The Lloydminster U10 Liners, with back row from left, Jersey Johnston, Molly Vince, Lexia Chambers, Addison Fink, Ada Lake; middle row, Hailey Thompson, Meegan Clark, Jordyn Wolfe; front row, Karter Dougan, Katherine Thiessen, Addison Greenaway, Lyla Peregrym and Ryann Rekimowich, won the Softball Alberta B-side championship on Canada Day weekend. SUBMITTED PHOTO
A round-robin setback couldn’t faze the Lloydminster under-10 Liners.
The Liners shook off an early one-run loss to the rival Red Deer Rage to capture the Softball Alberta B-side championship at Edmonton’s Henry Singer Diamonds on July 2.
Both the Liners and Rage, who won the A-side title, were in the same round-robin pool with the latter picking up their first win of the season over the former to advance into the A side.
Kelly Thiessen, coach of the Liners, said their girls played great throughout the provincial championships, and gave the Rage everything they had.
He said their opponent simply deserved to win that game, but the kids’ ability to bounce back and keep pushing speaks to how strong they are.
“In the championship game we played Sherwood Park,” said Thiessen. “Our pitching shut them down. Katherine Thiessen was our starting pitcher and she shut them down for three innings and Karter Dougan pitched the next two innings. We were up by 15 runs after five innings.”
Ryann Rekimowich put an exclamation mark on the victory by hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, to mercy the Sherwood Park Storm 16-4.
The title completes a near-perfect season for the Liners, who captured tournament championships in Stony Plain, St. Albert and Unity over the past few months and only lost a total of two games the entire year.
“It was a pretty fun team this year,” said Katherine Thiessen, 10. “The coaching was very fun and they worked us really hard.”
Coach Thiessen said strong recruitment numbers in the Liners U10 program and a great job by the girls’ parents in helping out at practices led to the club’s success this year. He said an abundance of good arms on the mound, powerful bats in the box and an overall desire among the teammates to keep improving didn’t hurt either.
“At this age the girls develop so much from the beginning of the season to the end,” he said. “It’s a real treat as a coach to be able to watch these young girls develop. And not only develop and become better players, but to develop a love of the game.”