A number of girls from Ponoka and Maskwacis got the experience of a lifetime, even if the results weren’t what they would’ve wanted.
The Ponoka U15 softball team went to Kirkland, Washington to take on the world in the 2018 Junior League Softball World Series that ran from July 29 to Aug. 4. The local club won the right to represent Canada after defeating the host Victoria, B.C. squad in the championship game on days before, on July 26.
For the team made up of Chloe Smith, Hayley Wiancko, Taylor Willoughby, Emily Cutknife, Olivia Willier, Alyssa Opgenorth, Torrence Clelland, Devon Loewen, Abby Lilja, Reece Whitford and Jayliese Montour, it was an event like they had not seen before and likely won’t ever forget.
The girls started off the tournament with a tough game on July 29 versus Canfield, Ohio that ended in 11-1 in six innings due to the mercy rule.
It was another rough one for the Canadians the following day, an 18-0 five inning loss to the host club from Redmond, Washington — who would have made the tournament anyway, as they captured their district championship.
The closest the Ponoka club would come to getting into the win column was on July 31, when they fell 3-1 to West Tampa, Florida in a contest that featured some excellent pitching from both clubs.
That game must have taken a lot out of Team Canada, as they were downed 15-0 in four innings later that night by the Asia-Pacific representative from the Philippines.
The team got a couple days off to enjoy the surroundings and take in some of the sights and sounds nearby, as well as some of the other softball action, before they took on Puerto Rico in the consolation match Aug. 3. Ponoka wound up falling in the consolation game by a score of 5-2.