It was quite a journey for the 16U Team Toba girls! Fourteen players, encompassing the province of Manitoba, returned from Summerside, Prince Edward Island on Monday, August 29th with an incredible experience under their belts.

It was a challenging year! Two years of Covid-19, a late spring with rain and postponements due to other teams, personal commitments and tournaments saw the coaching staff finally name their roster on Sunday, August 7th, two weeks prior to departure for the 16U Canadian Girls Baseball Invitational Tournament held from the 25th to 28th of August.

This squad went into their first game without even being able to play an exhibition game or holding a complete practice with all members present prior to leaving for Summerside. What a journey! To be able to complete the tournament with five wins and one loss was an unheardable achievement.

The coaches Blaine Fortin (head coach), Roger Langlais (assistant coach), Marc Bissonnette (assistant coach), Patti Hacault (assistant coach), along with the Chef de Mission Kerrie Holm provided the “exactly right” leadership for this team.

Team members included Liberty Aime (Clandeboye), Priya D’Souza (Winnipeg), Jersi Godfrey (Eriksdale), Lauren Hunt (Winnipeg), Leah Peitsch (Winnipeg), Avery Pickering (St. Adolphe), Ella Holm (Stonewall), Emily Foster (Somerset), Jewell Thompson (MacGregor), Payton Zubec (Winnipeg), Kirsten Giesbrecht (Altona), Kennedy Morissette (Winnipeg), Caitlan Nickel (Brandon), and Alia Ross (Holland). The bat girl was Nyla Ross (Holland).

Named to the Tournament All Star Team was Priya D’Souza (Centre Fielder) and Leah Peitsch (First Base).

It was a progressive learning experience for many of the ladies.

“When all else fails, breathe and go back to basics,” informed Payton Zubec.

“I was proud of how well our girls represented our province. They were polite, respectful, and gracious, but also fierce and competitive without being arrogant. I am looking forward to a future of this program because as you have all witnessed, it is a bright and full of promises,” emphasized Marc Bissonnette, assistant coach.

“This team exceeded all expectations,” highlighted Roger Langlais, assistant coach.

“What an incredible experience. The energy of the group was fantastic. An excellent group of girls, coaches, and parents. It was a pleasure to spend the week with you all,” Jodi Hunt, parent.

“We had a great time! Thank you for taking the 14Us along for this unforgettable experience! We all cannot wait to do it all again next year,” stated Darla Nickel, parent.

“Patti, you had the best quote to the girls... ‘Girls you have beyond exceeded my expectations of you. I am very proud of you all!’” noted Kerri Holm. Chef de Mission.

“I am very pleased with the team’s performance. Especially without having a practice with the full squad or playing a game prior to the Nationals. The team came together and performed as a team and that was very impressive to me. You can tell they were all having fun on and off the field. I am very proud of these girls,” concluded Blaine Fortin, head coach.