Donderdag 23 Juni 2011

Eline en coach Tim

Eline en haar team ‘The Blueberry Bombers’ hebben het heel goed gedaan dit seizoen. Ze zijn kampioen geworden in de Mites divisie van heel Calgary.
De aanloop was heel spannend. De play-offs zijn zo georganiseerd dat de teams worden geelimineerd wanneer ze twee wedstrijden verloren hebben. De play-offs waren afgelopen zaterdag begonnen.

Na eerst een gewonnen wedstrijd, verloren ze de volgende (tegen de Strikers), gelukkig wisten ze daarna weer te winnen. Vanwege de regen werden de verdere wedstrijden afgelast. De finale zou daarna gaan tussen de Blueberries en de Strikers. Dinsdagavond was de eerste ontmoeting en de Blueberries versloegen de Strikers met 11 tegen 7. Daarmee hadden dus zowel de Blueberries als de Strikers een verlieswedstrijd op hun naam staan.

Er moest dus een volgende wedstrijd worden gespeeld, en wel op donderdag avond.
Ook deze werd gewonnen door de Blueberries (10-4), die daarmee divisie kampioen werden.

The Blueberry Bombers

De medaille

Elkaars bal tekenen

Elkaars bal tekenen

Meer fotos Hier en Hier

Wat commentaren van een van de wel vier coaches:


Game recap: Blueberry Bombs 10, Nosecreek 3: Game June 14th,2011
Well, hello out there to the Blueberry Bombs fan club.
I have to apologize for being absent since late last season, but I’ve had a tough time negotiating a release with the West Valley Huskies ball club.
Under a new contract now, I’m hopeful we can at least provide some commentary on the next couple games.

Folks, it was a beautiful night at the Cove 11 Stadium, last night. With the dome open and the natural grass neatly manicured the visiting undefeated Blueberry Bombs ran through their pre-game warm-up under the guidance of head coach Tim “Cito” Martindale and Wayne “the Doc” Funk.
The BBombs third batter was Eline “Zoe” Ursem (short for “Zoete Opereete”, which is Dutch for the “Blond Bomber” (I hope)). Hitting 0.700 this season, Zoe has been making some exquisite defensive plays as well as taking one fastball deep over the Green Monster in left field against a strong Airdrie hurler. Showing great poise at the demanding short-stop position, Zoe has definitely been key in the BBombs success and that continued in this contest.
Go BBombs !!

Signing off folks.
B3(Blueberry Bombs Blogger)


Game recap: Blueberry Bombs 10, Westhills Lightning Bolts 3: Game 1 Playoffs June 16th,2011

“It was a rainy day in Pizzaville” … and Calgary, when the Blueberry Bombs hit the field tonight.
A cool and wet 8 degrees at game time, Coaches Cito and Doc made sure the home field advantage was maintained after some curious attempts by the coaches of the Westhills Lightning Bolts and league officials to have the game moved to the Westhills stadium.
Hats off to the BBombs grounds-keeping team (aka Coach Tim) to drain some lingering puddles and get the home field in top shape for game time.

Finishing first in Division 1, the BBombs were awarded number one seed in all of Calgary Minor Fastpitch.
This year’s playoffs are going to see our West Valley girls facing off against the 3 other top teams in all of Calgary (population over one million!!). This evening’s game matched our beloved BBombs with the undefeated Westhills Lightning Bolts, who were anxious to steal some of the BBombs home field thunder away for themselves.
Pumped up by the boisterous home crowd and the musicality of her cheering team-mates, Eline “U-tube” Ursem didn’t disappoint. Eager to have another HON (highlight of the night ) uploaded to YouTube and watched by thousands, U-tube took the Lightning’s best reliever deep against the outfield wall. A towering shot folks! One that was featured on sports broadcasts as far away as Holland, where U-tube has a huge following of not only her own fans but where there happens to be one of the largest registered Blueberry Bombs fan clubs in the world.
What a terrific performance from the entire Blueberry Bombs team. Three great hits off the opposing pitcher, some monster long-balls, some very impressive defense and a lot of cheerful enthusiasm on the bench.

Nice work ladies !

Looking forward to tomorrow night!

