Jenn Houtby-Ferguson – Team BC
Stormy skies and the threat of rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Team BC softball fans Saturday afternoon. Chants of “we are BC” rang out as the game got underway at Syncrude Athletic Park. The afternoon game was a grudge match of sorts, after BC lost to Manitoba just a day earlier, the BC ladies delivered the win in five innings, 10 – 0.
The team got the bats working quickly, picking up three runs in the first inning.
At the top of the second inning, catcher Chelsea Hotner (Abbotsford) hit a triple, Courtenay DeAdder (Surrey) followed that up with a cranked a homerun over the right field fence batting in one run. An excited team BC greeted DeAdder at the plate, the team’s confidence palpable. An unforced error in the Manitoba outfield brought in one more run, and Team BC ended the second inning up six more runs , boasting a 9-0 edge.
The team would score an additional run in the fourth inning. Working hard defensively, the team held onto the shut out, ending the game after five innings up 10 – 0.
Throughout the game BC pitcher Katie Humhej (Surrey) brought the heat, making it difficult for Manitoba to strike Humhej back. Humhej credits a great team meeting Friday night with Team BC mental performance coach Carl Nienhuis (Chilliwack) with helping the team prepare for Saturday’s game.
Nienhuis was beating the Team BC drum in the stands on Saturday afternoon, the bond between he and the athletes evident.
“We had a team talk… he got us really hyped up for the game today,” shared Humhej. “Our win today was great, we lost to (Manitoba) yesterday, so this was a really big come back for us.”
Coach Roger Boily (Surrey) hinted the Manitoba cheering following their win Friday was a motivator in getting the girls ready for today’s match up. The team will be well prepared for the Aug. 16 gold-medal final, according to Boily “(the team) will have a good night sleep, another team meeting and we will be ready for gold tomorrow.”
“I just can’t help but cheer for anyone else”, said former BC resident Bruce Deans, despite living in Fort McMurray for the last seven years. “I love B.C.”
“To pitch like that – WOW!” exclaimed Deans’ wife Lee Anne, who was very impressed by the calibre of athletes.
“I am so impressed,” adds Deans of Humhej.
Team BC play Saskatchewan at 6pm Saturday and will play for gold, Sunday at noon.