After a 5 year absence, 2011 saw the return of Junior softball to Victoria. Our regular season consisted of 3 very competitive teams at Layritz. When tournament team selection time rolled around, there were some very difficult decisions to make as we had a very competitive group of players all wanting to represent Layritz. Once the team was selected, the team began practicing 5 days a week and managed to pick up a few exhibition games along the way all in preparation for what would become an 18 day, 8200 km “Epic journey” across the continent and back. On August 4, the team flew to Windsor, Ontario for the Canadian Championships. The team was billeted by some great families from the Turtle Club Little League in LeSalle. Despite scorching temperatures, our girls represented well and captured the Canadian Championships in a final game, over a strong team from Alberta. After a little celebrating, the girls were bussed to Detroit, flown to Chicago, then on to Seattle to represent Canada at the Junior League Softball World Series in Kirkland. Again, the girls performed well, as they met up with the 10 best Junior Softball teams from around the world. Despite some competitive games, we failed to win a game until our final game of the tournament when we managed a 1-0 win over the European champion from the Netherlands. It was a great victory for the girls and a great way to end our “Epic Journey”. For the entire run, the girls from Layritz represented our park, our city, our province, and our country with class and great sportsmanship both on and off the field. It was a summer that the girls will remember the rest of their lives and would not have been possible without the efforts and support of their families and the great volunteers that help run our park and the little league program. Thank you to everyone who helped us along the way. For pictures and details about the girls journey; Facebook Page - Layritz Junior All-Stars Facebook Page – Team Canada – Junior Softtall At The World Series www.jrsoftballworldseries.com
Layritz 2011 11/12 Baseball Tournament Team
More than 20 players tried out for the 2011 version of Layritz's 11-12 All-Star team. After two days of assessments, and some very tough decisions, 13 boys were selected. All the coaches agreed we chose a team of players with a lot of potential as each player brought a different set of skills to help the team win. They would not disappoint.
An exhibition sweep of a double header vs Hampton and a loss to Beacon Hill, along with 3-4 hour practices almost daily led this team into the district tournament. Mercy wins over Central Saanich and National/Lakehill were followed by a 6-2 victory over Beacon Hill to claim first place in the round robin. The semi-final, due to over-confidence and great pitching by Lakehill/National's starter had us all tied at 1-1 in the 5th inning. In a jam, we turned to Jesse Simpson with the bases loaded and only one out. "J-Dog" struck out 2 batters, we scored one run in the 6th and we were off to the final best of three. In game one, Jacob Moss was incredible on the hill and we won 10-0. In game two the bats fell silent in a 4-2 loss setting up a winner-take-all game three. Again, Jesse pitches well, Jake Wilhelm hits a HR and we win 10-0 and are off to the BC tournament. We out-score the opposition 50-6 in the tourney as the best team prevails, but not without some nail-biting moments. At the Provincials, game one vs Hampton was a nail-biter and virtually a must-win situation. Rocky ( Moss) throws 15 K's, Gio Walt scores the only run in the 1st inning, and Araresso Cochrane makes a hi-lite reel catch in the 6th inning to preserve a 1-0 victory. Game two vs defending-champion Little Mountain was just as close, if not closer. Great pitching from Justice Carter and Jacob Potter keeps their bats at bay as we trail 3-1 into the bottom of the 6th inning. Our never say die attitude shows off as Joel Barton scores from 2nd base on a single by beating the throw home by virtually a split-second as we force extra innings. They score one, we can't, and lose 4-3 in 7 innings in a well-played, exciting ball game. More of this excitement to follow.