Sleep well.
Blueberry Bombs Blogger


Blueberry Bombs recap: Saturday June 18th: Playoff round 2 vs. Strikers

For some of you, you’ll know that Thursday’s game was a huge confidence-builder for our beloved Blueberry Bombs, who marched to a solid 10-3 victory over the Westhills Lightning Bolts. It set the stage for a rematch against the powerhouse South Bow River 1 Strikers. The Strikers, hand-picked from the top girls in south Calgary narrowly edged our BBombs in the Bow River tourney but not before realizing they had just met their match.
The stage was set for these top two Calgary teams to face off Friday night (June 17th) at the BBombs home field, DQ Dome, in the picturesque Calgary ‘burb, of Scenic Acres (Note: Although the BBombs were on their home field, a coin toss determined that the Strikers would have last bat. League rule prior to start of playoffs).
With excitement building on the streets of Calgary all day Friday, it was disappointing for all that league officials postponed the game until Saturday morning at 8 am.

Saturday morning, was cool and damp with the outfield feeling like you were walking on a syrup soaked pancake (but not that sticky).
The Bbombs were filled with nervous excitement as was the home team crowd who could be seen huddling under blankets and shifting from cheek to cheek as they too prepared for game time.
The Strikers entered the stadium with confidence.
The chief umpire, Greg “TNP” (take no poo) Woitas was behind the plate and feeling confident with a fully rehearsed repertoire of strike calls and punch-outs polished to a confident shine.

Game on.

Tied at 6 with the Strikers coming to bat in the bottom of the 5th (and final) inning. Although closer than the BBombs had ever come to beating the mighty Strikers, they came up just short as Striker Curra smacked a home run to steal the win.
The girls, although disappointed had a new confidence. The Strikers were within reach. New milestones and new skills had been achieved in this hard fought battle. “I’m gonna rock you” Lamb narrowly missed taking a heater from the Striker’s ace pitcher, Kylie, into the upper deck. Makenna “Wheels” Mestinsek got some good looks and recalibrated after being away from the big team for a couple games. Great defence was played by Eline “U-tube” Ursem and by the Machine Martindale who made another great back-hand stab at third.
You could tell, they had a new-found confidence that was going to pay dividends should they meet up with the Strikers in a later playoff round.

Over and out,
Blueberry Blogger


Blueberry Bombs recap: Saturday June 18th: Playoff round 3 vs. Westhills Lightning Bolts

Feeling good about the lessons learned in their game earlier in the morning against the Strikers, the Blueberry Bombs warmed up for a do-or-die match against the Westhills Lightning Bolts.
With both teams needing a win to survive, the stakes were high. The girls were playing their best ball of the season and ending it all now was not an option.
A chilly noon start, with strong winds blowing in from left field, overcast and right under the approach to runway 28L of the Calgary International Airport, meant lots of distractions for the players on both squads.
The coin toss was won by the BBombs who elected to take last bat.
In the top of the 1st, the Bolts came out strong, scoring 4 runs.
With strong pitching and stellar defense from Eline “ U-Tube” Ursem, Puddin’ Funk and Clutch, who each scooped up hard ground balls and delivered strikes to Lamb at first base for the 3 outs, another milestone was achieved – game-speed playmaking, by 3 different players on hard hits, under pressure. Impressive. Very impressive.
Strikers – here we come. But this time, it would be different. The BBombs were not the same team from the South Bow River tournament. Nor were they the same team the Strikers had played first thing in the morning. The BBombs were hitting their stride. And they could feel it.

With more November weather, the game with the Strikers on Saturday evening was postponed.
That evening, the Blueberry Bombs were hosted by Sweet Hands and her parents Al and Stephania, brother Markian and sister Daria to a fabulous BBQ party at their house in Varsity. The parents replayed the day’s games, while the girls relaxed with some full contact rugby in the rec room.
Doc then handed out trophies to the girls, underlining the dedication and hard work that went into a very successful season, by each girl.
Although pleased, the girls each knew there mission was not yet accomplished. So they each polished their respective trophy, then confidently set it aside on a shelf, a dresser or … in a closet. They will each return to those trophies with fond memories and a sense of reward, but there was unfinished business to address.

