Don Oberle, Rebecca Goudy and Trent Hilpert on board to coach
Cocoa Beach – For the first time, iCASE is bringing a high school-aged girls’ fastpitch team on it annual Spring Break trip to Florida, and look out Sunshine State, our Canucks just might be more of a handful than you think!
“We normally have shared our bus with Mike Lumley’s London Badgers on this trip, but they decided to try Cuba this year, so we threw the opportunity out there and a dozen girls responded that they’d like to train and play for iCASE, and squeeze in some beach time as well!”, explained iCASE field manager/GM Tom Valcke.
“We really lucked out because not only is Western U’s coach Becky Goudy joining us, but Don Oberle’s daughter Katie, and Trent Hilpert’s daughters, Avery and Blythe, decided to sign on, so naturally, the next call went to the dads asking them to round out the coaching staff.”
After practising on Saturday and morning at Surfside Park in Satellite Beach, the girls headed to the University of Central Florida to see the Knight’s host Mercer College. On Sunday, following another practice in perfect weather, they were off to Miami’s Marlins Stadium to watch the Canada v. USA game in the World Baseball Classic. Unfortunately, they didn’t bring Team Canada any luck, as the Americans cruised to an 8-0 win.
The girls play a doubleheader tonight at the Seminole County Sports Complex in northeast Orlando against the Diamond Girlz. The follow up with evening doubleheaders on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday as well.
Coach Oberle will have a pitching staff that goes five deep, with southpaws Ella Busch (Waterloo Ghosts), Katie Oberle (Ghosts), and right-handers Maddie Hickingbottom (Oakville Angels), Skyler Stockie (Ghosts) and Riley Strauss (Ghosts).
“Maddie is known for her rise ball and is noted as one of the top pitchers in the province. Skyler is a battler, gets better in the clutch, and is a proven winner in pretty well every sport she plays. Riley, one of the younger players, has a solid game due to her hard work ethic – a consummate pro already.
Claire Lavereau (Ghosts) and Sydney Pendelton (Ghosts) will share the catching duties. Lavereau won the batting title in the 2016 provincial Midget Championship while Pendelton is a younger version, with grit and a power bat.
Avery Hilpert (Ghosts) and Mia Valcke (Ghosts) will play up the middle, and Stockie is also available at 2B or SS. Rachel Sothern (Ghosts) will park herself at 1B and Pendelton and Strauss will share the hot corner.
“Avery’s game is based around her speed, but she has the glove and bat to round that out rather well. Mia plays boys’ baseball still, and made the Team Canada Women’s World Cup entry last Fall, and her leadership is verbal as well as by example. Rachel is a power hitter with a love for the game that is infectious,” added Oberle.
Megan Jesse (North Oxford Crush) will serve as a blessing to Oberle, as she is not only a catcher but also a utility player that can literally play anywhere. Blythe Hilpert (Ghosts) is an infielder/outfielder as well, but is nursing an ankle injury that may only allow her to get some diamond time towards the end of the week.
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