Ponoka’s U14 girls’ fastball team Bandits tied their first home game of the season 12-12 against Sylvan Lake, Thursday, May 14.
The girls battled the chilly weather and their opponents by cheering each other on and, with the help of coach Lucas Willier, playing smart.
“The score really isn’t why we’re here,” said Willier.
This year his team is made up entirely of girls who have never played at the peewee level before. He is more focused on building the girls’ skills and knowledge of the game.
“I’m sure everybody learned something,” said Willier.
Ponoka came out swinging against the evenly matched Sylvan Lake team. “We came out with a strong first period,” said Willier.
“Our bats were strong,” he added.
One of his main directions to players was to keep the ball low and drive it along the ground. This allows the girls to make the bases without the fear of a pop fly catch.
However, as Sylvan Lake picked up the pace the Bandits defense slacked off a bit, says Willier. “And that’s where we gave them a tie.”
This year the Ponoka U14 is offering a one-of-kind opportunity to the girls who play peewee level in the league: the Heart and Hustle Award.
At each home game, one girl from each team is awarded, and it’s the opposing team who chooses the recipient. For the Bandits, Perjsa Potts was the recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award in Thursday’s game.
Ponoka’s Boston Pizza sponsors the award. “Boston Pizza really stepped up,” said Willier.
The team’s next home game is Thursday, May 21 agaisnt Sylvan Lake’s second U14 team.