The coaching staff of the Stellarton Stingers has seen their group slowly come together, get sharper and play more as a team.
Those things should come in handy when the Stingers host the U12 provincial championship tournament, with eight teams competing at the Aug 10-11 event, at the Dorrington complex in Stellarton.
Head coach Jeremy Henderson said it’s been gratifying to watch the players develop over the course of the brief fastpitch season.
“Especially with the pitchers,” he said on. Aug. 3, was the girls held as practice in intense heat on their home ball park.
“We work extensively with the pitchers during practices, and they’ve come a long way.”
“There’s a lot of parents out helping out, and a couple girls from the U16 team helping out, and older girls who have played in the system. The girls respond to the older girls, especially because they’ve been through the system and all played multiple years.”
The Stingers will play three round-robin games on Aug. 10 (at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.), and will wait until the smoke clears to see if they can get into Sunday crossover games.
“It’s our first time for everybody going to provincials, so nobody really knows how it’s going to be – the level of competitiveness and professionalism,” says Henderson.
“It’s a good thing for the girls to have all those aspects come together.”
His daughter Avery Henderson, who usually pitches or works behind the plate as a catcher for the U12 squad, said the players are looking forward to provincials, especially since it’s in their own backyard – something they got a taste of earlier in the summer when the Brian Jarvis Memorial tournament took place in Stellarton.
“It was really nice to see my family come down, it’s nice to have a place close to home where they can come watch, in a place my whole family knows,” she says.
“It’s really exciting for us. People from a lot of places are coming to play, and it’s fun to just participate.”
Roster for the Subway Stingers U12 team
#6 Haley Taylor
#5 Vanessa LeBlanc
#12 Carmen Langille
#1 Madison Lewis
#10 Abby Janes
#11 Gabby MacDonald
#9 Sophie MacDonald
#7 Avery Henderson
#19 Reese Murray
#2 Emma Fraser
#14 Sarah Chapmen
#8 Olivia Liska
#20 Tori Hayden
#24 Sarah Macleod