July 21st, 2024

Ross caps amazing month

By Medicine Hat News on August 23, 2017.


srooney@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNRooney

After a month that saw her travel to three separate major baseball tournaments, Redcliff’s Kaitlyn Ross got a reprieve Tuesday —and wisely spent it at West Edmonton Mall.

“Hopefully tonight I’ll get a good sleep,” said the 16-year-old after a day of shopping.

Given what she’s accomplished in the last few weeks, that shouldn’t be an issue.

Ross flew back to Edmonton following a whirlwind month which began with a senior women’s invitational in Windsor, then a stint with Canada’s women’s baseball team in Washington, D.C., then finally a leading role with Alberta’s team at the national 16-and-under championships in Vaughn, Ont. this past weekend.

No doubt the invitation with the national team was the biggest eye-opener, but Ross did win silver medals at the other two tournaments she played in. And she turned heads doing it.

“It’s hard to realize that I just did that. It’s unreal, honestly,” she said.

Named the top catcher at the Aug. 3-6 tournament in Windsor, Ross was among 31 players who then got the national team invite. With the 16-and-under squad she was named top pitcher and top defensive player this past weekend — Alberta lost 4-1 to Quebec in Sunday’s final.

See Alberta, Page A10

Ross led her 16-and-under team with 10 RBI, while hitting .333. She even threw a two-hitter in a round robin win over Ontario.

She also played with the local Majestics this summer, though the female team opportunities limited her time on the high-end boys squad. Now she can’t help but think about what baseball might have in store for her in the long run.

“It was a really cool experience, just the calibre of ball and seeing what’s out there,” she said. “It’s eye-opening, what it’s going to be like if you do make that team and what the level of ball would be like.”

The Pan-Am Games and women’s world cup are now realistic goals, and Ross knows she’s not the only one in southeastern Alberta who might get to that level. Medicine Hat teammates Andie Suhai and Libby Bourassa got their 14-and-under provincial team to the peewee girls final of the Western Canada Baseball Championship in Kamloops Sunday, losing 11-0 to the host B.C. squad but also making significant contributions.

Suhai and Bourassa each won a game MVP award during their tournament. Suhai’s came in a 20-10 win over Saskatchewan on Saturday in which she went 3-for-4 at the plate and pitched two innings. Bourassa’s came in an 8-7 win over Manitoba earlier the same day —she threw 5 1/3 innings of relief, only giving up one earned run in what was basically a must-win game if they wanted to be in Sunday’s final.

The host B.C. team handed Alberta’s 14-and-under girls their only two losses —13-11 in a Friday opener and 11-0 in a mercy-rule-shortened final. Alberta only had one hit in the five-inning final.

“Hopefully we can all excel, maybe one day I’ll be playing with them; that would be sweet,” Ross said of Suhai and Bourassa. “Hopefully we all do well and keep going, and maybe we could all make it to the same place.”

For now, though, it’s Ross leading the charge for girls baseball in town. There was one other 16-year-old from Alberta who wound up on the same teams as she did this month but the national team also included women much older than them.

“I just want to keep working, progress as much as I can to give me a greater chance to make the team,” said Ross. “That’s what I hope to do in the end, is be on Team Canada and represent the country.”

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