Myah Gallie could hardly lift her arms over her head a few weeks ago.
The 16-year-old will ignore any pain and will be throwing a ball hard and swinging for the fences as the B.C. Summer Games open Friday in Cowichan Valley.
The 5-foot-10 Gallie is one of three catchers with the Zone 2 Thompson Okanagan girls fastball entry. She also patrols third base.
“I missed the provincials with a rotator cuff injury but I’m good to go now,” beamed Gallie. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I’m not going to miss it. My physio has cleared me to play.”
Gallie served as a designated hitter for one game at provincials, otherwise acting as a cheerleader with a bad shoulder.
Gallie, who is homeschooled, attended two tryout camps in Kelowna and wasn’t super confident considering she had never played any all-star ball.
She gives major props to her Kelowna U126B Heat coach Michelle Webster, also bench boss for Zone 2, for making her ready for competitive play.
“She helped me as an athlete and get way better in ball,” said Gallie. “She was a catcher in college so she’s been awesome teaching me. She’s showed me the mental aspect of the game too, how to be competitive but not lose to yourself. If you’re not focused, you can’t be your best. Refuse to lose.”
Gallie was nine when she took up fastball.
I always really liked the sport. I got pushed into the catcher position because the other catcher got hurt. I didn’t want to play the position, but once I tried it, I fell in love with it. You have command of the game and you’re telling other people what to do.”
Batting clean-up, Gallie is a power hitter who knocks in a lot of runs, thanks to coaching from Webster.
“Michelle tweaked one thing with my hand and I hit a home run, double and triple in one game. One went over the fence and two one-hopped the fence.”
Webster said Gallie “has a cannon” for an arm and is a low maintenance player.
“She’s done a really good job adjusting at the plate, tweaking her swing a little,” said Webster. “She’s seeing the ball really well; she’s a lot of fun to coach.”
Webster said Gallie, the lone Vernon player on the Zone 2 roster, has bought into being positive when things get tough on the diamond.
“It’s not all about pretending things don’t bother us. What are we going to when things go sideways. We want the kids to be open about things and be prepared for those times.”
Gallie used to play some soccer and now runs a dog training business when she’s not playing fastball.
Zone 2 opens the 40th anniversary Summer Games against the Vancouver Island today at Evans Park in Duncan. More than 2,000 athletes are competing in 18 sports.
Webster was the starting catcher with Kansas Wesleyan University Coyotes for two years before graduating in 2009. She took All-Conference (NAIA) honours both years with the Coyotes, winning the conference in her sophomore season. She then spent two years as an assistant coach and one as the interim head coach at Kansas Wesleyan.
Webster, a 2002 Fulton grad, also served as a bullpen catcher/manager with Team Canada under head coach Lori Sippel from 2005-08.