Stay tuned …

The Blueberry Blogger


Blueberry Bombs game recap: June 21st South Bow River 1 Strikers

An absolute perfect night for ball. With light winds and temperatures in 23 C zone, everyone was feeling good.
With the game being played on the Strikers’ home field, concerns about transporting our beloved BBombs through traffic to the SE side of Cowtown, were front and foremost in GM Doc Funk’s mind.
Normally, the team bus would have taken the whole team together, but there were concerns by Doc about having all of the Club’s high-valued assets traveling in the same vehicle. He decided to mitigate the risk and hired custom chauffeurs for each player to ensure a safe and timely arrival at the stadium.

The plan worked.
The BBombs all arrived ahead of schedule and got an extra long practice session in before game time. You could tell from the look on the faces of the Striker players and coaching staff that they were not only surprised at the early arrival, but concerned that although they had home field advantage, the BBombs looked like they owned the Strikers’ field.

Well folks, that preparedness and aggressiveness carried right into the top of the first.
The girls were fired up and eager to get another crack at their arch nemesis, the Strikers.
Setting the stage was Cito Martindale, with a carefully posed question to the umpire just before game time. Not wanting to expose any team strategy at this crucial stage in the playoffs, I won’t go into details on the topic discussed. Let’s just say, it created another uncomfortable feeling for the home team.
On the heals of some fantastic “D” by Sweet Hands on a great play to first, Hurricane tracking down a potential home run ball before going over the fence and U-tube Ursem making a fabulous catch and throw to Groovie at 3rd for a big out, the BBombs were still in control and feeling good going into the top of the 5th and final inning.
The top of the 5th ended with the BBombs up 11-7.
Well now, up by 4 with Puddin’ on the mound.
Curra, hit a hard single but that was it folks. Puddin’ buckled things down and sawed the bats off the next 3 in a row.
The BBombs tied the series and pushed it to the final game, Thursday night at DQ Stadium! Wear your nail-biting polish! It’s gonna be fun!

Game on girls!
Have fun and keep smiling !
You are all absolutely wonderful !



Championship Game Recap: West Valley 1 Blueberry Bombs vs SBR 1 Strikers June 23, 2011

Well folks, it looked like a great night for ball, with temperatures hovering in the 22 degree range under partly sunny skies and a light 8 km/hr breeze blowing out to left field, just before game time.
The DQ Stadium was filling up fast. It appeared to be a record crowd in the makings to see the home town Blueberry Bombs facing off against the powerful, and once favoured, Strikers, in the winner-take-all Championship game. We did check in with the DQ Stadium Box Office after the game and they confirmed we had just shy of 30,000 in attendance if every fan there represented 1000 of their closest friends and relatives! Incredible turnout! Biggest of the year, without a doubt. And again, the Blueberry Bombs band wagons, fully loaded, were all parked together in the Stadium lot after dropping off their excited fans at the front gate.

Now, although the weather started off as relatively favourable, it wasn’t long till the temperature dropped to 14 degrees and the winds picked up to 68 km/hr with gusts close to 80 km/hr. There were rumblings in the crowd that some noticed the change in weather didn’t occur until Sarah “Tropical Storm” Chan and Makenna “Hurricane” Mestinsek took to the field. Coincidence or not, one thing was clear, Coaches Cito Martindale, Dr. Funk and Russian conditioning guru Sweet Eddie Chanovsky had the Blueberry Bombs primed and ready for the big game. Folks, this was no regular season game. With a full house, a top ranked umpiring crew and two of the top sporting photographers in the business, Rob “Zoom Zoom” Ursem and Yvette “Pixel Dust” Marchand the atmosphere was electric …if not eclectic.
Sure, this writer may be biased toward our beloved BBombs, however I will say, the Strikers were a class act and eager to bring plenty of ‘game’ to this rubber match.
Eline “U-Tube” Ursem then made a great play scooping up a hard ground ball at second and tossing to Bam Bam for the 3rd out.
Here come the BBombs.
Inspired by their great defense or eager to show off their hitting prowess in this, their biggest game of their careers, Hambone, Bam Bam, U-Tube, Hurricane and Marusia “Sweet Hands” Luciuk made minced meat of the Strikers. This fearsome fivesome really broke the game wide open, with 5 hard base hits and base-path speed that triggered the aforementioned gale force winds and whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
End of two, BBombs up 5-1.
Spike down those lawn chairs and tighten the chin strap on your Tilleys folks, our darling BBombs were in the lead, but the powerful Strikers were up next.
But you know something fans, although there was excitement, there was also a nice warm confidence that had been brewing over the past few games, that not only took the chill out of this night’s air, but also out of the close game score. Excitement? Yes. Nervous? No. These girls were at the top of their game and had consistently and methodically ascended the mountain that is the CMSA Mite Girls Division 1.
So, it was only appropriate that Chan, with Backstop Grant behind the plate, settled in and proceeded to set the next 3 Striker batters down in order, with the help of stalwart defense behind her.
Up next was U-Tube Ursem. And if you know anything, you know that “…if you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much”. Well, Ursem was on fire this game with a hot glove on “D” and a loaded bat at the plate. She was much too much for the Strikers to handle on this big day. U-Tube lit into a pitch and knocked a scorcher back up the middle, cashing in Hambone and Bam Bam for a 2-run RBI and a 4 run cushion.
First pitch swinging, Clutch delivered a rocket over the left field wall knocking in Puddin’ for the 4th run of the inning and a 10-4 rubber ducky lead.

