Langley’s U18 Rebels were a force all tournament long, handedly winning first place at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International championship tournament at Softball City on Monday night (July 6).
The event – which hit South Surrey diamonds July 3 – opened with the Showcase (U16) and Futures (U19) Selects tournaments, both of which wrapped up Monday night.
In the Futures championship, the Langley Rebels took the top spot, defeating the California Lightning 9-2 in the final.
The Rebels mercied the California team in the fifth inning. Pitching was great but hitting was key too, with the Langley select team even putting a home run over the fence during the championship game.
“To see that in a championship game, that got everyone pumped up,” said head coach Rob Komorowski.
“I’m really proud of these girls. They pulled together as a team. It was an exciting game and a pleasure to be part of it,” he said of the win.
Komorowski has brought his team to the Canadian Open for the past five years now and last year, they were knocked out in the semi-finals by Washington.
This year was a different
The Rebels came out fighting in the final by starting out on the bats and hitting a homerun to score two.
The Rebels kept being threats at the plate by hitting aggressively and scoring more runs in the second and fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fourth the Lighting found the holes and scored two more runs. The Rebels responded with more runs in the fifth.
They came out and scored five more on a two out rally. The Rebels held the Lighting in the fifth inning to win the game 9-2. The Rebels played eight games over the weekend, winning all but two.
“The whole team did great, they really played as a team,” said team manager Shannin Pinette.
“When they won it was more of a shock because they were going into the sixth and then the game was over because they mercied the other team,” she said.
Saturday was a ‘rough day’ for the team with back to back games in the sweltering heat.
“We were fighting heat exhaustion and had two girls exiting the game,” he said.
“But Sunday was a new day. We woke up feeling good and we started playing for each other and believing in each other,” said Komorowski.
They mercied both teams they played, tromping on Nanaimo to a score of 21-2.
The lead up game to the final was against Oregan, who they had lost to on Saturday.
“It was redemption for sure and it felt good going into the final game,” he said. “They just started hitting the ball and it’s contagious.”
The win is nice too for assistant coach Ron Adams who stayed on one more year even though he no longer has kids on the team. This is his last year with the Langley squad.
This is also most of the girls final year with the Rebels as they age-out and will move onto women’s rep teams or recreational.
After such an exciting and important win, the Rebels are now looking to the win the provincials held in Nanaimo on July 16 and 19.
“We are hoping to build on this win,” he said.
In the meantime, Team Canada took to the diamonds along with teams from Japan, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Canada faced Mexico at Softball City’s Diamond 1 on Wednesday.
Canada plays at least one game each day until Saturday, when playoff rounds begin. The championship is set for Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at Softball City.
Files from Nick Greenizan, Black Press.