July 21-23 Softball BC hosted both the Women’s A’ and U19A Provincial Championships at London Park in Richmond, B.C. Both championships showcased the highest level of female softball talent in the Province. The Victoria Panthers are a newly created women’s team this year that played out of the Victoria Saanich Women’s Softball Association (Hyacinth league). They won both the league and playoff championship this year with a combined record of 23-0-1. After such dominance on the island the Panthers participated in the seven team Women’s A’ Provincials this weekend breezing through the round robin portion of the tournament finishing 1st seed with mercy rule victories over New West Kaos (8-1) and Delta Heat 03′ (12-2).
As a result the Panthers got a first round bye in the double knockout playoff round and then faced Surrey Storm 03′ in the quarterfinals. The highly offense Panthers blew by Storm 03′ with another mercy (10-2). In the semi-final the Panthers finally fell to the veteran Surrey Storm Sr. team (defending provincial champions). The Panthers then clawed their way back up from the bottom side of the bracket, again beating New West Kaos who finished with bronze (4-3) to cash their ticket to the final and a rematch against Surrey Storm Sr. After leading 3-0 for much of the gold medal game the Panthers finally succumbed to a 4-3 loss at the hands of the experienced veteran Sr. Storm team. It was a fantastic weekend of fun, good weather, and competitive games. It has been quite a few years since an island team has had this kind of success at the Women’s A level.
Majority of the young women on the team grew up playing for Langford Fastball and the Victoria Devils. Coaches Johann Cherry and Pat Guiney are incredibly proud of this group of young women and are already looking forward to next season and continuing to build and promote the game! Some players on the team this weekend to highlight include Sarah Chow (Utah State, NCAA D1 alumni and former Canadian National Team member), Jordyn Ages (FIU, NCAA D1), Ellie Vance (SFA, NCAA D1), many of the remaining players have also played at the collegiate level at some point in their careers.
Also representing Victoria this weekend was the U19A Langford Fastball team (U17A National Champions) coached by Chad Bryden. The Langford team ended up finishing with Bronze in the U19A side of their provincial as a first year team in their age category which is impressive! They will now represent BC at the U19A National Championships that they are hosting in Langford Aug 2-6 at Centennial Park.
WOMEN’S A Final Standings –
1. Surrey Storm Sr.
2. Victoria Panthers
3. New West Kaos
U19A Final Standings – https://www.rgsa.ca/u19a-provincial
1. White Rock Renegades 05′
2. Fraser Valley Fusion 04′
3. Langford Lightning 05′