By Debra Downey, Senior Editor
Twelve-year-old Abby Stuart added a shiny bronze medal to her trophy collection this summer.
The Ancaster resident was among 12 girls, their coaches and families who travelled west in early August for the Canadian fast-pitch championships in British Columbia. Abby’s team, the Waterloo Ghost Under 14 squad, went undefeated in round-robin action before falling to eventual winner Manitoba.
“I was so excited,” said Abby of her experience. “I don’t really travel a lot, so it was different and so pretty, with the mountains and everything, and we were so fortunate to go and play such high level of ball.”
Abby and her team qualified to represent Ontario on the national stage by winning all their round-robin games in the provincial tournament then roughing up Guelph Gators 10-4 in the final. Abby played centre-field and made a diving catch for an out.
The R.A. Riddell School student said she generally anchors the outfield, and while she enjoys centre-field, she’d rather be on second or at shortstop.
“Most of the girls are older, 14, so it’s hard for me to get those key positions,” she said. “But I find I get a lot of action (in centre-field) and I like being one of the leaders in the field.”
Behind the plate, Abby has struggled a bit during the season but peaked at playoff time.
“Last year I was quite a slugger, but this year it’s mostly singles and walks, because I’m adjusting and learning,” she said.
Abby started playing baseball at age seven with a Dundas Girls Softball house league team. After three years in Dundas, she tried out for a rep team in Brantford then moved on this summer to play with the Waterloo Ghost.
She said she’s had fun this summer working on her precision and technique, and is already looking forward to 2015.
Next summer the ambitious and athletic youngster hopes to once again suit up for the Waterloo Ghost novice team. Her dream is to one day earn a scholarship to play softball at the college or university level.