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Ladysmith baseball team Charging through season

The Chargers team hosted a tournament over the May long weekend
The Ladysmith Chargers U17 were proud winners of the gold medallion at the recent softball tournament on the May long weekend. The team will be in action again on June 15th when they host other Isand teams in a tournament at the Aggie Field. So far this year in tournament play, the Chargers are one gold, two silver and two bronze. The team consists of Alivia Cousins (Ladysmith), Sophia Kennedy (Ladysmith), Mercedes Johnson (Ladysmith) Abby Smith (Saltair), Raquel Evans (Nanaimo), Ava Edmondson (Nanaimo), Jessica Slater (Nanaimo), Victoria Perry (Victoria), Emma Ross (Victoria), Sophia Campo (Victoria), Jenna Forsberg (Victoria), Ashley Smart (Shawnigan) and Karlee Poznecov (Duncan).

It’s the team's name but it can also describe the type of ball the youngsters on the team are playing right now.

The Chargers, a U17 group of young women playing softball, are having a positive swing to the season.

The Chargers team hosted a tournament over the May long weekend where they showcased their abilities and won gold. This was the second local tournament, the team has held. The first one, in April, the team captured the silver medal.

“We play mostly in Ladysmith and Victoria,” head coach Kris Kennedy said. “The team has also had games on the mainland. The team went to Las Vegas in January and went 1-3-1 against very strong U.S. teams, but we were in every game but one. And we have been in six tournaments, so far, this year.”

Two of the tournaments the team was rained out. 

“One of the rained-out tournaments was completed last Thursday evening, in Langford, and the team took bronze, so that gives the girls a record of one gold, two silvers and two bronze in tournament play so far this season,” the coach said.

"The team’s pitching is really bang on and the defence is working super. Hitting the ball, the offensive side of the team is really exciting,” Kennedy said. "We are fortunate that we have a team of very dedicated players. The girls are playing for each other and it really shows in the fun they have on the field. Mercedes Johnson, from Ladysmith, is really starting to stand out and we’ve had great pitching from Jenna Forsberg, Ava Edmondson and Sophia Kennedy. Players to watch for are Victoria Perry and Jessica Slater."

The Chargers are a first year team, as far as all playing together, but all the players have been in ball for a lot of years.

“Most of the players, at one time, have competed against each other. We as coaches have tried to make a great environment for the players to make mistakes and at the same time keep them accountable and work on improving and working hard. We are very fortunate for the group we have assembled this year,” Kennedy said. 

Kennedy said in the future the team is hoping to stay together and bring the players up to the next level.

"The leadership is very supportive of our players trying to play at the highest level, but I do hope we are all together again. Probably though, it seems unlikely, unfortunately, due to various ages of the players.

“We are getting ready for district playdowns. We play in Ladysmith on June 15 at the Aggie fields,” Kennedy said. “Then if we win we’re off to the provincials in July and hopefully off to the Westerns, hosted by Port Alberni this August. The team’s excited to play in the Canada Cup which is a massive tourney that runs concurrently with Team Canada’s tournament, in Surrey. It’s an exciting tournament and we play teams from across North America.”

Kennedy gives a big thanks to the team's sponsors and local association, as well as those behind the bench.

"This year our successes are due, in a large part, to the fantastic coaches Curtis Slater and Chris Forsberg and of course our team manager Jamie Slater; they work tirelessly keeping our team running so well,” Kennedy said.

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