Knowing there was no way to catch the BBombs, the Strikers tossed in the towel. “Blue” called the game. The BBombs were CMSA Mite Girls Division 1 Champions for 2011!!
The girls and their fans went wild with excitement.

As if on queue, the winds settled slightly, allowing the roar of applause and acknowledgement to be heard from all 30,000 fans, for their beloved BBombs.
The Strikers and their coaching staff also acknowledged the talents of the entire BBombs team, while the BBombs cheered for the Strikers, knowing the competition between them was what elevated their game to what it was on this wonderful day.

This writer doesn’t frequent Starbucks, but I’ve got to believe what we saw brewing over the past few games of the season between our girls was something very special. And not just a Blueberry Bombs Chocolate Mocha Latte Grande either. Every game they improved. Every game they were getting better both as individuals and as a team. Terrific fun to watch.

Before signing off, just a few thank you notes to write:
Thanks to:

  • Sarah, for some huge homeruns, some captivating pitching and for that happy personality all the time.
  • Ella, for making this writer proud, as you set up like a pro behind the plate to catch our great pitchers and contributed some key hits off opposing pitchers.
  • Makenna W., for that big smile, those monstrous home runs and those incredible performances behind the plate during playoffs.
  • Michelle, for those textbook plays at third, clutch hits during the playoffs and being a leader on the field.
  • Kaitlin, for keeping the girls loose, whether on the field or at the DQ. And, for delivering some momentum-swinging hits in our Championship game.
  • Sam, for your stellar play at first. Your determination and desire at the plate that converted into two key hits in our final game.
  • Eline, for the great glove at short that delivered key outs in key games to help put us at the top when things were close. And for your two big hits in the Championship game.
  • Makenna M., for that love-of-everything attitude, that blinding speed that anchored our undefeated base-race record and for your two timely hits in the Final.
  • Marusia, for absorbing and learning all season long. For becoming such a key part of the BBombs defense on second and also for your two big hits in our big win.
  • Olivia, for your ability to build on your experiences and be better every time out. Your incredible pitching in the playoffs and your contagious hitting in the Final.
  • Coach Ed, for your tireless swing instruction and warm-ups with the girls.
  • Coach Tim, for your methodical and well-planned program for the girls. It started with the clinics before the season and ended with in-game ‘clinics’ during the playoffs that elevated our girls to another level of play. Strong values and leadership that are so important at this level.
  • Coach Wayne …OMG my friend. We (except for Jane) have no idea the hours you put in this year for the BBombs,
    the West Valley Softball Association and now the Provincial team. GM, President, Equipment Manager, Schedule coordinator, Diamond organizer, Bus driver, Trophy buyer extraordinaire you’ve done it all. Volunteer of the year!

Speaking on behalf of the entire coaching staff, a special thanks to:
Nancy, Jane, Patty, Janice, Maurae & Greg, Robert & Kelli, Darcy & Laura, Rob & Annette, Mike & Yvette, Al & Stephania for helping score, run practice sessions, set up the field, umpire, take wonderful pictures, haul equipment, bench boss, share umbrellas, host team parties and most importantly allowing us to be a part of your daughters’ fast pitch development.

Thanks to all.
May we cross base paths again some time.

Hip hip hooray for our West Valley Blueberry Bombs !

Tim, Wayne, Ed, Steve

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