Next up was Trail in another must-win situation in order to qualify for a semi-final spot. Again, Jacob Potter and Justice pitch great holding Trail to one run over 6 innings. The "TSN turning-point" seems to be when Ryan Cleaver is thrown out at home on a play where we believe the catcher blocked the plate so he could not score. Debate follows, the out stands, but we score two more runs including Andrew Baxter's game-winning RBI single. With two outs, Jake Wilhelm dives at SS for a ball, throws to Jacob Potter who digs it out and we win 2-1 and move to 2-1 for the tourney. Mercy losses to Langley and Hastings did not dampen our spirits, nor come without some inspiring moments. Eventual Canadian champs, Langley, only were leading us 1-0 after 3 innings and 2-0 after four innings due to starter Trey Crust's great pitching. The wheels only fell off in the last couple of innings. Ryan Christenson shutout Hastings for two innings including an amazing, perfect three pitch, three out 2nd inning. Our last round robin game was against Lynn Valley with a win needed to secure our semi-final berth. Our bats are cold vs their pitching but thankfully Jesse and Justice were just as efficient in their pitching. Scoreless thru 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 innings we finally scored in the top of the 10th. But so do they in their half of the inning, so we keep playing. Finally in the 12th inning, we score again, hold them scoreless, and win 2-1 in TWELVE innings to move to the semi-finals. BUT, our bats are not doing well so the coaches were and team agreed to come out for a hitting practice that night, just hours after playing a 12-inning game.
Saturday was the semi-final vs Hastings. Gio Walt scores in the first inning and Jacob Moss throws amazing for five innings, striking out 11 batters. We lead 1-0 after four innings, and they score in the top of the 5th inning. We have a runner thrown out at home in our at-bats so we are all tied 1-1 after 5 innings. They score two runs in the 6th inning to win 3-1. We have less K's, more BB's, more hits, but they out-score us to win.
The five coaches ( Dave Potter, Troy Carter, Mark Baxter, Chris Walt, Myles Christenson) could not have been prouder of the team and thank them for a very memorable, six-week journey!!
Layritz 2011 Major Softball Tournament Team
In the District final vs Hampton, the Layritz Major Girls team was unable to complete the valiant comeback they had started in the 4th inning. With the game on the line in the top of the 6th inning, down 8-5, Layritz battled back to tie the game 8-8 with some clutch hitting and fantastic base running. They were denied the go ahead run on a slide into home that held the collective breath of the fans until the call was made. The stellar pitching/catching duo of Andie Stevens and Cydney Bushby, coupled with the solid defence of Jessica Douglas, Gillian Goldsworthy, Taylor List, Sarah Shubrook, Rebecca Blair, Camryn Pywell, Kaitlyn McIlveen, Jordan Huckin, Jewel Dubuc and, last but certainly not least, Heather Boomer, whose magnificent stretched out catch in centre field kept the fans on the edge of their seats! With two out and runners on the corners, Hampton managed to sneak a grounder through the gap to win the game 9-8 and claim the 2011 District Championship. They will proudly represent BC at the Canadian Championships in August. We wish them well.
Layritz 2011 Minor Softball Tournament Team
The 2011 minor softball tournament team was an impressive and dedicated group of young ladies who worked very hard practicing 6 days a week for the last half of June to prepare for the district 7 minor softball tournament on July 2 and 5 at Hollywood Park. Coaches Al, Kevin and Jeremy are proud to report that all of that consistent effort paid off with a close and exciting 4-0 win in the final. We were up against a very tough team from Beacon Hill who had mercied our team 10-0 in the opening game of the tournament. After round robin Saturday the team came together for one final practice Monday night and very quickly learned a bunt defense and put a little extra work in on our batting. It was a perfect summer night in Victoria and the final game was scoreless after four innings despite both sides loading the bases in several of the early innings. Clutch pitching and tight defense right from the get go kept us in it. Finally in the fifth inning we cracked a chink in the Beacon Hill armour and with some aggressive base running we brought in our first two runs to take a lead. With the pressure on Hayley remained solid and struck out batter after batter. In the top of the 6th we were able to add two more insurance runs and then Rachel fired away for three more strike outs to shut out Beacon Hill. Big thanks to all the parents who sacrificed lots of family time to bring the girls out to practice and to help us out with drills, raking the diamond and leading the cheering from the stands. This was a big accomplishment and a solid team effort from each and every one of the girls who progressed a long way in a very short period of time. We had lots of laughs, smiles and jokes along the way and we coaches enjoyed the chance to be kids at the ball park again and to spend some time with some awesome young ladies. You all did Layritz and yourselves very proud!
Layritz 2011 9/10 Baseball Tournament Team
Congratulations to the 13 boys who made the Layritz 9/10 Tournament Baseball Team. This great group off ball players rose to the top during 2 days of tryouts and assessments. Over 40 boys tried out for this talented squad.
