The Prince Albert U15 Aces U15 will host 13 of the best softball teams from around the province this weekend as U15 Softball Provincials begin at Prime Minister’s Park.
Aces’ coach Scott Reed said the team is excited to host provincials and eager to take on a tough group of teams.
“It should be a competitive weekend so I’m excited for our girls to have the opportunity,” Reed said. “It should be a great turnout, and hopefully the girls come to play and have some success while we are at it.”
Reed said the team looks to be ready to play host to the best. The Aces have put in some strong performances this year, including a gold medal win at the Shaye Amundson Memorial Tournament in June.
“I think that we have a strong team,” Reed said. “We have a good group of girls and we have got some really good veteran leadership within our group. Our first years have bought in with that group, so I think we are one of the contenders if we play the way we know we can.
“I have got lots of faith in our girls and a belief that we can win anytime we go on the field.”
With 14 teams participating, Reed said that shows girls softball is a strong and growing sport. He expects plenty of stiff competition.
“I said in another interview that anybody can beat anybody on any given day,” Reed said. “It’s important to be ready and give it your best every time out and hopefully we have some success.”
The depth of competition is also great for the sport.
“You don’t want one team always dominating or running away with things,” Reed said. “It’s fun to have the competition that we have with the age group.”
He noted that there were strong teams from all around the province including Melfort, White Butte and Regina.
The top three teams advance to play at U15 Nationals in Saskatoon on August 3 to 7.
“That’s kind of an exciting opportunity too for the girls. If they have success at provincials at home, to then represent your province in Nationals close to home as well and play in front of home crowds would be an exciting opportunity,” Reed said.
Reed added that playing at home is always nice and local crowd support is always excellent. The more people who come out, he said, the more momentum they’ll have as a team.
“We encourage people to come out and see not only the female side of it and our team with lots of girls competing, but also the boys side should be exciting too,” Reed said.
The U15 Astros are also hosting provincials this weekend. The U15 B Boys championship will also be in Prince Albert as well.
The Aces are slotted for the Green Pool with the Saskatoon Hustlers, Saskatoon Lasers, Moose Jaw Ice, Lumsden Cubs, Regina Royals Reign and Regina Saints.
The White Pool includes the Melfort Spirit, Saskatoon Phantoms, Saskatoon Raiders, Twin City Angels (Warman), Regina Lazers, Regina Royals Rage and White Butte Storm.
The Aces open on Friday morning at 8 a.m. at Rotary against the Saskatoon Hustlers. Their next game is at noon on Friday against the Regina Saints at Rotary.
They close Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Shaye Amundson against the Saskatoon Lasers.
On Saturday, the Aces return to Rotary to play the Regina Royals Reign at 11:15 a.m. to close round robin play.
Playoffs begin on Saturday on 6:30 p.m. at Rotary with first place in the Green Pool against the first place team in the White Pool at Rotary. Meanwhile at Optimist the second place team in Green takes on the third place team in White and at Shaye the second place team in White takes on the third place team in Green.
The winners of the second and third place games face off at 8 a.m. Sunday at Rotary.
The Bronze Medal game is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday at Optimist. The Gold Medal game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Rotary.
“It’s a world class facility in Prince Albert and we hope people will take advantage of it by coming out and seeing some good ball,” Reed said.