female to get a win,” said Renneberg, 16. “I wasn’t sure how many girls had played at this level, let alone pitched, so to get the win made me really happy. It just proves you don’t have to throw hard and overpower batters to be successful.”
Renneberg said her breaking ball and curve ball were working nicely against the Giants and, at times, were frustrating for her opponents.
“It was kind of funny to see some of the boys shaking their heads,” she added with a laugh. “It gives you that feeling of satisfaction knowing you can compete with them and play at this level.”
Sun Devils’ head coach Rob Law said he’s impressed both with Kensi’s skill level and her will to compete.
“It speaks volumes for female athletes in our sport, showing everybody they can compete at high levels with the male athletes,” said Law. “Kensi has a work ethic like I have never seen. Her father Derek Renneberg is our pitching coach and has worked with Kensi her entire career. I feel we have one of the best, if not the best female athlete in our sport. She is a coaches dream.”
A Grade 11 student at Kelowna Secondary School, Renneberg will play this summer with Team B.C.’s U21 girls who will compete at the nationals in August in Halifax.
Meanwhile, Noah Ringess-Law paced the Sun Devils offense in Renneberg’s win with three hits, including a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
A couple of hours earlier, the Sun Devils opened the weekend with a 6-1 win over Giants.
Captain Brandon Denis hit a three-run home run for the Devils, while Noah Ringness-Law led the offense again with three hits and three stolen bases. Gavin Barrett tossed a complete game two-hitter for his third win of the season.
On Sunday, the Sun Devils lost a pair of one-run decisions to the Burnaby Braves.
In the opener, Kelowna managed just three hits in falling 5-4 in extra innings.
In the weekend finale, the Sun Devils spotted the Braves to a 6-0 lead before losing 7-6.
Burnaby won it in the bottom of the seventh on a controversial call when a Braves player batted out of order.
Jordan Laidlaw pitched solidly in 6 1/3 innings in relief and ended up taking the loss. Again it was Noah Ringness-Law offensively leading the way as he went 3-for-4 with a triple and Denis had two hits and two RBIs. Ringness-Law is now batting .593 for the season.
The Sun Devils, now 5-5, will return home for four games this weekend at Lombardy Park. Kelowna will host Cloverdale at 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday and South Fraser at 11 and 2 on Sunday.