Winning bronze for Penticton Power catcher Emma Reiter felt great.
It’s the first provincial medal in any sport for the member of the under-16 girls fastball team.
“It felt good to know we’re the third best team in the province,” said Reiter of their feat in Chilliwack July 5 to 7. “We’ve never made it to provincials before. A really nice way to finish off the season.”
Head coach Jeff Korven, who was assisted by Ron Huston and Paul Kindel, said he’s happy with the finish considering where they started. Before the Power won the District 9 championship, they were a seventh-place team. The Power won all four round-robin games in Chilliwack to earn the top seed going into playoffs. They knocked off White Rock in their first game then faced the Kelowna Homers, who they beat to win the District 9 championship. The Homers were still added to the provincial championship as a 17th team, and bested the Power 5-1.
“We didn’t play well, we played OK,” said Korven. “The whole tournament bats were silent and pitching kept us in, except the last two games.”
After losing to the Homers, the Power won their next three games.
“That’s really hard on your pitching staff,” he said of playing consecutive games so close.
The Power then lost to the Gibson Crushers 14-10 to earn the bronze medal. The Crushers faced the Homers and edged them 6-5 for the gold medal.
When talking about the bronze medal game, Korven praised the efforts of pitcher Tatiana Brazinha.
“Tatiana receives 10 gold stars,” he said. “This girl, she pitched at 10 a.m. and went six innings, pitched at noon and 2 p.m.”
Between the 2 and 4 p.m. game Korven talked to her saying he felt she had done enough. It was time to leave it to the other girls but she still wanted to play. He was also impressed with Reiter, who played every inning except one.
“That’s a grinding position. I tried to pull her out,” said Korven, who would have given Reiter the award for heart-and-soul player if one existed. “She is just a trooper. She just brings so much to the table.”
The Power coach said his group showed guts and courage for battling back the way they did.
“Good pitching will beat good hitting every time,” he said. “I was very impressed with the way they played.”
The Power also participated in a skills challenge with Reiter, Rebecca Livesey, Paisley Anderson, Dana Ingram and Madison Foster working together to take home a bronze in an infield relay.