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Langley trio help Heat take gold
There was no beating the Heat in Saskatoon.
And three Langley players had a big role in helping the Delta Heat 96 in capturing the U18 fastpitch Canadian national championships.
The tournament was held Aug. 4 to 10 with the Heat going a perfect 10-0.
The championship final was an all-Delta affair as the Heat 96 beat their sister team, the Delta Heat 97 7-5 in the gold medal game.
A third B.C. team, the White Rock Renegades took the bronze medal.
Marley Parker, Taylor Gillis and Montana Turnovitski came up big for the Heat over the course of the championships.
The trio all got their start in their sport with North Langley Diamond Sports.
Leading the way was Parker, the team’s ace pitcher who was on the mound for all three playoff games and was named tournament MVP.
She allowed just a combined six hits in the quarter-final and semifinal games and had a 0.96 earned run average in the final three games while fanning 14 batters.
Gillis, a centre-fielder, was voted to the tournament all-star team and led all players with 15 RBIs, including a grand slam in the semifinals, an 8-1 victory.
And Turnovitski, a first-baseman batted an eye-popping .833 over the final three games.
This was the second national title the trio helped Delta win as were also part of the Heat's victory in 2012 at the U16 national championships. Parker also earned MVP honours at that event.
A fourth Langley player, Haili Pettifer, was also on the 2012 squad and was with this year's Heat team that won the provincial title. Pettifer had to miss nationals to head off to North Carolina where she is on scholarship at St. Augustine University.
The three others are also playing at the post-secondary level on scholarship. And the fact they are going their separate ways following years together makes the title that much sweeter.
"Winning meant a lot," said Turnovitski, who turns 18 on Aug. 19.
"It was great to win because it was our last year together."
The four all got their start with North Langley Diamond Sports before eventually moving onto the Delta Heat.
Turnovitski has been part of the Heat for five seasons and Parker for three.
Gillis was picked up by the team for the 2012 national championship tournament and then stuck with the Heat full-time the last two years.
"We had high goals because we had won nationals in 2012," Gillis said.
"(But) we hadn't won a tournament all year.
"We finally just played together.
"I have never heard a team cheer that loud for anything."
Gillis will continue playing this upcoming season as a freshman with the Simon Fraser University Clan while her teammates head south of the border.
Parker is off to Alcorn State University in Mississippi while Turnovitski is heading to the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.