A number of local girls are suiting up for Team Manitoba in the coming weeks competing in the Baseball Canada national championships.
Team Manitoba, under head coach Jeremy Culleton from Vassar is in Ottawa this week competing in the U21 Women’s Invitational national championships, which begins today (Aug.1).
Culleton has been a driving force in women’s baseball for several years in the province as a coach with the U16 and U14 teams and now the provincial U21 squad.
Last year, in his first season as head coach of the U21 provincial team, he guided Manitoba to a fourth place finish at the nationals, which were staged in Stonewall.
In his previous three years coaching the Manitoba U16 team, they came away with a silver and two bronze medals from nationals.
There are three local players competing for Team Manitoba this week in Ottawa, led by 19-year-old catcher/infielder Caitlin Culleton from Vassar. The others are outfielder Izzy Penner, 17, from Blumenort; and infielder/outfielder Mercedes Gorham, 16, from Steinbach, who is the youngest player on the team.
Manitoba opens play today at 2:00 p.m. vs. Nova Scotia. On Friday, Manitoba will face Ontario at noon and then on Saturday will take to the field twice for games against Quebec at 10:00 a.m. and Saskatchewan at 4:00 p.m.
The top two finishers at the completion of Saturday’s round robin will square off in Sunday’s gold medal game while the third and fourth place teams will play for bronze.
Meanwhile, the two other Team Manitoba women’s teams, U14 and U16 were competing in the Baseball Manitoba 13U and 15U male prospects showcase in Steinbach and La Broquerie last weekend.
The U14 team, which includes Avery Pickering from St. Adolphe, will compete in the Western Canadian championships, Aug. 14-16 in Saskatoon.
Meanwhile, the U16 Team Manitoba squad, which includes three local girls, is preparing for the U16 national championships, which are being held Aug. 22-25 at Bedford, Nova Scotia, near Halifax.
That will team will include Mercedes Gorham from Steinbach, Kennedy Toews from Blumenort and Raven Carriere from La Broquerie.