Some of the top softball players from across the country will make their way to Prince Albert later this week for the U15 Boys Canadian Fast Pitch Championship at the Max Power Ball Diamonds at Prime Minister’s Park.
The Prince Albert U15 Astros are hoping to make some noise in the tournament after finishing second in provincials last month.
Astros head coach Neil Finch says the team is excited to take on Canada’s best.
“We’re just excited to have people from across the country come and join us. We’ve got what I would say is one of the best facilities in the country. Our ball diamonds are just fantastic. We want to be able to host and be proud of what Prince Albert has to offer. We’re excited to get on the field and put it all together. We’ve been practicing for approximately four months to get ready and we’re ready and excited to see how we do against the competition.”
Ten teams will make their way to Prince Albert to compete, with two teams coming from maritime provinces Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, four teams from Ontario and three teams from Saskatchewan plus the host Astros.
Finch says Prince Albert will rely on their strong depth throughout the week.
“I think the biggest thing for us is that everyone contributes that. We’ve got 15 people on the roster and every single player brings something to the table to help them succeed. If we’re looking at team quality, it would be that everyone has their strengths, and when you put it all together, we are a pretty strong team.
With Prince Albert being unfamiliar with several teams in the tournament, Finch says the Astros are approaching each game with the same mentality.
“I think the challenge is not knowing much about them, but the reverse of that is true. If we just take care of our business and do what we can do, it shouldn’t matter who’s on the diamond against us because we don’t change too much. We’re going to approach every game the same way regardless of who our competition is.”
Finch says Prince Albert is hoping to limit mistakes throughout the tournament.
“I think if you want to sum it up with what we need to do well, we’re not giving up anything for free. On defence, we don’t want to be giving up free bases. We don’t want to walk people; we don’t want to make errors. We want to make sure that there’s no basis for free (runs). But then when we’re batting, it’s no different and if we get an opportunity to take an extra base, we’re going to be aggressive and do that. Offensively and defensively, just nothing for free is what we are aiming to do.”
The U15 Astros begin the tournament on Wednesday at 10 a.m. against Ontario 3 – Tara Longhorns at Rotary Field