The team prepared for the District Tournament for countless hours. Practicing 3-4 hours daily, as well as participating in live batting practice at our home park prior to games.
The hard work and determination paid off. Layritz dominated all teams but one in the round robin portion of the tournament.
Our team got off to a very strong start, with wins over Central Saanich and Lakehill. We then came up against the strong, returning District champs, Beacon Hill. Layritz was keeping pace with Beacon Hill throughout the game, battling hard with every pitch. The game see sawed back and forth, until Layritz committed a few errors, giving the returning champions the break they needed and Beacon Hill capitalized and scored 6 runs in one bad inning. The end result was an 8-3 loss. The team regrouped and handed out more of the same as they did earlier in the tournament. At the hands Luke Seginowich the team handed Hampton an 11-1 loss. Luke pitched a gem, throwing over 75 pitches and only giving up 1 unearned run, which was on an error. For the final game of the round robin Layritz put a complete team effort in beat National in quick fashion. Two days later Layitz entered the Semi finals against Lakehill. Lakehill got off quick and strong start, putting two runs on the board during the 1st inning. Mitch Martinez had seen enough and got his chance on the hill. Mitch hurled 4 shutout innings to give Layritz a chance to get the bats going, and did they ever. Layritz exploded for 12 runs, and yet handed another mercy rule to their opponents. That gave them one more shot for all the marbles, against Beacon Hill. The final game was a battle. Layritz shot off to a lead, scoring two runs in the first inning. Beacon Hill battled back and picked away at our boys. Luke Seginowich and Mason Smith pitched great, however the team could not contain this strong squad from Beacon Hill. The game once again was a see saw battle, with the end result 6-3 in favour Beacon Hill. Our boys emptied their tanks and gave it all they had.
A few more other notes from the tournament.
·6 of our players batted over .500 for the tournament. Mitch Martinez, Jake Dziwenka, Spencer Thomas, Mason Smith, Tyrus Finch, and Keenan Rancier. The extra batting practice paid off!
·A solid contributor, Trevor Carter broke his thumb during practice and was unable to participate in the tournament
·Mason Smith clobbered 4 triples, giving him a slugging percent of .857. Nicely done Smitty!
At the end of the day, I could not be more proud of this group of individuals. These kids poured their hearts out every day at practice and during games. They were dealt a very tough practice schedule, and each one of them rose to the challenge like true champions. This was truly a very special group of ball players.
Thanks go out to Doug Chamberlain and Aaron Nakatsu for their relentless commitment and support. To the parents, the schedule was not easy, but you all gave the kids and the coaching staff your full unconditional support, and for that we thank you. You all have amazing kids.
I can’t wait for next year…..returning players get ready….we are going to get that banner back!
Minor Baseball Team "Cumberbirch Insurance" ,the City Minor's Champions, bring the cup back to Layritz once again.
Layritz Minor Baseball team Cumberbirch insurance is the 2011 City Champions. With a very tight regular season victory they advanced to the cities held at Centennial Park. The was made up of team of Justin Thomas, Jaden Snow, Tyrus Finch, Tom Watson, Austin Black, Chris Starck, Bryden Holt, Jacob Branton, Keenan Rancier, Jaden Atwal, Drew Jackson, and Brett Anderson. All these kids need to be named because of the hard work each individual player put into the tournament which was 7 days of straight baseball. Monday to Friday was the round robin which the boys went 4-1 followed by a single game knockout for the playoffs. With NO DAYS of rest for these dedicated young players they have proven what team work is all about.
Every time that these boys stepped out onto the field to play, they gave the fans exciting baseball from their defense which had amazing pitching, a triple play, 5 fly balls for outs (in 1 game), throws from right and left field for outs at the plate, and also run downs in the hotbox. Their offense: from laying down perfect bunts to hitting stand up triples. No team this year in the cities could stand up to our offense.
These kids were absolutely a great bunch to coach.
Thanks to all our parents and to the LAYRITZ fans who supported our club at the tournament out in Central Saanich. Also a special thanks goes out to coaches Jay Thomas, Chad Roorda, Ryan Abraham for the extra time put out this season for the kids.