The Whitehouse Mortgage Gators are ready to take a chomp out of the Women’s Slo-Pitch C Provincials this weekend.
“I think it would be really great for us to have a good showing in Vernon because we are the only team from here in the provincials,” said player/manager Michelle Embleton who has been with the team since 2001. “It should be a really good weekend.”
Longtime Gator outfielder Jenn Thatcher is stoked for the tournament.
“I’m super excited for provincials. We are ready to compete and play our best against teams from all over,” said Thatcher.
Thatcher bats and throws right-handed, and like a few other players on the team, has been a Gator for several years.
“We have had a good core group for a while. People retire and hang them up, but we always get good players to come and fill in for their spots,” said Thatcher who has been a Gator since 2007.
Embleton claims that a third of her roster has been intact for a while. A group of players decided to call it quits after winning the B Nationals in Calgary in 2010.
“Some of the girls wanted to retire on top. We have 18 girls on the roster now, most are fairly new,” said Embleton.
The Gators, who finished second in the Vernon Women’s Slo-Pitch League, are looking to bounce back from a sub-par performance at the B provincials in Kamloops three years ago.
It’s a double-elimination bracket with a pair of round robin games. The Gators take on Skyline at 10:20 a.m. Saturday morning at DND #4, and will battle BTN at 3:40 p.m. at DND #1. The elimination games begin 8 a.m. Sunday morning.
“We beat BTN in the qualifying tournament in Kelowna, but the teams change so much, we don’t expect them to be the same team as last time,” said Thatcher.
“We are a tournament team. We have fun, bond and are looking to have a good showing this weekend.”
The winner will advance to the C Nationals next summer in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Other Gators include: player/coach Linda Castonguay, Taryn Robertson, Tiffany Disher, Kate Carter, Melissa Locke, Jen Doyle, Pam Betton, Shelly Ouellette, Terri-Rose Thompson, Jessica Hallam, Brittany Housego, Jen Ternier, Belinda Marks, Courtney Bissell, Leigha Stenhouse, Shaina McGiverin and coach Mike Burke.
On the men’s side, the Vernon Dodgers are playing in the D Division and will battle the Black Sox at 9 a.m. Saturday on DND #5. Their second round robin game goes at 3:40 p.m. against the Mayhem.
Vernon will also be hosting Women’s B, and D provincials, along with Men’s B, C, and E tourneys.