Langley Xtreme U12 team were undefeated on their way to a gold medal finish and the title of Softball BC provincial champions, winning eight in a row over the July 30 – Aug. 1 weekend in Richmond.
Head Coach Melissa Appleton described the team as a “force unlike any other.”
“I have never seen a team come together and support one another the way these girls did,” Appleton commented.
“The magic was palpable and no one can deny it.”
Xtreme 2009 finished the round robin tied for first place, leading to a coin toss which put them in second going into the playoffs.
They outscored district rivals, the Abbotsford Outlaws 09, in a tight 3-2 win in their second playoff game.
In the semi-final, they went up against against the Gordon Head Outlaws, who were seeded in first after the coin toss tie-breaker.
Gordon Head had some hits to start off the game, but the Xtreme didn’t let up, scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead, ultimately winning 7-3 and advancing to the final.
Their journey ended with Xtreme and Vancouver Wildcats battling for gold.
It ended with a 2-1 victory, after an extra inning tiebreaker.
Alayna Jackson, who plays second base for the Xtreme and drove in eight home runs during the tournament, said her teammates inspired her.
“They made me want to work harder than I ever have,” Jackson said, adding “I believe winning made our bond stronger and I could never have asked for a better team”
Xtreme ended their season with a 44-5-1 record.
They also took on extra games against teams in higher divisions, as well as older age groups and made the decision to entered an “A” tournament this season, as the only “B” team, and went on finish second.
READ ALSO: Langley Xtreme battle on the ball field
Team manager Alicia Benson called it “an amazing season, and what an amazing group of young athletes.”
“One year ago, this team set a goal of winning provincials, they practiced and worked hard though a global pandemic, they played an altered season that saw them face off against teams in a higher division, they challenged themselves to become better athletes and improve their skills, and on Sunday they reached their goal and came out on top,” Benson enthused.
Coach Rod Storsley was impressed by how the girls “encouraged each other, kept each other going, picked each other up whether they were winning or losing.”
“I always told them that no matter how a game goes, winners always find a way to win in the end – and that’s exactly what they did,” Storsley said.
Xtreme players were also leaders off the field, volunteering to mentor and run ball clinics for younger girls in the league, and enduring a heat wave to help run the U6 end-of-season skills competition.
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