Storm claim bronze in Brampton

Surrey Storm 98
Surrey Storm 98's Hailey Kjaer slides safely home under Delta Heat '99 catcher Courtney Palleson during a Softball BC provincial U16 girls A championship game at Sullivan Park on July 26. Kjaer had three RBIs Sunday to lift the Storm to a 6-2 win over Smitty's '98 and a bronze medal at the national championships in Brampton, Ontario.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

Losing just once in eight games, Surrey Storm '98 earned the bronze medal at the U16 Girls Fast Pitch Canadian Championship in Brampton, Ontario.

The Storm topped Smitty's '98 of Manitoba by a 6-2 score this morning (Sunday) to clinch third place at the 20-team competition. Jessica Fasolino pitched all seven innings for Surrey, striking out eight Manitoba batters while allowing one earned run on four hits and a walk.

Demi Rose, batting in the designated hitter's role, had a double and a single to drive in a pair of runs. Hailey Kjaer hit a two-run double and finished the game with three RBIs while Brooke Derkson had a pair of singles to drive in one run and score twice.

Storm '98 cruised through pool play at the five-day tournament, topping their five-team group with four wins in as many games, including a 5-4 decision over the second-place Smitty's '98 team.

In a four-team group in the playoff round, the Storm were upset 3-2 by the Quebec Rebelles '98 on Friday morning. The Rebelles scored a pair of unearned runs in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead, but with just three hits in the game couldn't add to their total.

Surrey managed just four hits, but made the most of them. Rose singled in the top of the sixth inning, and scored on a base hit from Emily Manhao. In the seventh and down to their final three outs, Hailey Kjaer hit a lead-off triple and scored on a wild pitch.

The next three batters were retired, leaving the Rebelles with a one-run victory.

Surrey then topped the Oakville Angels of Ontario 7-5, as a five-run fourth inning erased a 4-1 Oakville advantage. Manhao had the big hit of the inning with a two-run double to tie the score at 4-4. She scored on the next at-bat when Derkson doubled to put the Storm up 5-4. Derkson would cross the plate for the winning run on Kjaer's single.

The Storm then broke the hearts of the host Brampton Blazers with a 4-3 win. The Blazers led 3-0 after batting in the top of the sixth inning, despite Fasolino throwing a complete-game three-hitter that included eight strikeouts.

A pair of Blazers errors allowed Manhao and Derkson to score from third base in the bottom of the sixth. In the bottom of the seventh, Emily Chordita singled to start the rally. Marina Cyr doubled to put two runners in scoring position, and both scored when Rose reached first base on an error.

The Storm qualified for the national tournament with a third place finish at the Softball BC championships at Sullivan Park July 27, placing behind the champion White Rock Renegades '99 and runner-up White Rock Renegades '98.

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