They went from playing in a windy province to playing for a team in the Windy City.
No less than seven young female baseball players from Newfoundland and Labrador recently took part in the Baseball For All Nationals female tournament in Chicago.
All were part of the Chicago Pioneers. The Pioneers who would go on to win a championship in the tourney, which encourages the development of opportunities for girls to participate in baseball.
Five of the Newfoundlanders — Jaida Lee and Kayla Musseau of St. John’s, Holly Russell of Grand Falls-Windsor, Hannah Legge of Cow Head and Sommer Mosher of Corner Brook — were part of the Pioneers’ active roster, while two others — Taylor Burton and Lauren Chaulk, both of Corner Brook — were injured but made the trip to support their teammates.
The Pioneers went 5-1 overall, outscoring their opposition 60-23 in the process. Their lone loss came in preliminary play when they were shut out 2-0 by the Los Angeles Monarchs, a team that they would edge 3-2 later on in the semifinal round.
The Pioneers defeated the Boston Slammers 7-5 in the championship final, with Legge producing two hits and scoring two runs as Chicago rallied from a 5-1 deficit.
It was just one of a number of key contributions by the Newfoundlanders to their Chicago team.
In the Pioneers’ opening game, Russell had three hits, including a walk-off RBI double, as Chicago edged the New York Winders 15-14.
In a 20-0 win over the Boston Base, Mosher and Musseau combine for a one-hit shutout on the mound. At the plate, Mosher was two-for-three with three RBIs, while Musseau was three-for-three with three runs.
In the loss to the Monarchs, Lee pitched four innings, striking out seven and allowing a single unearned run.
Russell combined with an Indiana pitcher for a one-hit shutout of the Washington Force, with registering three runs and two RBIs.
In the semifinal rematch against Los Angeles, the Pioneers were trailing by a run with one out in the final inning when Mosher walked, stole second and third base, and then scored on a single from Illinois native Nicole Kaleta. In extra Innings, Russell walked, stole second and third base before scoring on a wild pitch to win the game.
Lee started the championship game for the Pioneers, but was forced out in the second inning after taking a line drive off her knee
Baseball For All is the voice and hub for girls and baseball in the United States, fostering, encouraging and providing opportunities for girls to participate in baseball. Baseball For All also works to educate the public concerning the importance of providing equal opportunities and resources for girls who are told they are not allowed to try out or play.