Coast to Coast: PA’s Borthwick competes at U14 Girls’ Western and U16 Invitational

Submitted photo. Criseyde Borthwick

It was a summer of playing baseball from coast to coast for Prince Albert’s Criseyde Borthwick.
Borthwick, who is just starting Grade 9 at Carlton Comprehensive High School, played at both the U14 Girls’ Western Regional Championship in Richmond, B.C. and the U16 Girls’ Invitational Championship in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
“It was very long, but it was really fun,” Borthwick said about the experience. “I got to play baseball and just being able to see new things and I think it (was) really interesting.”
In Richmond, there was a familiar face for Borthwick on the bench as her father Corey, who was recently inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame, served as an assistant coach on the U14 team.
Corey says team Saskatchewan didn’t quite reach their expectations, but it was still a worthwhile experience for the players.
“It was the third year that I have been the assistant coach for that 14U girls’ team, and this year we had some higher expectations, and we didn’t really fulfill those expectations. But overall, it was a great experience and a learning curve for the girls as well, that where they need to get better.”
It was the second consecutive year that Criseyde had played in the Westerns. Corey says it was a very special experience to be able to coach a team that includes his daughter.
“It’s pretty awesome to actually be a part of the coaching staff and then also my daughter being on the team. This is the second year that’s been the case. It’s pretty special to have that connection there.”
Being in attendance as both a coach and a parent throughout both tournaments, Corey says he noticed a significant jump in skill between the U14 and U16 age levels.
“It’s quite a bit higher actually. The higher end pitching is quite a bit better. Just the depth of the teams are that much better at the 16U, especially with the higher end teams.”
Criseyde also suited up for the Prince Albert U15 AA Tier 1 Royals alongside her twin brother Declan. The Borthwick family recently moved to Prince Albert from La Ronge. Corey says the added challenge of playing AA Tier 1 helped Criseyde develop.
“I think that really helped challenge her to play at a higher level where she probably wasn’t going to play at that level in La Ronge. We’re usually a tier 4-6 team and (in PA) we were playing one level below triple-A so that definitely helped.”
It was a quick turnaround for Borthwick between the tournaments. She says she was only in Saskatchewan for a quick nap before she had to hop on another flight bound for Canada’s smallest province.
“I slept for 2 hours, and I went to the plane to P.E.I., so I actually didn’t even get to go home. I had to stay in Saskatoon for 3 hours and I left. So, it was very long not being home but it was still good.”
Criseyde, who primarily plays catcher, was deployed around the diamond playing for the U16 team. She says she embraced the challenge of playing out of position.
“I actually really enjoyed it because I got to see other positions. On my 14U team, I was just really the catcher, because that’s my position and then because I’m younger on that team on 16U. My role was different, but I actually enjoyed it because I got to play different positions.”
Criseyde competed against teams from coast to coast during both tournaments she participated in. While in P.E.I, she says Quebec was her favorite team to interact with off the field.
“I enjoyed talking to other girls, especially Quebec. (There’s) a huge academy there, so it’s just so cool (to) hear about it and how everything went there.”
Having competed at the national level for two consecutive seasons, Criseyde says she wants to be able to contribute on the mound for her teams in future seasons.
“I want to improve my pitching. I want to improve that because then I can be able to pitch more and I feel like I’ll need to improve that, especially competing at nationals again.”
Saskatchewan finished with a 3-3 record at the U16 Girls Invitational in Summerside.