It was an impressive run for the members of the Lethbridge Heat U17 softball squad.
In July, the players will go to their fourth provincial since 2018. They only missed the 2020 tournament without a season.
“I think if that’s going to be one of our seasons, it’s going to be this one,” said first baseman Leigh Kowalchuk.
“It definitely feels like family more than anything this year. I’m very impressed with ourselves and how much we’ve improved. It’s great to see it in me and everyone else.”
After six years there were hardly enough players to field a team.
Lethbridge Heat heads into the provincials with confidence
Fast forward to 2022 and the Heat have already produced provincials of multiple ages, with the majority of the girls playing together for years.
The squad sees the continuity as an advantage, especially after the last two seasons.
“Even just coming back, it’s like a return to normal,” said catcher Dakota Telford. “It’s nothing different, there are no new things.
“Everyone knows everyone, it’s the same routine.”
Now there is hope that the familiarity can take the group over the top.
Despite Heat’s success, the team has not won a provincial championship.
Heading to St. Paul, Alta with a perfect 17-0 record this season. The squad believe they can turn that momentum into a title and wash away last year’s disappointing result.
“We lost to the first place team, a deficit, which was really tough,” said Jessa Van Nistelrooy. “But we’re happy and ready to definitely come back this year and hopefully take first place.”
This is something the Heat believe they have the tools to achieve.
“If we work well together as a team and keep each other happy, we will achieve this goal,” said Van Nistelrooy.
“Everyone has the skills to do well,” Kowalchuk said. “As long as we put our plan into action, I think we can definitely win.”
The team has just over a week to prepare. Provincials begin July 8th.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8957227/lethbridge-heat-provincial-championship-softball/ Lethbridge Heat hope continuity will lead to provincial championship – Lethbridge