A pair of female Prince Albert U15 AA TLS Royals players will find themselves on the national stage in August.
Brooklyn Leibel and Criseyde Borthwick were both named to the U14 Team Sask. Girls Baseball team that will represent Saskatchewan at the Western Canadian Championships in Richmond, BC from Aug. 17-20.
For Brooklyn Leibel, it will be her first-time representing Team Sask.
“I tried out for the team (last year) and I didn’t make it.” Leibel said. “When I tried out this year, I had a good feeling, and when my dad told me that I made it, I was very happy.”
After being cut from Team Sask a year ago, Leibel put in plenty of hours of work over the offseason. Having two older brothers, Brock, 18, and Brandon, 23, Leibel says she has always had some role models on the diamond.
“All winter, I’ve been training. Ever since I was seven years old, I started playing baseball because of my brothers. They taught me how to play and I just looked up to them ever since.”
Leibel says she is looking forward to heading to Richmond alongside her Royals teammate Criseyde Borthwick.
“I play ball with her, so I know her pretty well. I have a good feeling that we’ll do good together.”
For Criseyde Borthwick, it will be the second consecutive season she will represent Team Sask at two different age levels.
Borthwick not only made the U14 roster, but she will also play for the U16 Team Sask Team at the 2023 16U Girls Invitational Championships in Summerside, PEI from Aug. 24-27.
She says she is excited to represent Team Sask and connect with other female baseball players from across the country.
“It’s really exciting and really fun because also not just representing (Sask), but also meeting people across the country and seeing all different skills in baseball. It’s just so cool seeing how different girls can play baseball as well.”
A year ago, Borthwick didn’t receive a ton of playing time for the 16U team. She says she is hoping to work her way into more playing time with the 16U team and to be a leader in her second season at the 14U level.
“I didn’t know if I was going try out for the 16U again because I’m still really young. But I did, and I hope I have a bigger role this year. And I was really proud of myself again because I’m going to have a bigger role, especially for 14U.”
Borthwick says she hopes her accomplishments in the game will help other female athletes turn to baseball.
“I want to encourage girls to play baseball, even if it’s with boys. I’ve done that my whole life. And if they want to play baseball when they get older, I think they should go for it, and that they just keep training for it because now there will be opportunities and I would just like to help with it and (see) girls improve with their baseball skills as well. Just because I would like to see more girls play baseball and show what they have.”