The Quebec Rebelles players pose for a team picture after their 6-1 victory against the Alberta Lloydminster Liners last Wednesday August 17 at Parc Michel-Martin. (Kacim Steets, The Eastern Door)
A trio of fast pitch softball girls from Kahnawake stepped to the plate last week and weekend at the 2016 U16 Girl’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championship in Montreal.
Raven Horn represented the Quebec Rebelles Under-16 team, while up-and-coming stars Anna Zachary (U15) and Sarah Jacobs (U14) played against older competition in the same U16 category.
Horn did not see as much playing time as she had hoped, but batted once and was subbed into left field twice over the tournament.
Horn and her U16 Quebec Rebelles were stymied by the Oakville Angels in game two of the round robin, losing 3-2 last Thursday afternoon, but bounced back in the evening and showed off the bats, beating the Moncton Rebels 7-0.
Horn sat the first game, but saw two plate appearances and played left field in the Thursday afternoon game. It was her only full game played over the tournament.
“It was pretty tough,” said Horn, of having to watch from the bench for most of the games.
At noon last Friday, the Rebelles lost 5-2 to the Delta Heat. The Rebelles then got a nice slice of revenge against Oakville when the two teams met Saturday afternoon. Quebec won 5-3.
In Quebec’s final game against the BC Islanders, the Rebelles held a brief slim 1-0 lead after a run in the bottom of the fourth, only to have the lead wiped clean by a four-run inning in the fifth for BC. BC held on and won 4-1.
With no U15 division, the younger Rebelles team played in the U16 division.
“My team played really good,” said Zachary, who played shortstop and second base. “We didn’t win most of the games in the round robin, so we ended up in the third division, but we were able to win the game that got us to the final round for the third division.”
After dropping the team’s first two games, the U15 Rebelles faced the PEI Eagles in the third game of the U16 division. Second baseperson Zachary saw three plate appearances, but was unable to connect and the Rebelles were unable to overcome the five runs PEI plated in the first two innings.
Zachary was under added pressure playing a position she was somewhat new to.
“I only started playing second base last tournament,” she said. “I didn’t really know the position, but I feel I played pretty well.”
After being blanked by the Manitoba Thunder Thursday evening, the Rebelles faced the Moncton Rebels and started hot, with four runs in the first inning. Zachary found her swing and went two-for-four at the plate, but it was not enough as Moncton made a late run and scored three in the top of the sixth inning to take the 8-5 lead that remained until the final out.
The Rebelles’ final game was Saturday afternoon against the Interlake Phillies, and Quebec lost 8-3. Zachary was one-for-four from the plate, hitting a double to cap an impressive campaign for the young star.
“It was really fun, just to play against all the older girls from across the country was really cool,” said Zachary. “
Like the U15s, the U14 Rebelles played in the U16 division, and lost the first five games of the competition before facing the Moncton Rebels Saturday afternoon in the last game of the competition.
Losing didn’t damper Jacobs’ excitement of playing with the top girls in the older division from across the country.
“It was quite an experience,” said Jacobs. “It was kind of scary too because they were two years older than us, so their pitchers were very fast; faster than ours.”
In addition, the older girls’ teams had a bit more polish on them, which was a valuable thing to witness.
“They’re more experienced and their plays were a little better and they were more competitive,” said Jacobs, who played for the first time in front of scouts looking to nab the next superstar.
The utility player took the attention in stride.
“I tried to ignore the fact that there were other people around and tried to focus on our game,” said Jacobs.
Against Moncton, Jacobs had a solid game at the plate going two-for-four with two RBIs. The game could not have been more thrilling as Moncton erased a four-run lead in the fifth inning to take the lead by one. Quebec tied the game in the bottom of the sixth and left it to the final trip to the plate to win it.
“We were in the lead, and then they came to bat with hit after hit, and then a girl was benched, but our coach brought her up to bat, and she hit the winning run by bringing a girl to home,” said Jacobs. “All of us ran onto the field.”