Central park was packed all weekend as the Merritt Minor Softball Association hosted Softball BC’s Boys Provincial Championships.
The tournament ran from July 15-17, hosting the boys U13, U15, and U17 championships.

“This is the big championship tournament for B.C.,” said U17 coach Candice Bateson, who is also a board member for Merritt Minor Softball. “It is all of the boys teams across the province.”

Bateson said that the governing body Softball BC was instrumental in bringing the big tournament to Merritt.

“We talked about it as a coaching group and some coaches were super keen on bringing it to Merritt,” she explained.

“When we talked to Softball BC, they were also really wanting to bring the tournament to Merritt because of how rough we’ve had it for the last couple of years. They thought it would really uplift the community if we could have this tournament here.”

The tournament was a huge success with 10 U13, five U15, and four U17 teams competing for their respective championships. The following is the list of the teams who placed in the top three of each division;

Barriers Stamer Logging – Bronze
Terrace Team 2 – Silver
100 Mile N Hour – Gold

100 Mile N Hour – Bronze
Terrace Team 2 – Silver
Terrace Titans – Gold

Barriere Chiefs – Bronze
Williams Lake Prospects – Silver
Terrace Mariners – Gold

“We haven’t had this level of fastball in Merritt for a very long time and it was so nice to see so much talent on the fields right here at home,” Bateson explained.

“The sportsmanship and kindness, on and off the field, shown by players and fans are really why softball is the best sport to play. It was great to see teams cheer each other on and wish each other well all weekend.”
Feedback on the tournament have been very positive. Bateson said that Merritt Minor are very grateful for all the sponsors and volunteers that supported the Provincials.

“People were very impressed with the facilities and fields, a huge thank you to Jess Sulz and her team working hard to get the park ready,” she said.

“We were grateful that the City and Crossroads Community Church made an exception to allow camping on the fields, it was difficult to find accommodations for this many people after the flooding of our local camp grounds and lack of vacancy in hotels.”

Bateson also thanked all the sponsors that contributed to the success of this tournament;

Infracon Construction
Black’s Pharmacy
Lower Nicola Site Services
Canadian Tire
D.Wright Logging
Lower Nicola Development Corp.
Kekuli Cafe

The success of this tournament has opened up possibilities for hosting more tournaments in the future. Bateson hopes that the exposure softball gets from this kind of event could contribute to the growth of the sport in the city.

“Hopefully bringing this amazing event to Merritt will increase the interest and get more kids signed up for softball. It’s a fun inexpensive sport for boys and girls of all ages,” she said.

“Our association would like to host more minor ball events in Merritt from coaching clinics, pitching and hitting clinics, tournaments, and when we’ve all rested a bit we might even consider hosting provincials again.”

Copy of Copy of 2022 Bass Coast by Marius Auer