Heat finish one-two at softball nationals

Delta Heat
Delta Heat '96 third baseman Holly Speers makes the tag against the Minnesota Stars at the Canadian Open last month. The Heat '96 won the U18 national championship last week in Saskatoon.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER

The Delta Heat led a dominating effort by the three B.C. teams at the U18 Fast Pitch Canadian Championship last week in Saskatoon.

The Heat, represented by both the '96 and '97 teams at the 22-team tournament, went a combined 19-2 (won-lost) at the seven-day tournament, which concluded with the Heat '96 topping the Heat '97 7-5 in Sunday's gold medal game.

The White Rock Renegades finished third, their only losses coming to the two Heat teams in the playoff round. The three B.C. teams did not lose a game against opposition from other provinces, going a combined 24-0.

The Heat '97 also lost just twice at the tournament, both losses to their Delta rivals in the playoffs.

The two Heat teams both went 4-0 in the round robin portion of the tournament, then each were a perfect 3-0 to win their four-team pool in the second round.

in the double-knockout playoff, the Heat '97 edged the Brampton Blazers 4-3 in a first-round game while the Heat '96 blanked the Renegades 9-0.

Heat '97 pitcher Desirae Villanueva struck out a dozen Brampton batters to lead her side to the win.

Marley Parker threw a two-hitter for the Heat '96 against White Rock, collecting five strikeouts along the way. Holly Speers drove in four runs on a double and a triple. Paige Harbord had three hits, with Taylor Lundrigan, Kennedy Bailey and Siara Souper getting two each.

The two Delta teams met in the second round of the playoff, with the Heat '96 coming out on top 8-1.

Parker collected her second win of the playoffs after striking out another five batters while holding the Heat '97 to just four hits. Bailey, Couper and Taylor Gillis each had a pair of hits for the winners.

Heat '97 shook off their first loss of the week and doubled the Renegades 4-2 in a semifinal game Sunday morning. Lauren Watson with four hits and Maria Palmegiani with three led the 10-hit Heat attack. Villenueva was the winning pitcher, allowing just three hits.

In the championship game, the Heat '96 never trailed after taking a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Montana Turnovitski had two singles and a double to lead the Heat '96 offense. Harbord and Bailey had two singles each.

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