The Ponoka Little League girls softball team dug their cleats in, held their heads high and with great determination and a lot of good old-fashioned team work came away with a bronze medal win in the Little League Softball Canadian Championships held Aug. 1 to 4 in Victoria, B.C.
Ponoka defeated Calgary Voltage 17-2 in the bronze medal game.
“It went really well for the girls,” said coach Tim Longjohn.
The jubilant coach said most of the girls had previously played for Ponoka Minor Ball, with some coming from Wetaskiwin ball teams.
The team’s pitcher, Kallie Mielke had played earlier in the season for Beaumont Blitz Girls Softball Team.
“We were so happy to have her. She is a terrific girl and a great pitcher.”
Longjohn said the girls all came together, practiced really hard to prepare for the Little League playoffs and he was proud of each and everyone of them.
“They held their own,” he said. “It was quite an adventure. Many of the girls had never even flown before.”
He said it was competitive ball, but he was pleased to see the girls didn’t seem to be under too much pressure to enjoy the experience.
“They were just little girls having fun and playing ball,” he said.
Longjohn said the Ponoka team was treated very well during the playoffs.
“They treated us first class,” he said.
Longjohn expressed gratitude to Marcie Willier from Ponoka Little League for her help in organizing the team and helping to prepare them for the playoffs. He also thanked assistant coach Daryle Montour, the parents and the community of Maskwacis who helped with financial costs.
“It was a great experience for us all,” he said.
Victoria Hampton won the gold medal at the tournament defeating host team Victoria Layritz 2-1. Hampton is competing in the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon held from Aug. 7 to 14.