Saanich Softball Team Wins Silver at Provincials
A Saanich softball team battled it out on the provincial stage and walked away with their heads held high and a silver medal around their necks.
The Svee Women’s Softball Team represented the Victoria Saanich Women’s Softball Association at the Intermediate A Provincial Tournament July 23-24 in Richmond.
After starting the tournament hot with two straight wins, they lost their first playoff game in extra innings. With the tournament taking place under double knockout rules – two losses and you’re out – they won four straight matches to advance to the final, including an extra set win in the semis. But Svee failed to clear the final hurdle, losing to the North Vancouver Avalanche in the final game and winning the silver medal.
“We kept winning like tough and stressful back-to-back games. By the time we got to the final, we had already played three games that day, and the other team had only played one. So we were exhausted and we were happy to get the money even though we lost that game. We were just really happy to have made it there,” said Rachelle Little, center fielder and softball association executive.
The road to the final had its ups and downs for the team and was a long one for some members. It was the first time the team could play in a tournament since the pandemic. COVID cancellations, lack of numbers, and then the high number of COVID cases within the squad caused several tournaments to be missed. Indeed, they only had one exhibition match before the tournament kicked off.
The players, aged 21 to 35, are a mix of rookies and veterans. Little has been playing since 2004 when the association was called the Strawberry Vale Softball Association and Little was 14 years old and played in the little league. She has since played with three members of the team, while others have joined along the way. But it has also seen a number of players come and go.
Little said it can be difficult to find games to play on the island – this year they’ve only played two other adult women’s teams on the island – meaning they have to travel to the continent for tournaments.
“I think a lot of women, when they get to a certain age, say to themselves, I can’t play this competition anymore. It’s too much of a commitment,” Little said. But she said Svee was training twice a week in the off season and usually practiced once a week and played once a week in the season, meaning it’s not much more of a commitment than any beer league.
“Even though half of our team is in their 30s, you can keep improving, even as you get older.”