By Karla Kelly FOR THE DIGBY COURIER NovaNewsNow.com
The left fielder dove for the ball, making good on the catch before it hit the ground, drawing a cheer from the crowd.
With a smile on her face the first year player for the 16U Girls Provincial Selects team jumped up excitedly with the ball clutched in her glove knowing the catch had helped her team.
Makayla Addington said it felt amazing diving for the ball and making the out.
“I got to help out the rest of the team with that good play and of course it’s cool hearing the fans cheer for you,” said Addington.
“We played a double header against a boys’ team, the Yarmouth Gateways at the Weymouth Cricket Field on Sunday (July 26) and it was tough but we hung in there.”
Besides the diving catch, Addington caught two easy fly balls and had a base hit to shortstop during the two games.
The Grade 9 student from Ecole Secondaire de Clare is the only member on the team from South West Nova Scotia and she said it was her love of the game that prompted her to try out for the provincial team.
“I play soccer, basketball and 5-pin bowling but I love baseball the best,” said the 14-year-old. “My dad got me started in T-Ball when I was six and now I play catcher, pitcher and first base for the Weymouth Firebirds Bantam team.”
Earning a spot on the Provincial Selects was not easy for Addington but she was motivated to work hard knowing her skills would improve playing higher level baseball.
“The tryouts were hard because the competition was tough as there were really good athletes trying out,” she said. “I was excited when I found out I had made the team.”
Addington’s mother, Miranda Addington said her daughter is the first player from Weymouth Minor Baseball to play on the provincial team.
Coach Brandon Guenette from Cole Harbour said making the Provincial Selects is based on pure athleticism, knowing the fundamentals of baseball such as fielding, hitting, arm strength, running and very importantly, attitude.
“The program is about development and getting ready for nationals,” said Guenette. “There is tough competition going up against the bigger provinces like Ontario at the national level.”
The tryouts are held in May, then the team trains for a month before starting to play in June explained the coach.
“We have been very competitive and successful in the tournaments so far this season,” he said. “There are few girls teams in the province so we play against boys teams and this is very helpful in our preparation for nationals.”
The head coach said Addington is the only member of the team between Kentville and Bridgewater.
“Last year there was a girl from Clark’s Harbour and the one from Digby two years ago,” he said. “There are tryouts every year even for the girls who have played on the team the previous season.”
Addington said tryouts were tough not knowing any of the other girls but she has quickly become friends with them all and they are looking forward to competing at Nationals next month.
“My teammates and I love travelling around the province playing ball but the highlight will be going to Quebec for the 16U Nationals from Aug. 19-25,” she said.
In the meantime Addington says she is getting to play a lot of the game that she loves for the Provincial Selects as well as the Weymouth Firebirds.