Canada: These champs of a St. John's boys' baseball tournament aren't boys at all - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada These champs of a St. John's boys' baseball tournament aren't boys at all

23:00  20 september  2019
23:00  20 september  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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The new champions of a St. John's, N.L. boys' baseball tournament throw like girls.

And thanks to that distinction, the Bantam Capitals — the first girls' team to play in the John Wickham Memorial boys' tournament — won it all last week, beating six all-boys teams and walking away with gold medals around their necks.

"Especially with boys' teams — they tend to be cocky when they see girls play, so just getting that extra satisfaction of beating them … it's a nice feeling," said pitcher Madison Lockyer.

The Capitals first started playing the boys three years ago, and weren't much competition at first, their coach said.

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This time, they won the championship game 3-1.

Lockyer told The St. John's Morning Show that while she's played on mixed-gender teams, she'd rather play with the ladies.

"I enjoyed that a little more, if I'm being honest. I find that the guys are kind of overlooking you a little bit.… With the girls I feel like you're more accepted as you play."

Teammate Maddi Healy agrees. When she started playing on boys' teams, "they did not want us there," she said.

"Balls would be hit to us and the boys would dive in front trying to stop it from getting to us," she said. "That's when we were like, 'OK, the girls need a chance to play.'"

a group of people posing for the camera: The Bantam Capitals stole the show at this year's John Wickham Memorial baseball tournament in St. John's.© Paula Gale/CBC The Bantam Capitals stole the show at this year's John Wickham Memorial baseball tournament in St. John's.

"Most of these girls play … at the provincial level," said Mark Healy, the Capitals coach and head of Baseball NL.

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Having the girls face off against the best of the boys allows them to crank up the calibre of their performance, readying them to play at the national level, he explained.

And although the girls can hold their own on the field, it's not always easy convincing everyone of that, he said.

Proved they belong

"You know, [other teams] don't really say anything derogatory or make any bad comments, but you can feel that, 'jeez, a bunch of girls playing in a boys' league? Why is that?'"

With 600 female under-18 players registered in the province, coach Healy hopes that type of response will soon change.

"The girls have really proven they belong on the field with the boys," he said. "They've proven to the naysayers they belong out there."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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