Shania Gillis-Johnson makes a strong throw to first in an attempt to get an out during Ponoka’s U12 game versus Stettler May 31. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Ponoka U12 fast pitch girls team improving each time out

Recent tournament experience proves a positive experience for Ponoka softball team

The improvement and excitement continue to build for one of Ponoka’s U12 girls softball teams.

Coached by Brandi Abt, the squad has had fun on the field even if the results haven’t always been in their favour this season.

“Our team shows improvement every time we take the field, as our players develop stronger offensive and defensive skills,” Abt stated.

That work on getting better shone through in a league game last week as well in a tournament the club went to in Red Deer over the weekend.

On May 31, the team played host to Stettler and, despite a late rally, Ponoka fell by a score of 17-13.

”Our girls were a little hesitant at the plate in the first two innings and we got behind a few runs. We had good pitching from Jenna Abt, Keyana Rawji, Kayelle Yellowbird and Zoe Maxwell, which helped keep the score close,” Brandi stated.

”As the game went on, the girls got more aggressive at the plate and that resulted in several hits.”

The final at-bat for Ponoka got off to a good start with hits from Mylee Yellowbird and Taelor Gillis. Some smart base running helped generate five runs for the home side, but the girls weren’t able to add anymore.

In Red Deer on the weekend, the team came up against several high calibre central Alberta squads, coming out of it with some more experience and a victory in their final game.

The girls first faced off on the Friday versus a strong Sylvan Lake side.

Ponoka had a pair of games the next day against two clubs from Red Deer, both of which had Ponoka falling just short.

Abt noted their final game Sunday was their best one.

“We had a great team effort, our girls really came to life on the bats and every player made it on base. We got big hits from Taylor Clelland and Taelor Gillis to score runs when we needed them and were able to come out with a win,” she said.

“Nine different girls had the opportunity to pitch on the weekend and each one of them gained power, accuracy and confidence. We were also excited to see the girls starting to be more confident at the plate and making some good plays on defense. We are very proud of our team’s effort and sportsmanship.”


Mylee Yellowbird goes after this ground ball, which would wind up foul, in their May 31 game against Stettler. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Jenna Abt with the Ponoka U12 squad powers this throw from third to first during their game May 31 versus Stettler. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Mylee Yellowbird stretches high but isn’t able to come up with the ball on this throw during action May 31 against Stettler. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Ponoka’s Keynana Rawji winds up before sending this pitch to the plate against Stettler May 31. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

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