White Rock Renegades ‘99 pitcher Shaina Eyre winds up during a game Tuesday against the Surrey Storm ‘01. (Nick Greenizan photo)

Heat, Renegades sit near top of standings at U19 softball nationals

24-team Canadian championship continues through weekend at Softball City

Local teams find themselves at or near the top of the standings as the Under-19 Women’s Canadian Fastpitch Championships head towards the weekend playoff rounds.

Through the first four days of competition – which began Monday morning at Softball City in South Surrey – the Delta Heat 2001 and White Rock Renegades ‘99 lead the way among local teams, with identical 6-1 win-loss records.

The Heat, who entered the 24-team tournament as B.C.’s No. 3 seed, were the first team to hit the six-win mark in the week-long national showdown, though they – and the Renegades – are now chasing a pair of still-undefeated Ontario teams, Waterloo Ghosts Gold and the Oakville Angels, both at 7-0 through Friday morning.

Many of the Heat’s victories have come in convincing fashion – 14-4 over the Lloydminster Liners; 10-0 against the Estevan South Side Slammers; and 14-2 versus the Manitoba Thunder Wednesday night.

The White Rock Renegades ’99 – the defending national champions and this year’s provincial champs – won the first five games on their schedule, including a come-from-behind win Tuesday afternoon against the Surrey Storm ’01 which saw the ‘Gades give up five runs in the first inning. But they were dealt their first loss of the tourney Wednesday evening, losing 10-5 to the Windsor Wildcats, Ontario’s No. 2 seed.

Earlier Wednesday, White Rock knocked off Ontario’s fourth-seeded Brampton Blazers, 6-4.

On Thursday, they beat the Victoria Devils 8-0.

In sixth-place Friday is the official host team, the White Rock Renegades 2000, who are 5-2. The team opened the tournament Monday afternoon with a 7-4 loss to Oakville, but rebounded after that to knock off the Richmond Islanders 2000 7-6.

In that victory, White Rock’s Amelia Trembath singled in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

From there, the 2000-born squad beat the Quebec Rebelles U19s 9-2; Calgary Adrenaline 8-1 and the Victoria Devils 2000 3-2. On Thursday afternoon, White Rock beat the Winnipeg Lightning but lost to the Saskatoon Co-op Selects.

The Surrey Storm – who came close to beating the defending champion ’Gades Tuesday – have a 4-3 record, with victories over Alberta’s Rivercity Hornets, Manitoba’s Smitty’s Terminators, Regina Kaos and Victoria.

The playoffs continue through the weekend and finish with the gold-medal match Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

For more on the tournament, including up-to-date scores, visit https://softball.ca/u19womens

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