U17 Aces ready for Shaye Amundson Memorial Tournament

Submitted photo. Shaye Amundson (pictured) passed away in June of 2016.

The Max Power Ball Diamonds at Prime Ministers Park will be busy all weekend long as the third annual Shaye Amundson Memorial Softball Tournament takes place.

U17 Aces head coach Jen Ferguson says the weekend is exciting for Prince Albert to play in front of friends and family.

“Playing at home is always great. The girls love getting a chance to play in front of their family and their friends showcasing the skills that they’ve been working on. Prince Albert has a huge ball community here. So it’s great for people who don’t even have family members involved to come out to the diamond and watch some really competitive ball games.”

The tournament is named after Shaye Amundson, who is a former Prince Albert Aces softball player who passed away in a car accident in 2016.

Ferguson had coached Shaye while she was in the Prince Albert Minor Softball system, and says she has grown close with the family.

“I coached Shaye for quite a few years on the Aces. She was a member of our team right up from U13 to U17 when she graduated and now her sister is on the team that I’m coaching. So, I’ve been lucky enough to coach all three girls and coach with their mom Mel all along the way as well, who was an excellent ball player herself.

Shaye (was) one of those kids that everybody wishes they could coach. She was a total team first player. She would do anything for the team or her teammates. She was a great athlete, not just a ballplayer, but she would do whatever it took and play whatever position you needed as long as she thought it would help her team win.”

The Prince Albert U17 Aces are a young team, featuring only four returning second year players. Ferguson says one of the strengths of the team is how tightly knit they have become throughout the season.

“I really think one of the strengths is their ability to kind of work as a team. So that camaraderie, the friendships they’ve made, the way they support each other through the ups and downs is great. They’re probably one of the most vocal teams on the field that I’ve ever coached, which I really love.”

Ferguson adds that the team has been very coachable.

“They work hard, they’re improving at a dramatic rate. So that’s been one of their most exciting things, is their ability to take feedback from the coaches and apply it in a game setting to continue to improve their skills.”

One of the players on the roster this year for Prince Albert is Rhyan Amundson. Rhyan is one of Shaye’s three siblings.

The Aces open the tournament at 1 p.m. Friday afternoon at Rotary Field against the Melfort Spirit.